Braves News: Raisel Iglesias set to start rehab assignment with Gwinnett
By Chase Owens
The presumed closer for the Atlanta Braves is set to begin his rehab assignment and inch closer to making his 2023 debut. Raisel Iglesias was placed on the injured list toward the end of spring training with shoulder inflammation to delay the start to his season.
Iglesias was among the most dominant relievers in baseball when he came over from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline last year, posting a 0.34 ERA, and 1.52 FIP in 26.1 innings with the Braves. The Braves went into spring training with the notion Iglesias would take over in the teams closer role after Kenley Jansen signed a two-year deal with the Boston Red Sox.
Unfortunately injuries have been a constant theme so far in 2023 for the Braves, and the bullpen has fallen victim to them in spades. Along with Iglesias’ stint on the injured list, the Braves have seen important relievers such as: Collin McHugh, Joe Jimenez, and Lucas Luetge miss time with injury as well. But thankfully McHugh has already started his rehab assignment and now we have news that the Braves closer isn’t far behind.
For the month of April the Braves have trusted A.J. Minter with the bulk of the save opportunities. Minter was having another great season until a recent hiccup in the Astros series where he got burned by an excellent hitter in Yordan Alvarez a couple times. Once Iglesias makes his return to Atlanta though that should slot Minter back into a set-up man role, one in which he thrived in last season. Not only does it slot Minter into a more comfortable position, it also deepens this bullpen into a strength and portrays it into more of the strength for the team that it has established itself as in recent years.
The return in health of these key bullpen pieces along with the production they have gotten from guys like Nick Anderson, Michael Tonkin, and the great Dylan Lee goes a long way into making it one of the more feared bullpens across the league.