Braves are sending Ian Anderson to minors, meaning a rookie will likely be part of Atlanta’s opening-day rotation

The Atlanta Braves announced on Tuesday that they had demoted right-handers Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to the minors, paving the way for a rookie left, either Jared Shuster or Dylan Dodd, to fill out their rotation. As it stands, Atlanta is expected to have Max Fried, Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton and Kyle Wright in the top four of their five starting spots.

Shuster, Atlanta’s first-round pick of 2020, has impressed this spring. He’s allowed a two-hit run and a walk in three games. He’s also knocked out nine of the 29 batters he faced, and edged his opponents out with a solid three-pitch mix and above-average control. He split between Double- and Triple-A’s in his season last year at the age of 23, posting a 3.29 ERA and a 3.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

“When you’re ready, you’re ready,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told’s Mark Bowman of Shuster earlier this week. “It’s very impressive what he’s doing.”

Dodd, the Braves’ third-round pick in 2021, also made the most of his chance this spring. In three appearances Tuesday, he had pitched 8 1/3 innings scoreless while hitting 11 outs and not confronting any of his 29 batters. Dodd achieved Triple-A last season, his first full season as a pro, if only for starters.

Anderson, May 25, has seen turmoil stretching back to last season. In 22 starts, he had a 5.00 ERA (81 ERA+) and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.80 in 111 innings. That spring he had appeared three times and given up six runs (five earned) and eight walks in seven innings. Anderson had done so despite facing competition that, according to Baseball-Reference calculations, was trending toward Triple-A caliber.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Elder is a former fifth-round pick who made his big-league debut last season. He had a 3.17 ERA (129 ERA+) and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.04 in 54 innings.

The Braves are expected to open the season without right-hander Mike Soroka and left-hander Kolby Allard on the active roster. Soroka has not played in a major league game since 2020 and has yet to make it into a game this spring after a setback.

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