The Braves bullpen has been ravaged by injuries throughout the season. Nick Anderson is still on ice, while Collin McHugh and Dylan Lee recently joined him on the injured list. However, one could be returning to the major league club soon — Jesse Chavez.
The veteran righty began a rehab assignment earlier this week and just completed his second outing on Thursday night as the Stripers defeated the Jumbo Shrimp in Jacksonville.
For Triple-A Gwinnett, Chavez struck out the side in the sixth inning, throwing 12 strikes on 15 total pitches, which is a much better result than his first rehab outing. On Tuesday, Chavez did toss a scoreless inning but allowed two hits and a walk, striking out one batter.
The Braves relief core is among the best in baseball across most metrics, but there are certainly question marks surrounding the group. Raisel Iglesias, A.J. Minter, Pierce Johnson, and Joe Jimenez are as solid as any; however, the rest leaves a bit to be desired.
Brad Hand did enough in the Phillies series alone to probably make the postseason roster, especially with Lee on the IL. I have no reason for it, but I have no faith in Kirby Yates, despite the veteran turning in a very productive year.
Then, there are the unknowns of Jesse Chavez and Kyle Wright; both of whom are still shaking off the rust after missing several months. The former is likely to rejoin the latter in Atlanta soon. Wright’s first outing against the Phillies was rough, but the Braves have to see what he has before the postseason, which could end with him contributing out of the bullpen.
Brian Snitker told members of the media that Jesse Chavez shouldn’t be viewed as realistic depth for the playoffs, but it seems like he’s trending in that direction.