NORTH PORT, Fla. — The Braves optioned right-hander Ian Anderson to Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday, ending his bid for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
Anderson, 24, exhibited the same command troubles this spring that foiled his 2022 campaign and led to his demotion to Triple-A. He walked eight batters in 7 ⅓ innings this spring.
“We want to get him right,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He wasn’t right again. He worked ... but he wasn’t right, and we just want to get him back going because we’re going to need him. It’s just sometimes that happens, and you have to reset. We’ll send him back (to Gwinnett), get him regular. It became a thing, too, the other two kids (Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd) were pitching so well we ran out of innings for him and Bryce (Elder) both.
“(Anderson) has pitched Game 7s, won World Series games. He’s pitched a lot of big games in a young career. He’s only 24. They’re going to go to work, break some things down. Just hoping he can get himself back going.”
Anderson had a 5.00 ERA in 22 starts last season, walking more than four batters per nine innings. The Braves haven’t seen the needed improvement to bet on Anderson’s return to their rotation to begin the coming season. In his latest outing, Anderson walked three and hit a batter against Tampa Bay.
Additionally, the Braves optioned Elder, leaving prospects Shuster and Dodd as the finalists for the available rotation spot. But Anderson’s situation was a disappointment after Michael Soroka’s hamstring injury seemingly gave him a clear path to earn a rotation spot.
“(Anderson) is still young with a nice career ahead of him,” Snitker said. “You have to look at the person, too, when you make those decisions. What’s best for him, let alone the organization and our team. It was best for him to go get right and back to where he was.”
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com