The Braves announced a series of roster moves today, recalling right-hander Huascar Ynoa and catcher Chadwick Tromp. To create room on the active roster, they’ve optioned right Ian Anderson and outfielder Guillermo Heredia.
The most noteworthy of these moves is the demotion of Anderson, who has been entrenched in the rotation for quite some time. First called up to the big leagues in August of 2020, he made six starts in the shortened season and registered a 1.95 ERA. That was impressive enough for Anderson to earn a spot in the club’s postseason rotation, as he made four more starts in the playoffs with a 0.96 ERA, as Atlanta reached the NLCS.
Last year, Anderson seemingly proved he wasn’t a short-season fluke by pitching well over a full campaign. Though he did make one trip to the IL, Anderson made 24 starts in 2021 with a 3.58 ERA, then made four more postseason starts with a 1.59 ERA, helping Atlanta win the World Series.
The 24-year-old has taken a step back here in 2022, however, currently sporting a 5.11 ERA on the year. His 29.7% strikeout rate in 2020 fell to 23.2% last year and is down to 19.8% here this year. His 11.3% walk rate is also a career high and his 47.4% ground ball rate a career low. It’s possible there’s some bad luck involved, as his .318 BABIP on the year is much higher than in past seasons, but there’s also a lot of blue on his Statcast page, with batters clearly making some good contact against him. With the emergence of rookie Spencer Strider and the acquisition of Jake Odorizzi, it seems Anderson’s struggles have bumped him from the front five. He’ll join the Gwinnett Stripers and try to get things back on track.
The move is not likely to have a huge impact on Anderson from a service time perspective, at least in the short term. He came into this season with one year and 94 days of service time and has added around 120 more days here in 2022. Even if he were to spend the rest of the season in the minors, he’d finish the campaign somewhere around 2025. That would still put him on track to reach arbitration for the first time after 2023 and free agency after 2026, though future optional assignments could also alter that timeline.
The recall of Tromp was required due to a leg injury sustained last night by Travis D’Arnaud. Although X-rays were negative, by Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, D’Arnaud will likely be unavailable for a few days. That leaves William Contreras as the primary catcher, with Tromp stepping in as the backup.