Braves News: Michael Harris II update, Matt Olson's hot stretch, Matt Carasiti signed

Checking in on some notable Braves news including injury updates and more.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Things are starting to look a bit less bleak for the Atlanta Braves as they homered their way to a 9-2 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon. The bats came alive and starting pitching remained solid as they hope this trend continues throughout June.

One factor was missing from all the excitement and that was Michael Harris II. Harris suffered an injury running the bases during Friday's series opener with the Rays. It feels like a cruel joke at this point as Atlanta has dealt with frustrating injuries all season. The team announced after the game he felt discomfort in his hamstring and would likely be placed on the IL before undergoing an MRI the next day.

To replace him on the roster, Atlanta recalled outfielder, and former Oakland Athletics standout, Ramón Laureano from Triple-A Gwinnett. Spencer Strider was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room for Laureano on the 40-man roster.

Braves received dissapointing update on Michael Harris II's injury

As soon as things started looking up offensively, the team was dealt yet another blow. Michael Harris II's MRI revealed he suffered a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring. This will put Atlanta's talented centerfielder out of commission for at least a month. Grade 2 hamstring strains take four to eight weeks to heal, depending on their severity.

Harris had struggled at the plate but slowly started to figure things out as the new leadoff for Atlanta. Over his last six games played, Money Mike was batting .286 with six hits including a triple. His season average sits at .250 with five home runs, 20 RBI, and 85 OPS+.

This injury allowed the Braves an opportunity to let Jarred Kelenic lead off and he took full advantage. Kelenic was 3-for-5 with two runs driven in and really kick started things for Atlanta. It's extremely likely fans will see Jarred in that position much more often.

Matt Olson continues offensive surge during Braves series vs. Rays

It was a rough start to the season for Matt Olson after a historic season in 2023. Through the first 38 games of 2024, Olson was batting .209 with four homers, 18 RBI, 19 walks, and 42 strikeouts.

However, over the last month, Matt is batting .311/.357/.597 with eight homers, 21 RBI, eight walks, 32 strikeouts, and a .954 OPS. He has looked much more like the Matt Olson fans are used to.

Olson has been much better at being patient at the plate and staying through the baseball when he swings. He isn't getting fooled by pitches and seems much more confident. His strikeouts are a bit high and that should be improved but overall, he is back on track for the Braves. The league better be on notice because this is just the beginning for Matt Olson and Atlanta's offense.

Braves sign reliever Matt Carasiti to minor league contract

The Braves agreed to a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Matt Carasiti a couple of days ago. Carasiti elected free agency after the Colorado Rockies designated him for assignment and passed him through outright waivers.

Carasiti carried a 10.38 ERA over 8.2 innings for the Colorado bullpen. He has a 7.36 ERA over 33 frames with the Rockies between 2023 and 2024 with 14 walks and 23 strikeouts. He’s pitched in the majors over four seasons with a career 7.41 ERA.

His average velocity sits around 95 mph on his sinker which is his primary pitch. Carasiti also utilizes a forkball, a four-seam fastball, and a cutter. The groundball rate on his sinker sits around 48.5% and provides much-needed depth to an Atlanta bullpen ravaged by injuries.

A.J. Minter inching closer to return to Atlanta bullpen

Speaking of injured relievers, Braves pitcher A.J. Minter is expected to start throwing bullpen sessions soon according to Brian Snitker. Minter is recovering from left hip inflammation and it has taken a bit longer than expected to heal but it seems he's inched closer to returning.

Minter seemed to be on track to return but Atlanta is being extra careful with their lefty reliever. He had a 2.95 ERA over 21.1 innings with six walks and 23 strikeouts before being placed on the injured list. In his absence, the Braves have relied on Ray Kerr, Aaron Bummer, and Dylan Lee from the left side.

More from House That Hank Built