The Braves are planning to activate Drew Smyly from the injured list to start Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks, David O’Brien of the Athletic was among those to relay (Twitter link). The left-hander was placed on the IL last week with forearm inflammation, but he’ll return after missing just one start. Smyly has allowed nine runs (seven earned) over his first eleven innings for Atlanta, but he’s struck out eleven with just a single walk to this point.
Elsewhere in Atlanta and the game’s East divisions:
- In other Braves’ pitching news (also via O’Brien), reliever Chris Martin has started throwing as he begins his ramp-up. The right-hander hit the injured list in early April with shoulder inflammation but O’Brien says he could return by the end of Atlanta’s upcoming homestand, which runs through the 29th. Max Fried, who went on the shelf last week after straining his hamstring, seems to be further behind. He has not yet begun throwing and there’s no timetable for his return, per O’Brien. Like Martin, Mike Soroka is dealing with shoulder inflammation; the 23-year-old is expected to begin a throwing program sometime soon, but manager Brian Snitker suggested he’s still far away from any potential return to game action (via Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
- Red Sox ace Chris Sale is progressing in his recovery from March 2020 Tommy John surgery, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com relays. Sale isn’t throwing off a mound yet, but manager Alex Cora said he’s “getting closer.” The left-hander will report to the team’s complex in Florida on Sunday to continue his rehab. Sale “feels great,” according to Cora, though the Red Sox still aren’t ready to offer a timetable on a potential 2021 return. Even without Sale, the Red Sox have surprisingly begun the season with an American League-best 12-6 record. Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodríguez have been the top performers in Boston’s rotation this year in Sale’s absence.
- Orioles outfield prospect Heston Kjerstad has been medically cleared to report to the team’s alternate training site, per Jim Callis of MLB.com. Kjerstad, the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, has been away from the club while recovering from myocarditis. The 22-year-old will need “a months-long buildup” before he’s ready for game action, Callis tweets.