Braves notes: Hurston Waldrep to the IL, Brian Snitker’s fun moment with a reporter

Braves starting Hurston Waldrep throws a pitch to a Tampa Bay Rays batter during MLB home debut in the second inning at Truist Park on Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Atlanta. 

(Miguel Martinez/ AJC)

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Braves starting Hurston Waldrep throws a pitch to a Tampa Bay Rays batter during MLB home debut in the second inning at Truist Park on Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Atlanta.  (Miguel Martinez/ AJC)

The Braves initially planned to option Hurston Waldrep following Sunday’s start against the Rays. Instead, they placed him on the injured list Monday due to right elbow inflammation.

Here’s why they changed course:

When Waldrep exited his start Sunday, he talked to the club’s athletic trainers and said his elbow was not a big concern. After the game, the Braves alerted Waldrep that he would be sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett. Waldrep went back to the athletic trainers and told them he was more sore than normal and, as a result, the Braves weren’t going to take any chances.

They put him on the major-league injured list, where he still receives big-league service time and pay.

After Monday’s win against the Tigers, Braves manager Brian Snitker said Waldrep’s additional evaluation produced the same results: He has right elbow inflammation. This is likely good news, as it means there wasn’t anything worse there. The Braves will shut down Waldrep from throwing for a week, and then he’ll build up again.

The Braves recalled right-hander Daysbel Hernandez to take Waldrep’s roster spot. He’ll be a fresh arm in their bullpen.

On Sunday, Waldrep allowed six earned runs over 3⅓ innings. In two major-league starts, he surrendered 13 earned runs over seven innings. He showed promise, but needs more work.

Atlanta also optioned outfielder J.P Martinez following Sunday’s game. On Monday, the Braves recalled outfielder Forrest Wall, who began the season on the big-league roster. Snitker put Wall in the starting lineup batting eighth and playing left field against a right-handed starter for Detroit.

“We’ve been playing and J.P. hadn’t had many at-bats here,” Snitker said. “It’s kind of why we sent Forrest back (to Gwinnett) in the beginning, was to get him more playing time. Even if he’s not playing and he’s on the bench and he can steal a bag, the speed is a good bullet to have. With the injuries and everything, we’ll give him a little play.”

Martinez received 10 total at-bats during his big-league stint. He’ll likely get to play every day in Gwinnett, which should help him continue developing.

Wall had only one big league at-bat when the Braves optioned him April 19. With Gwinnett, he hit .287 with an .808 OPS before Atlanta brought him back up.

Ian Anderson to throw Tuesday

Ian Anderson (Tommy John rehab) will throw in a Florida Complex League game on Tuesday. He’ll pitch at the Braves’ spring training complex in North Port, where he’s rehabbed.

He’s not with one of Atlanta’s affiliates yet, but this is a nice step.

Snitker’s fun moment with a reporter

An out-of-town reporter asked Snitker about whether it would be beneficial for the Braves to host a Wild Card series after the five-day layoff hurt them in each of the last two postseasons.

Before the reporter finished the full question, Snitker jumped in.

“I’m not planning on doing the Wild Card series,” he said.

He’s not planning on it?

“We’re planning on winning the East,” Snitker said.

And if they don’t?

“Then we’ll be a Wild Card team – I hope,” Snitker said, laughing.

If the Braves do end up in a Wild Card spot, will it be more beneficial than sitting idle for five days?

“It’s hard to sit around, I know that,” Snitker said. “I know if you can keep playing, that’s the best recipe. But I hope we have to figure out the five days off again.”

A potential starting option

The Braves have five starting pitchers after placing Waldrep on the injured list. They had carried six starting pitchers on the roster.

They might still have six.

Grant Holmes, who made his MLB debut on Sunday, has made three starts for Triple-A Gwinnett this season out of 18 total appearances.

Would Holmes strictly be a reliever? Could he start a game for Atlanta if he goes unused out of the bullpen?

“You know what, he’s a pitcher,” Snitker said. “You gotta be able to do all that stuff. And I don’t know – yeah. As we look at that, because he’s stretched out, absolutely he would be an option if we deem it fit to do that. That’s the good thing, too, getting him up here is he can go three innings or four like that out of the ‘pen and if need be, down the road and we want to give somebody (extra rest) – like we’ve been doing – he definitely would be a candidate, for sure.”

The Braves could start Holmes to maximize his value on the roster for however long he’s in Atlanta. On Sunday, Holmes pitched three scoreless innings versus the Rays.

A.J. Minter still on injured list

The Braves are still without A.J. Minter, who is on the injured list with left hip inflammation.

Snitker said Minter has been playing catch. He was scheduled to throw a bullpen session as his next step.

“He said he feels good, so it’s just getting his arm back going,” Snitker said.

Minter is eligible to come off the injured list whenever he’s ready.