Throughout the last few years, the Atlanta Braves managed to build impressive pitching depth.
Charlie Morton, Spencer Strider, Max Fried, Bryce Elder, Kyle Wright, Dylan Dodd, Michael Soroka, Huascar Ynoa, and others have contributed to the team in the last two seasons.
Ian Anderson was not only a part of that group, but looked like one of the best young starters in the National League as recently as 2021, when he had a 3.58 ERA in 128.1 innings.
The 2022 season was a struggle, with a 5.00 ERA.
Something was wrong.
He started the 2023 campaign in Triple-A and struggled in one outing there.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, he was examined after the game and the diagnosis comes with a long-term absence.
“Atlanta Braves right-hander Ian Anderson will undergo Tommy John surgery, sources tell me and @kileymcd. After a difficult 2022 season, Anderson started the year at AAA and struggled in his first start before being diagnosed with a torn UCL. He’s expected to return in 2024,” Passan tweeted.
Atlanta Braves right-hander Ian Anderson will undergo Tommy John surgery, sources tell me and @kileymcd. After a difficult 2022 season, Anderson started the year at AAA and struggled in his first start before being diagnosed with a torn UCL. He's expected to return in 2024.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 11, 2023
Recovery takes between 14-16 months for most pitchers, so there is a chance we don’t see Anderson until 2025.
He could, theoretically, return late next year if his rehab goes smoothly.
Anderson was a crucial part of the Braves’ World Series-winning rotation in 2021.
Unfortunately, this news will put him out of action for more than a full year.
The hope is that he returns to 100 percent health and thus gets closer to being the pitcher he was in 2020 and 2021.
The good news is that the Braves have shown they have the depth to move on without him, at least for the time being.
If he can return to form in the future, however, the team will likely have a spot for him.NEXT: Braves Welcome Back A Friendly Face To The Active Roster