The Atlanta Braves final starting rotation spot is up for grabs. Dylan Dodd and Jared Shuster are fighting it out after Ian Anderson was sent down.
The Braves made a surprise roster move this week, as Ian Anderson was sent to the minor leagues, thus opening up a rotation spot. With Mike Soroka injured and no return in sight, Brian Snitker and Co. must choose between two prospects for the final rotation spot.
Jared Shuster would be the easy choice. He’s pitching well, and among the team’s top-ranked prospect. Why not give him a chance to perform in the bigs right away? He is a former first-round pick, after all.
But then there’s Dylan Dodd, who admitted he didn’t expect to be in this position.
“You come to Spring Training and you never know where that [Tyler] Matzek is going to come from or those kinds of stories,” Brian Snitker said. “It gets exciting when your young players start taking strides forward. It’s good to see that. It just adds to the strength of your organization.”
Braves: Will Dylan Dodd win final rotation spot?
Ian Anderson remains the favorite to take that rotation spot eventually. Perhaps sending him down is to send a message, but Anderson needs to hone a newfound slider he added to his arsenal in spring training. He’s pitched for Atlanta in the postseason — and well. He finished top-3 in NL Rookie of the Year voting not too long ago.
For Dodd, the big leagues would be a major step up.
“To be honest, I didn’t even think pro ball was an option for me until maybe my junior year in college,” Dodd said. “In high school, I threw 84 miles per hour. Then in junior college, I might have gotten up to 88 or something like that. I was able to go to a mid-major college because I threw the ball in the zone and gave the team a chance to win.”
Dodd has the chance to make some major noise in the ATL to start this season.