June 25, 2024

The Atlanta Braves have optioned Bryce Elder, leaving Reynaldo Lopez as the fifth starter.
The Atlanta Braves have made some interesting alterations to their pitching staff. After being ravaged by injuries last season, they are hoping to shake up their starting lineup. The typical suspects are still present, of course: Max Fried, Spencer Strider, and Charlie Morton. However, one player from last season’s rotation will be missing from the opening day roster: Bryce Elder.

When Kyle Wright and the rest of the rotation fell down last season, Bryce Elder emerged as a viable replacement. Many expected him, along with newcomer Chris Sale, to complete the Braves rotation in 2024. Instead, Elder has been optioned to their Triple-A affiliate, clearing the door for another newbie, Reynaldo Lopez, to take over, according to Justin Toscano.

“The Braves have optioned Bryce Elder and Huascar Ynoa. Reynaldo Lopez is the fifth starter.

 

Bryce Elder, the Braves' All-Star no one saw coming | Chattanooga Times  Free Press

 

Fascinating. Elder hasn’t done well in spring training, and Lopez was signed to a big contract in the winter. Elder being optioned now does not necessarily imply that the team has given up on him. Instead, they leave him there as an option. Meanwhile, Lopez will get the opportunity to prove his worth as the fifth starter in a packed rotation.

After two consecutive dismal postseason exits, the Braves are optimistic that this season will be the exception. They have failed to reclaim the World Series pennant after winning it all in 2021. Hopefully, this new-look pitching staff will do the job for the squad. For what it’s worth, their hitting lineup has remained basically unchanged.

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