A.J. Smith-Shawver returning to Gwinnett Stripers for rehab assignment

Braves AJ Smith-Shawver

The Braves have won three straight games and have a lot of reinforcements on the way that could be back soon after the All-Star break.

Over the weekend, it was reported Michael Harris II has been participating in drills and feeling good running. He has just one last box to check, which is sprinting before he can begin his rehab assignment. Ian Anderson also continued his dominant work on the farm with the August Green Jackets, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts on 47 pitches. The former 3rd overall pick could be yet another starting pitcher at the Braves’ disposal during the second half of the season to help give the top guys some rest, and so could A.J. Smith Shawver.

The Braves top prospect began his rehab assignment last week after suffering an oblique injury, and he’ll be in Gwinnett tonight for his second start.

The Braves have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to starting pitchers. Reynaldo Lopez and Chris Sale were recently named All-Stars. Max Fried probably should be going with them as well, and Charlie Morton has been as steady as they come in the fourth spot.

For the most part, the fifth spot in the rotation has been a revolving door, but it’s beginning to become a lot more clear with Spencer Schwellenbach establishing himself. Bryce Elder also turned in a solid outing last night against the Diamondbacks, and now the team is hoping to get back Ian Anderson and AJ Smith-Shawver back in the fold following the All-Star break.

Adding another starting pitcher as insurance always should be considered ahead of the trade deadline, but as is, this group feels more than capable of whatever is thrown at them. I would expect Alex Anthopoulos to make upgrading the offense his top priority over the next several weeks.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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