Braves News: Joe Jimenez underwent spine surgery this past offseason
While the Atlanta Braves' biggest acquisition this offseason was the trade to acquire catcher Sean Murphy, another seemingly important one was when the Braves traded their best position prospect, Justyn-Henry Malloy, to the Tigers to acquire reliever Joe Jimenez.
Under general manager Alex Anthopoulos, the Braves have prioritized having a strong bullpen and have committed plenty of resources (both in money and in prospects) in order to have one each season. While trade deadline acquisition Raisel Iglesias is expected to anchor the back of the bullpen along with AJ Minter, Jimenez was added to give the Braves' even more depth in the late innings. That is why last night's news was a bit of a shock.
While it was known that Jimenez missed some time at the end of the season in 2022, it was far from public knowledge that the issue was severe enough to require surgical intervention. There are certainly more than a few people now concerned that the Braves' gave up too much for a reliever that now has some medical red flags. Fortunately, the procedure didn't involve his arm and the procedure sounds like it was a minor one.
Given all of that, everything regarding Jimenez's prognosis for 2023 (other than the fact that he had surgery) remains positive. He reported to spring training normally and is throwing in camping as we speak as DOB reported. If Jimenez was a starter who needed more time and innings to stretch back out, the procedure may have been more of a concern. However, given Jimenez is a reliever, it sounds like he will have more than enough time to be ready by Opening Day assuming nothing goes sideways.
In 56.2 IP in 2022 (62 appearances), Joe Jimenez posted a 3.49 ERA and 2.00 FIP with 77 strikeouts against 13 walks for the Tigers.