Braves: Will Smith close to a return

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Before Thursday night’s game, Brian Snitker updated us on Will Smith’s situation, who has been cleared to return from his COVID-19 absence but has yet to be added to the active roster. Snitker said Smith threw another side session on Wednesday, felt fantastic and is not far away from returning to the Braves bullpen.

The Braves signed Smith to a three-year, $39 million contract with a fourth-year option this past offseason following his first All-Star campaign in 2019. The southpaw appeared 65 times for the Giants last year, recording a 2.76 ERA and 34 saves out of 38 opportunities. But Smith has long been one of the most reliable relievers in the majors. He’s recorded a 3.70 ERA or better in every year except for 2012 — his rookie season.

Brian Snitker has sad several times since the Braves acquired Smith that they plan to stick with Mark Melancon as the closer. However, he’s often used multiple pitchers in closing situations over the years, so expect Smith to get several looks in the ninth inning, especially with so few off days in this shortened season.


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