Braves: AJ Smith-Shawver impresses in his return to the mound

MLB: JUN 04 Braves at Diamondbacks

The Braves are getting healthier (finally). AJ Minter returned to Atlanta at the beginning of the week; Ian Anderson made his first start above rookie ball, and Michael Harris II took a significant step towards returning to play. AJ Smith-Shawver also made his first rehab start.

The organization’s top prospect pitched two innings, surrendering one earned run, which was a solo home run, while punching four batters out with his fastball sitting in the mid to high 90s.

Smith-Shawver was placed on the IL almost immediately after he made his first start for the Braves this season in which he looked really impressive, tossing 4.1 shutout innings with four strikeouts.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great thing all of these arms are getting healthy as they eye a return to the major league club. I still just can’t help but laugh at the situation that the Braves are dying for offensive help, a stark difference from years past when the team was begging for more pitching.

It’s certainly never a bad thing to have a surplus of talented pitchers. After all, a couple of bats at the deadline are much cheaper than starting pitching. Smith-Shawver will be vying for the final spot in the rotation, even with Spencer Schwellenbach looking the part of a major league starter already. That’s not even considering Ian Anderson making his way back. It’s a good problem to have if you’re Brian Snitker.

It’s very possible we see both AJ Smith-Shawver and Ian Anderson after the All-Star break.

Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire


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