ATLANTA — With just over an hour remaining until the MLB Trade Deadline, the Atlanta Braves have spent most of their focus adding depth to their bullpen. The Braves acquired reliever Pierce Johnson from the Rockies last week and then Tuesday nabbed veteran left-hander Brad Hand.
“I think having that, especially when we get Dylan back, having that third lefty will be really big,” Brian Snitker said ahead of Tuesday’s game. “He’s been doing this for a long time and been very successful. So, it’s good, I think it’s a good addition.”
The Braves got A.J. Minter back from the injured list on Monday. Dylan Lee was scheduled to face hitters as soon as Tuesday and then could head out on a rehab assignment. Jesse Chavez is also slated to return at some point in August.
Hand has historically been great against left-handed pitchers. Atlanta will likely want to limit his opportunities against righties. Johnson gives them another right-handed option to fill the middle innings. Joe Jimenez and Kirby Yates have been trending in the right direction as has closer Raisel Iglesias.
“I think it’s good. In fact that just when you get a run or two down, you’re not so leery about chasing a win,” Snitker said of the added bullpen depth. “When you have guys like that, you can bring in and keep a game close. Especially with where our offense is. It gives you opportunities to come back in the game.”
Max Fried update
Snitker wasn’t ready to announce when Fried will slot into the rotation this Friday, but it appears that it could be as soon as Friday. At the time of this writing, the Braves have focused their efforts on their bullpen and not on their starting rotation. That is putting a lot of faith in Fried to return to form.
“Very confident. I have a lot of faith in him and what he’s doing and how he goes about it,” Snitker said of Fried’s impending return. “I think we’ve done everything right in getting him back and not rushing him back, but with the amount of time that he was off.”
The trade deadline is set for 6 p.m. ET. Alex Anthopoulos is scheduled to speak with the media shortly before game time. We will have updates on anything else that the Braves do and from Anthopoulos later this evening.