The Atlanta Braves haven’t been quite as strong in the bullpen this season, and a portion of that decline can be attributed to the health issues of right-handed set-up man Jordan Walden. The 26-year-old Walden has not appeared in a game for the Braves since May 4th against the San Francisco Giants, but there is positive news to report on his prospects for return.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com brings the latest:
Jordan Walden will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday night as he continues his recovery from a strained left hamstring.
The Braves would like the right-hander to make at least two appearances before they discuss his return to the Majors. Walden threw a pain-free bullpen session of 30 pitches at a high effort level on Tuesday, an outing that encouraged everyone involved.
Walden’s prognosis was not immediate clear when he was placed on the disabled in mid-May, but with reports surfacing that his hamstring issue had been ongoing since Spring Training, it was likely wise to keep him on the shelf a bit longer than expected. The right-hander has been his dominant self when on the mound (13.86 K/9, 2.92 ERA), and hopefully for the sake of the bullpen, Walden will navigate his quick rehab stint with no issues.
When Jordan Walden is set to return, the next big question will be who will be heading to the minors (or to the scrap heap) when he is activated. It is now safe to fire up the Dan Uggla rumor mill. Stay tuned.