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Braves News: Murphy and Johnson Injury Updates, Waldrep Dominates in Mississippi

The Atlanta Braves are on the verge of getting two key players back from injury, a promising development as they navigate the early part of the 2024 season.

Despite dealing with significant injuries, the Braves have managed an impressive 26-14 record as we approach mid-May. Currently, they sit three games behind the Philadelphia Phillies, who boast the best record in baseball. As the season progresses, the Braves hope to narrow that gap with the return of some crucial players.

Sean Murphy Set for Rehab Assignment

All-Star catcher Sean Murphy has been sidelined since Opening Day due to an oblique injury. In his absence, Travis d’Arnaud has been more than capable, allowing the Braves to be cautious with Murphy’s recovery. The careful approach appears to be paying off, as General Manager Alex Anthopoulos announced that Murphy is set to begin a rehab assignment next week.

Murphy’s return will be a significant boost for the Braves. Last season, he posted a .478 slugging percentage, one of the highest among everyday catchers, and his stellar defense further enhances his value to the team.

Key Bullpen Piece Set to Return for Braves

The Braves bullpen is about to receive a key reinforcement with the imminent return of right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson. Johnson, who has been on the injured list since May 1 due to elbow inflammation, has shown positive progress, particularly in his recent live BP session.

Johnson has been one of the top relievers in baseball this season, recording a 3.00 ERA, 2.66 xFIP, and .250 xwOBA over 12 innings. His metrics, including a 2.39 xERA and 32.0% strikeout rate, rank him among the elite in the league according to Baseball Savant. His return comes at a crucial time as the Braves’ high-leverage relievers have been heavily taxed lately.

Top Prospect Posts One of His Best Outings of the Year

Hurston Waldrep, the Braves’ second-ranked prospect, is finding his stride in Double-A Mississippi. Following a dominant start yesterday, where he pitched eight innings and struck out a season-high eight batters, Waldrep has now allowed one earned run or fewer in each of his last five starts, all lasting at least 5.1 innings.

Waldrep’s recent performance underscores his potential as a top prospect. His consistent ability to locate and repeat his delivery is yielding impressive results. With Spencer Schwellenbach recently joining Waldrep in the Mississippi rotation and debuting with six shutout innings and nine strikeouts, the Braves’ future pitching prospects look promising.

Waldrep and Schwellenbach are shaping up to be a formidable one-two punch for Atlanta’s future. Stay tuned for all the latest updates on the Braves organization.

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