The Atlanta Braves are slowly working back some important pieces of their team and we got more updates on two of those players. There was also a transaction made after the Braves made a trade for a reliever.
Max Fried to make fourth rehab start
Max Fried will be making his fourth rehab start on Wednesday for the Gwinnett Stripers as they face the Jumbo Shrimp in Jacksonville. If all goes well and the Braves feel comfortable, Fried will rejoin the team sometime after this start.
Fried has made 3 starts so far, two with Gwinnett and once with Rome. His most recent rehab start finished after 65 pitches and 3.1 innings. He's completed a total of 4.2 innings over two starts with the Stripers allowing 3 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.
His one start with Rome lasted 3 innings allowing no runs on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts. So, he's looked pretty good but the Braves decided he needed to have a couple more starts to build up his pitch count.
If all goes well, Fried would be in line to start the series opener when the Angels come to Atlanta next week. It would be perfect to get Fried back in a series where fans will get the chance to see two of the leading league MVP candidates face off.
A.J. Minter makes first rehab appearance
The Braves lefty reliever ended his first half with an injury that was originally expected to only be a day-to-day prognosis. However, that quickly changed to an IL stint for Minter.
Luckily, he is about to have his first rehab appearance for the Stripers in Jacksonville on Tuesday. Atlanta hasn't stated if he will make multiple appearances before returning to the team. They did say both he and Fried could be activated soon after their appearances so it very well could just be one appearance for Minter.
His ERA sits at 4.91 on the season through 40.1 innings of work so far with 50 strikeouts. So, it's not always been the prettiest work from the veteran reliever. His last 7 games were pretty good as he posted a 3.18 ERA through 5.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts.
Atlanta will need Minter to stay healthy and get himself back to the great back-end option that fans have come to expect him to be. With the recent additions made by Alex Anthopoulos via trade, Minter being at full strength will help lengthen a bullpen that is appearing a little tired despite having one of the best bullpen ERAs in all of baseball.
Soroka optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett
It has been a wild ride for Michael Soroka thus far in 2023 as he's been called up and sent down twice now for the Braves. His most recent start wasn't anything spectacular but he did start to show more confidence in himself and his pitches after 6 innings of work in Milwaukee.
He did allow 4 runs in that game but the Braves were able to come out on top and win the game. Soroka has really struggled with allowing home runs as his command hasn't been the best. It was slightly surprising to see the Braves send him down again but his collective ERA of 5.52 isn't great either.
Soroka was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett after Sunday's win over the Brewers. This move was also a move made due to Atlanta claiming Yonny Chirinos from the Tampa Bay Rays. RHP Seth Elledge was designated for assignment due to this transaction as well.
It's tough to see Soroka sent down after all he's worked through to get back to the mound but Atlanta clearly thinks he needs to be sent down. Now, does this mean we won't see him pitch for the Braves again this year? I don't believe so.
Soroka has posted a 3.31 ERA with the Stripers through 54.1 innings of work. He's definitely faired a little better in the Triple-A ranks this year. Hopefully, he can work through the remaining kinks and find his way back to the team again.