Atlanta Braves Still Adding Pitching via Old Friend Walden
It’s a minor league deal after the Cardinals declined his 2017 option, but for Walden, it’s a chance to reclaim some past magic… if his shoulder works.
Injuries. Shoulder injuries in particular. They are the bane of pitchers – even more so than the torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament. That can be repaired. Shoulders are tricky.
#Braves bringing back reliever Jordan Walden on minor league deal that includes spring training invite.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) November 12, 2016
Yes, it’s a minor league deal, and that’s because… well, we just don’t know what state his shoulder is in. But it is a low-/no-risk deal fro the Braves, and the chance of a road back for Walden.
Walden ran into trouble almost as soon as he became a Cardinal (as part of the Jason Heyward/Shelby Miller trade). He was lights-out for them… for all of 10 innings/12 appearances. Then the troubles began.
So at this point, Walden hasn’t thrown a competitive pitch since the end of March, and will have nearly a full year off when Spring Training rolls around again in February.
Obviously, Walden has been very good when healthy, and that’s what the Braves are hoping for by taking a flier on him now.
In those 10 Cardinal innings, his ERA was 0.87 with a 3:1 K-to-BB ratio. He’s averaged a 3.00 for his major league career with over a strikeout per inning and a 76% runner stranding rate.
So while we’re hoping he can get back onto a mound at some point (after all, he’s still young – turns 29 next week), we’re equally hopeful that can happen with the Braves.
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