Underrated Braves pitcher set to return in 2024

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The Braves have some questions regarding their pitching staff, which Alex Anthopoulos will surely attempt to address this offseason. But there are also a couple of in-house arms returning from Tommy John surgery that could provide a massive boost.

The first being 2021 postseason hero Tyler Matzek. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October of 2022, and it’s already been reported that the plan is for him to be full-go by Spring Training. The other is right-handed flamethrower Huascar Ynoa. He went under the knife a month earlier than Matzek and is also expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Huascar Ynoa burst onto the season in 2021 as a rookie and looked as if he might be headed to the All-Star Game, featuring a 100 MPH heater and a filthy wipeout slide. Through the first seven starts of that season, he recorded a 2.23 ERA with a K/9 north of 10. However, after a poor outing in Milwaukee, he broke his hand in frustration by smacking the dugout wall.

Ynoa would go on to miss the next two months and has not been the same since. He struggled to end the 2021 campaign and was blown up in his first two starts of 2022, leading to him being optioned back to Gwinnett. Eventually, he was shut down and underwent Tommy John surgery, and that’s the last we’ve heard from him.

At this point, Huascar Ynoa can’t be considered a surefire option, but his upside is undeniable, and he’ll only be 26-years-old next season. He’s a player Braves fans should have a close eye on next Spring, as his fastball/slider combination makes for an intriguing option out of the bullpen. Two-pitch pitchers with high velocity are generally much more effective in short stints, and the Braves relief core could desperately use another high-powered arm.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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