Braves confirm AJ Smith-Shawver will join the rotation

MLB: JUN 04 Braves at Diamondbacks

It was sort of assumed following the Braves decision to option Michael Soroka after his poor performance on Sunday that AJ Smith-Shawver would be filling the void in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Prior to Tuesday night’s showdown versus the Mets, Brian Snitker confirmed that notion to the media, stating he is in line to start either Friday or Saturday against the Nationals.

The rise of Smith-Shawver this season has been nothing short of incredible. He was in high-A ball less than two months ago, only pitched seven innings in Mississippi before being promoted to Gwinnett, where he only made two starts before receiving the call to the bigs. Now, after just one appearance out of the bullpen, Smith Shawver is set to make his first major-league start less than halfway through the season.

Keep in mind, this is a 20-year-old with just 110 minor-league innings under his belt! ┬áSmith-Shawver wasn’t even that highly touted of a prospect coming out of high school, getting selected in the seventh-round. A few years ago, he wasn’t even a full-time starting pitcher! This isn’t the path normal ballplayers take to the top level, but if anything is becoming clear about this kid, Smith-Shawver is the furthest thing from normal.

If you’re around Atlanta this weekend, there’s no better time to get a first-hand look at one of the best young arms in the game at Truist Park.

Photo: Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire

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