Kolby Allard to start series finale against Twins

Atlanta Braves Photo Day
Atlanta Braves Photo Day / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves are sending Kolby Allard to the hill for Wednesday's series finale against the Minnesota Twins. It's the first start of 2023 for Allard and his first major league start since August of 2021.

Allard getting the call for Wednesday comes as a bit of a surprise, with some expecting Michael Soroka to get the ball and return to the major league rotation after putting up some impressive numbers in Gwinnett since being sent back down to Triple-A in early June.

The former first-round pick returned to Atlanta in November of 2022 as part of a trade that sent Jake Odorizzi and cash back to the Texas Rangers. Allard was traded to Texas originally in 2019 for Chris Martin, who became a key piece of Atlanta's success in his two-and-half seasons with the club. While in Texas, Allard posted a 5.85 ERA in 34 starts and spent a good portion of 2022 with Triple-A Round Rock.

Atlanta originally selected Allard with the 14th overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft. He was a top-100 prospect as he worked his way through the Braves farm system, before making his major league debut in July of 2018.

He made two appearances with the Braves in Spring Training this year before hitting the injured list with an oblique injury. Allard started Atlanta's spring training opener against the Boston Red Sox, allowing three hits and one earned run over two innings in what would be a tie that ended on a pitch-clock violation. In his second Spring appearance, Allard pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit against the Mets for his lone win of Spring Training.

The 25-year-old has made two appearances in Gwinnett since returning from the injured list, throwing 6.2 innings over two starts, allowing two earned runs, and striking out eight batters. Considering the month the Braves have been having at the plate, it doesn't hurt to throw some pitching options at the wall and see what sticks. Max Fried and Kyle Wright are still on the road to recovery, so any pitchers that can give you a few innings at the major league level are worthy of at least a start.