Before last night’s events, which included a heart-breaking loss to the Yankees at the major-league level and Ian Anderson‘s fourth rehab start for the Gwinnett Stripers, Mark Bowman suggested Anderson could return to Atlanta this weekend for their series against the Giants.
The Braves have TBA listed for Saturday and Sunday. Their plans will be influenced by how Ian Anderson pitches for Triple-A Gwinnett tonight. If Anderson is effective in the rehab outing, he could start Sunday's game against the Giants.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 24, 2021
Of course, a lot of that depended on how well Anderson looked on Tuesday night. But by all accounts, he was terrific, flashing the stuff that made him so unhittable during his first stint in the majors last season.
All three of Ian’s pitches looked plus today. He looked overwhelming. This is the Ian Anderson that made major league hitters look silly pic.twitter.com/C3MUkmyDb9
— Gaurav (@gvedak) August 25, 2021
Ian Anderson's night is done for the Stripers. He struck two more in the fifth inning.
5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K. 90 pitches. He retired the last 8 batters. The changeup was dominant all night pic.twitter.com/O2XzE29mpF
— Atlanta Braves Farm System Updates (@BravesMILB) August 25, 2021
As you can see, the scoreline was almost as good as Anderson’s stuff. He finished five full innings in 90 pitches, striking out nine and allowing just one run off three hits. In his last two rehab starts with Gwinnett, Anderson has tossed 9.1 innings of one-run ball with 15 strikeouts.
I thought the Braves were going to bring him back after his last outing based on how they handled Ynoa. I understand why they didn’t, but it’s overwhelmingly apparent that he’s ready to re-join the team… and not out of the bullpen. Anderson will stake his claim to one of the top three spots in the rotation. The likes of Ynoa, Toussaint, and Smyly can battle it out for the final rotation slots, but Anderson is the future ace of this staff, and it looks like the Braves will get the best version of him when he returns.
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