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Braves send Ian Anderson to minors, meaning a rookie will likely be part of Atlanta’s Opening Day rotation

Braves send Ian Anderson to minors, meaning a rookie will likely be part of Atlanta's Opening Day rotation

The Atlanta Braves announced on Tuesday that they had demoted right-handers Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to the minors, paving the way for a rookie lefty, either Jared Shuster or Dylan Dodd, to fill out their rotation. As it stands, Atlanta is expected to feature Max Fried, Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton, and Kyle Wright in the first four slots of their starting five.

Shuster, Atlanta’s first-round pick in 2020, has impressed this spring. In three outings, he’s allowed one run on two hits and a walk. He’s also struck out nine of the 29 batters he’s faced, stymieing opponents with a solid three-pitch mix and above-average control. He split last year, his age-23 season, between Double- and Triple-A, notching a 3.29 ERA and a 3.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

“If you’re ready, you’re ready,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told’s Mark Bowman earlier this week about Shuster. “It’s very impressive what he’s doing.”

Dodd, the Braves’ third-round pick in 2021, has also made the most of his opportunity this spring. In three appearances entering Tuesday, he had thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings, all the while striking out 11 and walking none of his 29 batters faced. Dodd reached Triple-A last season, his first full campaign as a professional, albeit for only a start. 

Anderson, 25 come May, has experienced turbulence dating back to last season. In 22 starts, he posted a 5.00 ERA (81 ERA+) and a 1.80 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 111 innings. This spring, he had appeared three times and had surrendered six runs (five earned) and eight walks in seven innings. Anderson had done so despite facing competition that, according to Baseball-Reference’s calculations, skewed toward Triple-A-caliber.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Elder is a former fifth-round pick who made his big-league debut last season. He notched a 3.17 ERA (129 ERA+) and a 2.04 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 54 innings.

The Braves are expected to open the season without right-hander Mike Soroka and lefty Kolby Allard on the active roster. Soroka has not pitched in a big-league game since 2020, and has not yet made his way into a game this spring after suffering a setback. 

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