The return of Anderson should give further momentum to a Braves club that has been surging of late. After hovering around .500 for most of the season, the club has gone 17-6 so far in August and vaulted up to first in the NL East, currently sitting 4 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies and 7 1/2 ahead of the Mets.
Anderson’s season hasn’t been quite as brilliant as his 2020 debut, but has been excellent nonetheless. After putting up a 1.95 ERA across 31 1/3 innings last year, the righty has an ERA of 3.56 in 96 innings in 2021. However, he was stalled by right shoulder inflammation and landed on the IL July 16th. Now that he’s healthy again, and combined with the recent return of Huascar Ynoa, the Atlanta rotation is now the strongest it has been in months, as they try to defend their perch atop the division over the season’s final weeks.
For Santana, this continues his yo-yo season, as this is his third time being optioned since being acquired from the Pirates in April. When in the big leagues, he’s been a serviceable member of the bullpen, throwing 37 2/3 innings with an ERA of 3.82. He’s done that despite a below average strikeout rate of 20.3%, but an excellent walk rate of 5.9%.