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Joc Pederson to slot into leadoff spot, Ian Anderson update and more

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News and notes from Friday’s pregame media session

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Joc Pederson won’t be in the Atlanta Braves lineup when they return to action Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, but he could join the team and be available off the bench. Brian Snitker said during Friday’s pregame that Pederson was on a flight and they weren’t sure when he would arrive.

“I think he’s gonna get here. I don’t know when, he’s in the air right now so we’ll wait and see when he lands,” Snitker said. The Braves won’t alter their starting lineup for Friday’s game and would need to make a roster move in order to activate Pederson.

As far as how Pederson will fit into the lineup, Snitker said that he will likely use him as the team’s leadoff hitter. Pederson spent most of his career in Los Angeles as a platoon player that sat against left-handed pitchers but he has saw more of an opportunity this season while with the Cubs.

“He’s done it, he’s had success there and we will probably leave him there for a while,” Snitker said of Pederson in the leadoff role. “Maybe see what it looks like.”

Pederson is hitting .218/.285/.442 with 11 home runs in 221 plate appearances against right-handers this season and has a .271/.348/.339 line in 66 plate appearances against lefties in 2021.

Ian Anderson update

Snitker said that Ian Anderson’s shoulder was structurally sound but that they would wait 7-10 days before he is reevaluated.

“No structural damage, he just had some inflammation,” Snitker said of Anderson. “He won’t throw for seven to 10 days, and they’ll reevaluate him and see where he’s at.”

Snitker wouldn’t commit to a timeline for Anderson’s return but said that if he checked out after 7-10 days, then he would start playing catch and they would go from there. If that is the case, Anderson would probably need a week or two to build back up so a potential return sometime in August seems about right.

Pitching plans

Charlie Morton will start Friday’s game against the Rays with Max Fried and Drew Smyly scheduled to follow over the weekend. Snitker said that Touki Toussaint, who was reinstated from the injured list Friday, is currently penciled in to start Tuesday against the Padres. He added that Kyle Muller would be a candidate to pitch early next week as well but didn’t elaborate on when. The Braves will need another starter for Monday’s series opener against San Diego.