Sad News For Braves: Atlanta Braves lose key player and might not play soon

Braves lose Pierce to the IL with an elbow injury.
The Braves continue to rack up hits. Sean Murphy hasn’t played since the opening series against the Phillies due to an oblique ailment. Spencer has a torn UCL and will miss the rest of the season. Ozzie Albies has also lost some time, while Pierce Johnson is headed to the IL due to elbow soreness.

It’s only a 15-day IL for now, and I’m sure Brian Snitker will have some thoughts on the injury before tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I don’t need to tell you how serious elbow injuries can be for pitchers. Even if Pierce Johnson avoids the worst-case scenario, Max Fried missed many months with elbow tendinitis.

 

It’s a devastating blow for the Braves bullpen, which has been excellent through the first month or so of the season. After being acquired at the trade deadline last year, Pierce Johnson rapidly established himself as one of Brian Snitker’s most dependable pitchers, appearing 24 times and posting a 0.76 ERA with a 12.2 K/9. Johnson has pitched in 13 games this season, recording a 3.00 ERA and 12.0 K/9. However, he was on a seven-game streak without surrendering a run, including five in a row without allowing a hit.

The good news is that the Braves have a multitude of arms in the minors with major-league experience who can fill Johnson’s role. Jackson Stephens will get the first chance, but Ken Giles, Ray Kerr, and Daysebel Hernandez are all capable of filling Johnson’s shoes if he is sidelined for an extended period of time. Hopefully, this is not the case, but the Braves have enough weaponry to right the ship if necessary.

 

 

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