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  • Writer's pictureGrant McAuley

MDJ: Atlanta Braves rotation gets boost from Elder’s return, Fried’s gem

Bryce Elder of the Atlanta Braves.
Bryce Elder returned to the rotation this week. (USA Today Sports)

Reconfiguring the starting rotation may feel like an annual tradition for the Atlanta Braves.

Losing Spencer Strider for the season put the club in familiar territory, but unlike previous instances, there may be far less scrambling for answers this time around.

In a somewhat unforeseen development, newcomer Reynaldo Lopez emerged as Atlanta’s top starting pitcher over the first three weeks. While his success has been critical to the rotation as a whole, it was another pair of recent performances that could signal better days for a staff trying to overcome the loss of an ace.

With a top starter once again on the shelf, Bryce Elder was summoned from the minor leagues for the second consecutive season. He responded with 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins on Monday, in what should be the first of many opportunities to do exactly what he did a year ago — help stabilize the starting rotation.

“All you can ever ask for is an opportunity,” the 2023 All-Star told Bally Sports South after his season debut. “Nothing is guaranteed. No matter where it’s at, Triple-A or here, I’m just going to go out and try to make pitches and get people out, and let the rest handle itself.”


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