D’Arnaud and Ynoa ‘making strides’ to get off the IL

The Braves might be getting two key weapons back after the All-Star break.

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud and right-handed pitcher Huascar Ynoa are progressing well and “making strides,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Saturday.

“I think we’re going to get Ynoa on the mound in the next couple of days,” Snitker said. “Travis is actually swinging the bat with both hands right now, so that’s a good sign. He’s progressing.”

D’Arnaud injured his left thumb May 1, which required surgery, and was placed on the 60-day injured list. The 32-year-old was hitting .220 with two homers and 11 RBIs in his 23 games played before his injury.

In the 2020 Silver Slugger’s absence, the Braves have used a litany of five catchers looking to fill the hole. Jonathan Lucroy is the most recent catcher in the Braves’ lineup after being called up Wednesday.

Lucroy, 35, drove in a run in Wednesday’s win in Pittsburgh and batted eighth in the Braves lineup Saturday.

“He was with a lot of these (pitchers) in Triple-A,” Snitker said. “He’s been around the block. He’s 10 years in, an established guy, knows what he’s doing and he’s fit right in here.”

Before breaking his hand punching a dugout bench May 16, Ynoa was one of the brightest spots in the Braves’ rotation. In nine starts, he had put together a 4-2 record with a 3.02 ERA and 50 strikeouts. He also had shining moments at the plate, hitting two homers, including a grand slam.

“We still have to see what it looks like,” Snitker said. “See how he gets off the mound, how he recovers and how he looks on the mound. It’s still a progression for him. He’s feeling great. He’s doing the long toss, the flat ground and everything. It’s just checking the boxes right now.”

Lefties Tucker Davidson and Grant Dayton are still on the IL and aren’t throwing yet, Snitker added.