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Braves’ fifth starter race solves itself with an injury

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Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

With Kyle Wright starting the season on IL, the Atlanta Braves have inadvertently solved their fifth spot in the rotation dilemma.

Although Kyle Wright’s IL stint may not be for very long, it does clear some things up when it comes to the Atlanta Braves‘ starting rotation to begin the season.

Wright won over 20 games a year ago. He was a lock for one of the top four spots in the Atlanta rotation, alongside Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Spencer Strider. While a brief IL stint can be backdated to March 27 to allow him to start in the Braves’ second home series of the season, this means both Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd will round out Atlanta’s Opening Day starting rotation.

Shuster may have beaten Dodd out if Wright would have been healthy, but we will never know.

#Braves’ Kyle Wright will begin season on IL, to give him more time to build up. His IL stint can be backdated to March 27, and he’ll be scheduled to start game in second home series. Means both prospects, Jared Shuster & Dylan Dodd, will make team and get starts on opening trip.

— David O’Brien (@DOBrienATL) March 26, 2023

The goal is for Wright to make at least one start with Triple-A Gwinnett during the Braves’ initial road trip to start the season. In theory, he would be called up after his one start with the Stripers.

Wright is scheduled to start a minor league game here at camp on Thursday, then start a regular-season game for Triple-A Gwinett at Norfolk (April 4 would be on regular rest, but could give him an extra day). Barring setbacks he would make #Braves season debut after that.

— David O’Brien (@DOBrienATL) March 26, 2023

The expectation is Shuster will get a start in the Braves’ first series vs. the Washington Nationals with Dodd getting his opportunity by April 4 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.

Shuster will be on the #Braves‘ Opening Day roster, and Dodd will be added before his start in the April 4 game at St. Louis (5th game of season).

— David O’Brien (@DOBrienATL) March 26, 2023

Simply put, Atlanta needs to take advantage of Washington being down because St. Louis is not.

Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd both make Atlanta Braves starting rotation

As it turns out, Shuster and Dodd were sitting next to each other in manager Brian Snitker’s office when they were delivered the good news that they were both making the Opening Day roster. It may have been a little awkward for both, but it is still pretty cool that these guys battled so hard throughout spring training and were rewarded for their efforts. Obviously, the duo got emotional.

Here is Dodd reacting to the news of him making the big-league roster with the Braves.

“We both didn’t know what to expect.”@Doddzy_25 and @JaredS_14 were called into Brian Snitker’s office together this morning. That’s where they learned they will make their respective MLB debuts within the first two series of the 2023 season.

Here’s Dylan Dodd’s reaction ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ZY2LQYoGrm

— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) March 26, 2023

And here is Shuster talking about being part of Atlanta’s Opening Day roster as well.

These are the type of moments that make professional baseball so cool and very special.

In truth, only one of them may have staying power in the Atlanta rotation. Wright has earned his keep, as have the three other guys toeing the rubber ahead of them. Given how poorly Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake’s demotions were in favor of Orlando Arcia getting the starting job at short, the news of Dodd and Shuster both making the Atlanta roster is a breath of fresh air.

Ultimately, these guys are going to have to continue to play up. The Braves are a series World Series threat, and a popular pick to win it all this year. More importantly, there are plenty of other guys in the Atlanta system who will be chomping at the bit to get a coveted spot in the rotation. It is a pure meritocracy at this point for the Braves. May the best pitchers pitch the most for Atlanta.

Congratulations on Dodd and Shuster making the Opening Day roster after all of their hard work!

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