Braves option postseason standout Anderson

August 7th, 2022

NEW YORK -- Ian Anderson was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, but the Braves right-hander will make one more big league start before heading to the Minors to right himself. 

The Braves plan to give Anderson another start as he will likely serve as the 27th man during Saturday’s doubleheader at Miami. Even if all goes well, the young hurler will then likely head to the Minors with the hope of righting himself in time to extend the postseason success he’s had the past two years.

“We need to get him right,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We need him. He’s a big part of what we’ve got going on. This happens. Hopefully, he can take a step back, reassess things and get himself going.”

It was a busy Sunday for the Braves, who optioned both Anderson and veteran outfielder Guillermo Heredia to Gwinnett. Right-handed pitcher Huascar Ynoa was recalled from the Triple-A level and catcher ’s contract was purchased from Gwinnett.

Tromp’s presence was necessitated after Travis d’Arnaud’s lower right leg was bruised as he attempted to make an awkward tag of Pete Alonso during the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. X-rays were negative, but d’Arnaud likely won’t return to Atlanta’s lineup before Friday.

Ynoa provides the Braves with an extra arm for the finale of this five-game series against the Mets. Anderson lasted just 4 2/3 innings on Friday and the bullpen was again taxed when  covered the same distance in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

By acquiring Odorizzi from the Astros last week, the Braves gained the option to send Anderson to the Minors. Anderson’s command has been erratic as he has posted a 5.11 ERA through 21 starts this year while leading the Majors in walks with 53.

“I’m hopefully going to go down there, figure some things out and be right back,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s inability to consistently get ahead of hitters has lessened the value of his changeup and led opponents to have far greater success against his fastball. Opponents have hit .313 with a .447 slugging percentage against his fastball. Last year, they hit .216 with a .349 SLG against this pitch.

Anderson will head to Gwinnett knowing how a midseason demotion helped  last year. His goal is to return in time to build on the success he has had while producing a 1.26 ERA through his first eight career postseason starts.

“He’s experienced a lot during his young Major League career, but he’s not a finished product,” Snitker said.