Atlanta Braves could have a former All-Star closer for bullpen reinforcement

For the first time since the 2020 season, Kirby Yates could take the mound later this month in a Major League Baseball game. That performance could give reigning world champions the Atlanta Braves a boost.

Yates signed a two-year contract just before the MLB offseason lockout was implemented. He missed the entire 2021 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. At the time of his signing, it was estimated that Yates could be ready to join the Braves midway through this season.

According to David O’Brien, who is covering for the Braves the athleteYates put in another fine performance at Triple-A on Sunday.

With the San Diego Padres, Yates earned an All-Star Game appearance in 2019 and finished ninth in the National League Cy Young Award race when he made 41 MLB-best saves and a 1.19 ERA/1.30 FIP/.890 WHIP in 60 games scoring over 60.2 innings.

Yates appeared in just six games with the Padres in 2020 before suffering the injury that led to Tommy John’s surgery.

Braves: Kirby Yates could give the bullpen a huge boost

Yates’ return would be a boost for the Atlanta Bullpen, a group that has performed well overall this season, averaging 1.3 bWAR overall, the fourth-highest total in MLB. The Braves also acquired Raisel Iglesias from Los Angeles Angels before the MLB trade deadline was up, adding another boost to the back end of the bullpen while the team awaited the arrival of Yates.

With Kenley Jansen as the closer, Iglesias and Yates, both right-handers, could combine as strong setup men in the late innings or return to a closer role when Jansen may be unavailable.

Although he lost four out of five to the New York Mets In a recent key fight in NL East, the Atlanta Braves are gearing up for a major expansion of their bullpen as they prepare the roster for what the franchise hopes will be another deep postseason run. Atlanta Braves could have a former All-Star closer for bullpen reinforcement

John Verrall

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