The Atlanta Braves continue their march toward the playoffs with the NL East title already theirs. But they're still looking to finish the regular season strongly and patch up their holes before the postseason. They’re getting a big boost with the reinstatement of Jesse Chavez from the IL.
Ahead of the second game of a home series against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Braves shuffled around some of their pitching arms. Chavez is back from the 60-day IL. Lucas Luetge has been designated for assignment and Nick Anderson, Daysbel Hernández and Collin McHugh are beginning rehab assignments with the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers.
If there's one thing that could very likely derail the Braves' playoff run, it's their bullpen, which has some solid options but doesn’t strike fear into opposing lineups the way that the Night Shift did. Fortunately, one of their most effective arms from earlier this season is coming back.
In 29 innings this year, Chavez has allowed only six runs (five earned) while striking out 36 batters. The 40-year-old journeyman has been used in a variety of situations and done very well. However, he hasn’t taken the mound for the Braves since June due to a shin injury. He'll have a few weeks to get ramped up for the playoffs but will also have some time to rest thanks to the first-round bye that Atlanta will clinch any day now.
The Braves' incredible lineup will carry them against any pitching staff, but having a pitching staff that can hold its own will be crucial to win it all.