Braves reliever Chris Martin is inching closer to a return, and though the team hasn’t given an estimated timeline, Martin seems to be happy with his progress, according to manager Brian Snitker.
Martin, 34, has been out for weeks with right-shoulder inflammation. He hasn’t appeared in a game since April 4.
“He feels really good,” Snitker said Friday. “He feels great about the treatment, where his shoulder is. He’s playing catch. Hasn’t been on the mound yet. He was real optimistic and upbeat about where that shoulder is right now, the treatment and all. It’s now about going through the process and getting him stretched out.”
Martin has been sorely missed. The right-hander is the most consistent member of the Braves’ bullpen. Since joining the team at the 2019 trade deadline, Martin has a 2.65 ERA in 41 appearances. His impeccable command separates him from his peers: Martin has struck out 43 and walked only five over that span.
The Braves bullpen could use a pitcher with his control. The group has a 4.20 ERA, which ranks in the middle of the pack, but has issued 38 walks, the fifth-highest total in the majors. The bullpen’s drop-off has been a primary culprit for the team’s pedestrian start.