Update: It appears as if Simmons will NOT be returning to the lineup on Tuesday, while Minor is still in line to start.
Once again, Emilio Bonifacio will start at SS tonight. No Andrelton Simmons. #Braves
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) August 12, 2014
The Atlanta Braves have been playing short-handed in recent days, with the somewhat unusual decision to leave two roster spots up in the air with an injury to Andrelton Simmons and the choice to skip Mike Minor in the rotation after a period of ineffectiveness. However, it appears that both players are in line to return on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, as Minor has been announced as the starting pitcher, while Simmons is aiming to play as he recovers from an ankle injury.
Over the weekend, there was speculation that the Braves could turn to stud prospect Jose Peraza if Simmons was forced to the disabled list, but with Peraza battling health issues and management electing to hold Simmons on the 25-man roster, that buzz fizzled. The 24-year-old Simmons sustained a sprained ankle on August 5th in Seattle, and in his stead, Fredi Gonzalez has turned to the combination of Ramiro Pena and Emilio Bonifacio, sacrificing a lot of defense with the latter and some pop with the former.
In the case of Minor, it has been a well-documented struggle this season. After a breakout season in 2013, the left-hander has a 5.42 ERA through 17 starts and 98 innings, and while his xFIP is a reasonable 3.75, the dip can’t be blamed solely on luck. It will be exceedingly interesting to see how he fares against a powerful Los Angeles offense, but hopefully, his mechanical adjustments will prove fruitful.
Simmons is far from a “lock” to rejoin the starting lineup on Tuesday, but if all goes to plan, Atlanta should be at full strength is just over 24 hours.
Tags: Atlanta Braves