Tyler Matzek hints the Braves could have him start the season in the minors

The 2021 postseason hero knows it has been a long road back. While he feels healthy, making the Opening Day roster is no guarantee.

Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Six
Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Six / Michael Zarrilli/GettyImages

After capturing the hearts of Braves' country during the 2021 World Series run, Tyler Matzek has had a bumpy road in the seasons that followed. Much like the beginning of Matzek's career, where he battled the yips, obstacles have been placed in his path.

For both 2022 and 2023 the issue was Matzek's health, as he was struggling to produce the same velocity he once did. Eventually, he underwent Tommy John surgery and spent the entire 2023 season recovering. Now he has a fresh bill of health, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is a lock for an Opening Day bullpen spot.

Matzek hints at possible rehab assignment to begin 2024.

Having not pitched in a competitive game in nearly two years, Matzek acknowledged today that starting the season on the IL is a possibility should they feel the need to go that route. Of course in doing so, that would open up a roster spot on the 26-man Opening Day roster. Because Matzek is out of options, we deemed him a likely lock to make the team out of spring.

If the Braves go this route, they could open up a spot for a depth bullpen piece (like Daysbel Hernandez) to make the team, and not run the risk of losing Matzek. It's a pretty sound strategy that you could even implement with the other injury-plagued LHP, Dylan Lee. The Braves have always been very strategic in their IL stints, especially for relievers.

Regardless of what they do, this Spring Training camp will be very important for Matzek, who once again has to reestablish himself as a big league pitcher. He's overcome much greater odds before, so we don't put anything past him. I think best case scenario is Matzek ramps up as spring goes on, gets a few rehab stints to get his feet wet, then rejoins the big league club sometime in April.

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