Braves: Kirby Yates is getting close to a return

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The Braves bullpen has been one of the best in baseball, and they could get a critical piece back right around the trade deadline. Kirby Yates has been lights out in his rehab assignment thus far, tossing three scoreless innings and allowing just two runners to reach base. He’ll be transferred to Gwinnett this week, and next up is Atlanta.

Much like Mike Soroka, I have my reservations about just how much Yates will contribute this season. He hasn’t pitched in a year-and-a-half after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but if the Braves can get any semblance of the Kirby Yates that pitched in 2019, Brian Snitker will have an embarrassment of riches in his bullpen.

During that season, Yates finished ninth in the NL Cy Young race after leading the National League in saves with 41 and recording a minuscule 1.19 ERA. He was equally as effective in 2018, too, posting a 2.14 ERA over 63 innings. I’ll temper my expectations for now, but it’s exciting to think that an arm like that could be joining the bullpen in just a matter of weeks.

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