Dylan Lee hasn’t appeared in a major-league game since May 16th, and we haven’t received many updates on him, other than he was moved to the 60-day IL. That changed today, when David O’Brien of The Athletic provided us with this statement.
Dylan Lee (shoulder) hasn't begun a rehab assignment, but the #Braves lefty hasn't had any setbacks. Just being careful with him. Expect him back at some point in August. Won't need many rehab games once he goes out.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) July 13, 2023
Dylan Lee is eligible to return off the IL on July 15th, but as O’Brien notes, we probably won’t see him again until August. Given Lee hasn’t suffered from any setbacks, the situation is a little peculiar, but I have my own theory as to why the Braves haven’t been in a hurry to start his rehab assignment.
As of right now, Atlanta’s bullpen is crowded. If the Braves were to activate Lee, someone would likely have to be DFA’d, which wouldn’t be easy to do because all of the other relievers are performing at such a high level. By giving Lee some more time to rest up, it allows for Anthopoulos to evaluate the Braves current crop of relievers before having to let one go, because they will almost certainly be scooped up by another club.
The Braves front office is as savvy as any at manipulating the roster, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this is the case. However, the good news is Dylan Lee isn’t suffering from any lingering issues and should be back with the team for the final stretch.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire