Braves could welcome back an All-Star team ahead of the stretch run

Ozzie Albies

The Braves announced Tuesday that they have placed closer Kenley Jansen on the 15-day IL, which is another devastating blow to an already weakened unit. The bullpen has had several valuable arms go down this season. Luke Jackson didn’t throw a single pitch before he was ruled out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Tyler Matzek, bothered by shoulder discomfort, went on the IL over a month ago and hasn’t returned since.

But that’s not the only area of the squad affected by injuries. Eddie Rosario hasn’t been in the lineup for more than two months; Ozzie Albies went down recently with a fractured foot, which should keep him out for at least two months. And Ronald Acuna Jr. has been in and out of the lineup for the entire season. He’s currently away from the team with a bruised foot, and that’s not even considering the absences of Mike Soroka, Kirby Yates, and Jay Jackson.

However, there is a silver lining to all of these injuries. At some point, the Braves will likely welcome back most of these players ahead of the stretch run, some sooner than others.

Acuna is still considered day-to-day but could return in the next week. Jansen will still be able to throw bullpen sessions after landing on the Injured List, so the club is hopeful he’ll be able to return in the minimal amount of time. Jay Jackson has been transferred to Triple-A Gwinnett for rehab. Matzek and Rosario have also begun their rehab stints. At the same time, Yates and Soroka are nearing a return, which should be after the All-Star break.

Alex Anthopoulos has stated he’s looking to add a righty to the bullpen and a left-handed bat to the lineup ahead of the league’s trade deadline. When you consider the additions of Rosario, Matzek, Jansen, Albies, Soroka, Yates, and potential trade acquisitions, the team will be geared up for the second half of the season, as they aim to repeat as champions.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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