Notes: Acuña, Albies, Jackson, rotation

August 22nd, 2020

ATLANTA -- The Braves will get a better feel for how and are feeling after they are given a chance to begin swinging a bat again this weekend. Both of these young stars are on the injured list with a wrist ailment.

Acuña was feeling better when he arrived at Truist Park on Friday afternoon. But the 22-year-old outfielder will not be cleared to begin swinging a bat until Saturday. He has been sidelined since Aug. 11 with left wrist inflammation.

“I think we’ll get a better feel tomorrow as to where he might be,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s going to have to start swinging the bat for a few days before we’ll know where he’s going to be.”

Albies has been sidelined since Aug. 4 with a right wrist bone contusion. The switch-hitting second baseman has not swung a bat since Monday, when he was still feeling discomfort while taking swings from the right side of the plate.

The Braves are hoping the three days of rest will be an effective remedy for Albies, who was slated to take swings again on Friday.

Albies began feeling discomfort during the last week of July and initially hoped occasional rest would allow him to stay active. But he was shut down after the pain proved significant enough for him to bat from the left side of the plate against Blue Jays left-hander Anthony Kay on Aug. 4.

Snitker said there has been no discussion of Albies only hitting left-handed over the remainder of the season.

Anderson’s debut?
Ian Anderson would be on regular rest when the Braves need a starting pitcher for Tuesday night’s series opener against the Yankees. So there’s a chance the highly regarded prospect will make his much-anticipated MLB debut that night.

Anderson ranks as MLB Pipeline’s No. 42 prospect and the No. 3 prospect within Atlanta’s system. He produced a 3.38 ERA and registered 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings while combining to make 26 starts for Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett last year.

Four-man rotation
A collection of off-days led the Braves to option Kyle Wright to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday. Wright had been scheduled to start Wednesday night’s game against the Nationals. But it’s now unclear when he might fit back in Atlanta’s rotation.

The Braves are not scheduled to play on Monday and Thursday next week. These two off-days create the option for Max Fried to return on normal rest to start against the Yankees on Wednesday. The lefty could then return to start the Aug. 31 series opener in Boston.

If the Braves were to go this route, they would address their starting-pitching concerns by temporarily going with a four-man rotation. They are not scheduled to play on a fifth straight day again until Sept. 1.

“We’ll try to keep him on schedule as much as we can as long as we don’t get rainouts,” Snitker said.

Wright posted a 7.20 ERA over four starts and he completed more than 3 1/3 innings in just one of those outings. The former first-round Draft pick has continued to show an above-average slider and potentially effective fastball. But control issues have extended his maddening inconsistencies this year.

“Kyle is going to get another chance,” Snitker said. “He’s going to get a bunch of chances. His stuff is just too good.”

Jackson returns
When the Braves optioned right-handed reliever Bryse Wilson on Wednesday night, they decided to fill his roster spot with a position player. But the available position players on the 40-man roster were catchers Alex Jackson and William Contreras.

By recalling Jackson, Snitker now can more comfortably use either of his regular catchers -- Travis d’Arnaud or Tyler Flowers -- as a pinch-hitter. This also enhances the option of using d’Arnaud as the designated hitter on days when he is not handling the catching duties.

“If something happens, you have the extra player,” Snitker said. “It just so happens to be a catcher.