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MLB: Anderson makes Braves opening day roster

Former Brainerd Warrior Nick Anderson makes opening day roster for the Atlanta Braves

Nick Anderson Braves
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Nick Anderson (61) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, March 27, at CoolToday Park.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It has been an interesting week prior to the Major League Baseball regular season opening day for Brainerd High School graduate Nick Anderson.

After pitching for the Atlanta Braves in spring training, the 6-foot-4 relief pitcher was optioned by the Braves to their triple-A minor league team, the Gwinnett Stripers of Georgia, on March 20.

Then Anderson was called back up to the Braves Monday, March 27, after reliever Raisel Iglesias suffered a shoulder injury and will miss the start of the season.

The 32-year-old Anderson is now back in the major leagues on Atlantaโ€™s roster for the teamโ€™s opener Thursday, March 30, at the Washington Nationals.

Anderson compiled a 2.70 ERA while allowing five hits, one walk with 14 strikeouts in 10 innings this spring training. The right-hander was fourth overall in strikeouts among Atlanta pitchers and first among non-starters this spring.

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Itโ€™s a comeback for Anderson, who has been recovering the past 18 months since undergoing right elbow surgery in September of 2021.

โ€œIโ€™m finally feeling pretty good and Iโ€™m getting back to my routine,โ€ Anderson said in a phone interview March 16. โ€œMy arm feels solid.โ€

Anderson had been a dominant major league pitcher from a period of 2019-2021 with the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins when he compiled a 2.89 ERA with 137 strikeouts and eight saves in 93 games. He earned All-MLB honors in 2020 with the Rays. He last played in a MLB game on Sept. 26, 2021. He underwent surgery on his sore elbow and pitched for two minor league teams, where compiled a 5.19 ERA in 19 games.

He signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract last November with the Braves. Anderson then took some time off to rest his arm over the winter.

โ€œThe biggest thing is I took some time off after last season and this winter to let my body heal,โ€ he said. โ€œI even came back (to Brainerd) a couple times to snowmobile. So right now, my arm feels way better than I did last year.โ€

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