Braves Make Bullpen Change, Place Right-Hander on IL

The Atlanta Braves made three roster moves involving their pitching staff on Sunday, June 16.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Ray Kerr
Atlanta Braves pitcher Ray Kerr / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Braves will have a new pitcher in their bullpen on Sunday. The Athletic’s David O’Brien reported on June 16 that the Braves selected right-hander Grant Holmes for the major league roster.

In a corresponding move, the Braves optioned left-hander Ray Kerr to Triple-A. Furthermore, the Braves recalled right-handed reliever Huascar Ynoa and placed him on the 60-day injured list because of a right elbow stress reaction.

Holmes has never pitched in the major leagues. But the past two seasons at Triple-A Gwinnett, he has recorded a 3.18 ERA with a 10-5 record. Holmes has also posted 17 saves and 125 strikeouts in 102 innings.

He has mostly pitched out of the bullpen in his 68 appearances since the start of 2023. But this season, he’s also made three starts.

The past two seasons have been, by far, the best of the 28-year-old’s minor league career. With the Oakland Athletics Triple-A affiliate in 2022, he had an 8.27 ERA.

Holmes has spent part of five campaigns in Triple-A. Despite his success since 2023, he has a 5.57 career ERA at the level just below the majors.

Holmes will replace Kerr in the Braves bullpen. Kerr has posted a 5.64 ERA and 1.612 WHIP with 27 strikeouts this season. He’s mostly fulfilled the long-innings role out of the Braves bullpen this year, as he has registered 22.1 innings in just 10 appearances.

As for Ynoa, he continues to struggle with injuries. After starting 17 contests for the Braves during their World Series campaign in 2021, he made just two starts in 2022 before receiving a demotion to Triple-A. Ynoa then needed Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2022 season.

He missed all of 2023 recovering from the surgery. This season, he had returned to make just three starts at Gwinnett.

It sounds like Ynoa may not be back before the end of the 2024 season.

Dave Holcomb