Braves: Huascar Ynoa makes a statement in his return to the mound

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A few years ago, Huascar Ynoa was a 23-year-old fireballer who looked like he was establishing himself as a staple of the Braves rotation. He was pitching at an All-Star level before an outburst after a poor outing in Milwaukee resulted in a broken hand. He would miss significant time, and nothing has really been the same since.

Ynoa struggled to end that 2021 campaign, and though the Braves gave him an opportunity to begin 2022 in the rotation, he quickly found himself back in Gwinnett, where he continued to struggle. Later that year, it was revealed that he would undergo Tommy John surgery, and he hasn’t made a start since… until yesterday.

Huascar Ynoa toed the rubber for the Stripers for his first start since August of 2022, and he made quite an encouraging statement, tossing four scoreless innings with a couple of strikeouts, and he did so efficiently, only needing 45 pitches.

For a pitching staff as deep as the Braves, getting Huascar Ynoa back healthy would be another incredible weapon to have in the tool belt. There aren’t many negative things to say about a guy who hasn’t pitched in 18 months going out and throwing four scoreless innings, but one thing to keep an eye on is his velocity.

Prior to the injury, Ynoa threw the ball effortlessly in the high 90s, with the ability to touch triple digits. Yesterday, his fastball sat 91-92. Perhaps the radar gun was a little off, but that’s an incredibly steep drop-off. It’s not abnormal as he builds back up some strength, and he may never be a guy that throws 100 again, but I would expect that to increase as he continues this season.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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