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Braves acquire relievers Pierce Johnson, Taylor Hearn to bolster injury-plagued bullpen

The NL-leading Atlanta Braves added a pair of relievers to their damage plagued bullpen Monday, buying right-hander Pierce Johnson from Colorado and lefty Taylor Hearn from Texas.

The Braves have baseball’s finest document (64-34) and an enormous lead within the NL East, however they’ve been hit laborious by accidents — particularly on their pitching workers.

Relievers Nick Anderson (proper shoulder pressure), Dylan Lee (left shoulder irritation) and Jesse Chavez (bruised left shin) are all on the 60-day injured checklist. Lefty A.J. Minter can also be out with shoulder irritation, although he’s set to start a minor-league rehab stint Tuesday and will rejoin the group by subsequent week’s commerce deadline.


Pierce Johnson #36 of the Colorado Rockies reacts after conceding a three-run house run within the prime of the tenth inning to the Detroit Tigers at Coors Area on July 1, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Pictures)

“You simply do not know what is going on to occur,” basic supervisor Alex Anthopoulos mentioned on a convention name with reporters. “You simply do not know what wants you are gonna have, what accidents you are gonna have. You may’t take something with no consideration at any time.”

The Braves gave up pitching prospects Victor Vodnik and Tanner Gordon to land the 32-year-old Johnson, who started the season as the Rockies nearer. He has 13 saves however was faraway from that position in early June whereas saddled with a 7.50 ERA via 24 innings.

Johnson has pitched higher since then, surrendering six earned runs in 15 innings, although his general numbers (1-5, 6.00 ERA) are nonetheless ugly. The Braves had been in search of one other right-handed arm with energy popping out of the bullpen, they usually hope Johnson can fill that position. He has 58 strikeouts in 39 innings whereas pitching at hitter-friendly Coors Area.

“I do know the numbers on the floor aren’t nice. However he’s nonetheless getting a lot of swings and misses,” Anthopoulos mentioned. “We expect there’s upside there and room to enhance.”


Taylor Hearn throws pitch

Taylor Hearn #52 of the Texas Rangers pitches towards the Kansas Metropolis Royals within the prime of the seventh inning at Globe Life Area on April 12, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Pictures)

Hearn was acquired from the Rangers for money concerns after being designated for task final week. He provides the Braves one other left-hander within the bullpen, however is extra of a depth acquisition since he has minor-league choices remaining.

Hearn started the season with the Rangers and posted a ten.29 ERA in 4 aid appearances earlier than being optioned to Triple-A Spherical Rock in mid-April. He was 2-2 with a 3.66 ERA in 24 outings for the minor-league group.

Anthopoulos famous that the 28-year-old Hearn has made 25 begins within the huge league, giving the Braves extra flexibility. His huge concern is a scarcity of management, with 104 walks over 229 innings in his huge league profession.

“He is received an incredible arm, an influence arm,” Anthopoulos mentioned. “We’ll see him get within the strike zone somewhat bit extra. However the truth is he is received huge stuff. He has expertise beginning. He is a pleasant piece for us to take a shot at.”

The 23-year-old Vodnik was 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 30 aid outings for Double-A Mississippi. The 25-year-old Gordon has cut up this season between Triple-A Gwinnett and Mississippi, combining to go 5-9 with a 5.86 ERA in 17 video games.


Pierce Johnson throws pitch

Pierce Johnson #36 of the Colorado Rockies pitches within the tenth inning of a sport towards the Detroit Tigers at Coors Area on July 1, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Pictures)

“It is all the time laborious to half with younger guys,” Anthopoulos mentioned. “However you need to quit expertise to get a man like Pierce Johnson, along with his stuff.”

The trades adopted one other low-key pitching transfer on Sunday, when the Braves acquired right-hander Yonny Chirinos off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 29-year-old Chirinos went 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 15 appearances for Tampa Bay, together with 4 begins. He struck out 31 and walked 20 in 62 2/3 innings.

The Braves might make extra strikes forward of the Aug. 1 deadline, particularly if they’ll add one other beginning pitcher and maybe some infield depth.


Taylor Hearn throws pitch

Taylor Hearn #52 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch throughout a sport towards the Philadelphia Phillies at Globe Life Area on April 1, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Pictures)

Atlanta has gone with simply three common starters — Spencer Strider, Bryce Elder and Charlie Morton — a lot of the season due to accidents to ace Max Fried (left forearm pressure) and right-hander Kyle Wright, a 21-game winner in 2022.

Fried is ready for an additional rehab outing on Wednesday, which could possibly be his final earlier than rejoining the Braves’ rotation. Wright has made solely 5 begins this season, the final approaching Might 3, and his return from proper shoulder irritation just isn’t anticipated earlier than September.

“The largest problem is as soon as the primary of August comes and goes, we’re completed,” Anthopoulos mentioned. “You understand that is the final shot to attempt to insulate your self from what could or could not happen.”

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Printed : 2023-07-25 12:40:26

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