Braves: Next steps for A.J. Minter and Ian Anderson revealed

MLB: JUN 07 Mets at Braves Braves A.J. Minter

The Braves received more unfortunate injury news on Monday when it was announced Ray Kerr will undergo Tommy John surgery. It’s been one thing after another this season, but there are a couple of positive developments brewing on the farm regarding A.J. Minter and Ian Anderson.

A few weeks ago, Minter went on the IL for what has now been revealed as a hip impingement. However, his rehab assignment began over the weekend in Rome in which he struck out three and gave up an unearned run. Next up, Minter will continue his road back in Gwinnett on Tuesday, Justin Toscano of The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. 

“Braves reliever A.J. Minter has had his rehab assignment transferred from High-A Rome to Gwinnett, and is scheduled to pitch for the Triple-A Stripers Tuesday when they host Memphis at Coolray Field,” Toscano writes.

If all goes well Tuesday, it’s possible A.J. Minter will be back with the Braves by the end of the week, and perhaps he could be joined by Ian Anderson in the not too distant future. Anderson made his first appearance since August of 2022 last week after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He pitched two perfect innings with four strikeouts in the Florida Complex League, where he pitched again today, giving up one run with three strikeouts over three innings.

But perhaps most impressively, Anderson’s stuff — at least from a velocity perspective — looks very similar to where it was at pre-injury. He has been sitting around 94 with his fastball and 88 with his changeup.

According to Justin Toscano, Anderson will pitch for one of the Braves affiliates on Sunday. Although, it is not yet known which one.

That’s two massive pieces on their way back for the Braves. A.J. Minter has been the Braves best reliever over the last several seasons. Though his results have been good so far this season, the velocity was down a touch, which he believes had to do with the injury. It’s very possible he returns even stronger.

Whatever Ian Anderson gives the Braves this season should be viewed as icing on the cake. Nobody should be expecting too much given everything that has transpired over the last couple of years, but this is still an ultra-talented 26-year-old that is already one of the Braves most decorated postseason pitchers in franchise history. A full reset and some time off could be exactly what he needed to get his career back on track.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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