The Atlanta Braves made a significant roster move on Sunday when they optioned starting pitcher Ian Anderson to AAA Gwinnett. Anderson has been struggling this season with the major league club. In his 21 starts, he has put together a 5.11 ERA - a number that would be the fourth-worst in the majors among starters if his innings numbers qualified. Additionally, Anderson leads the majors in walks and is allowing far too many players to reach base.
He will be down in AAA indefinitely trying to knock out the kinks and regain some confidence. Beau Morgan and Chris Thomas reacted to the move and discussed why the starter remains an important key to the Braves postseason aspirations.
"It's obvious to me that this is a confidence issue," Beau Morgan said on Sunday. "After his comments after the Saturday night game, he pitched where he was perfect through five innings."
Regardless of his recent struggles, the Braves know what they have in Ian Anderson. His heroic postseason performances are evidence enough. He just needs a reset before making his way back to the rotation.
"Go get your head right, Ian," Morgan said. "Get a start in and get your confidence back so that you can be the guy that we need for the stretch because they need 2020/2021 Ian Anderson if they're going to make a run at this division and a run in the postseason."
That 2022 postseason run was one for the ages. In 17.0 innings of work, Anderson posted a 1.59 ERA and dominated opposing batters. The best performance came in game three of the World Series when he went 5.0 scoreless innings of hitless baseball.
At only 24-years-old, this should only be a temporary setback for Anderson. The expectation should still be for him to be a member of the rotation in the final stretch, and the Braves need him if they want to reach their goals in October.