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.

It is being reported this morning that Atlanta Braves are bringing back reliever Jordan Walden – the third pitching signing in three days.

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.

Rehabbing Redbird

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.

After both biceps and rotator cuff issues in 2015, he was pronounced healthy to begin 2016… with lots of “ifs”… but couldn’t get through Spring Training due to shoulder soreness.

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.

This article originally appeared on