The Atlanta Braves are absolutely rolling heading into the second half and own the best record in baseball at 60-29. But, they will continue to be without a pair of key relievers.
Veteran righty Jesse Chavez, who has been out since mid-June after taking a liner off his shin from Miguel Cabrera, threw long toss on Friday but struggled to put full weight on his leg, said Brian Snitker, via Braves.com. There is optimism he could return by the end of the month, though.
As for Nick Anderson, he last pitched the weekend before the All-Star Game but felt some shoulder tightness. After that, Anderson underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a strain, which resulted in Atlanta putting him in the 60-day IL. He’s likely sidelined until September.
While the 39-year-old Chavez is no spring chicken anymore, he’s proven to be very effective for the Braves in 2023. The California native has made 31 appearances this season, compiling a 1.55 ERA, striking out 36 in 29 innings while walking just nine.
Anderson is also dealing. He’s 4-0 with a 3.06 ERA in 35 outings, sitting down 36 via the strikeout and also posting a 1.10 WHIP. Yes, the Braves have others in their bullpen who can give them quality innings deep in games, but having both Chavez and Anderson healthy again will be important come postseason time.
The Braves began a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox on Friday and then host the Arizona Diamondbacks next week as well. They have an 8.5-game lead in the NL East at the moment.
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