Braves Starting Pitcher to Miss a 'Couple of Months' After Breaking Hand Punching Bench

The Atlanta Braves suffered a huge blow to their starting pitching rotation. On Monday, Braves manager Brian Snitker announced that Huascar Ynoa suffered a broken hand and is expected to miss "a couple of months." This happened when Ynoa punched the dugout bench following a rough performance on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers where he gave up five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 10-9 loss.

"It's going to be a couple of months, probably, that he's going to be down," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Then, [he's] going to end up having to get built back up. I hate to see that. The young guy was doing so good. It's going to be a big loss for us." Snitker said Ynoa's hand began to bother him on the flight back to Atlanta. On Monday morning, Ynoa got his hand checked and found out it was a fracture.

"It's a shame," Snitker said of Ynoa, who is 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA through nine outings (eight starts). "He's not the first and he won't be the last. There's probably no one who feels any worse than him, too." Ynoa has been the Braves best pitcher in the early stages of the 2021 season. And the thing about that is Ynoa wasn't supposed to be a starting pitcher at least at the beginning of the year. Mike Soroka, the Braves Opening Day pitcher in 2020, experienced a setback in his recovery from surgery for his torn right Achilles tendon and has yet to see any action this season.

Along with being a strong pitcher, Ynoa could make plays on offense. He has hit two home runs, including a grand slam against the Washington Nationals on May 4. His success on the plate led to comparisons with Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels and the legendary Babe Ruth.

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The Braves have high expectations this year after being one game away from reaching the World Series in 2020. But due to the injuries and inconsistent play, they are now struggling to get a winning record (19-21 currently). With Ynoa and Soroka out, the Braves rotation features Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson and Drew Smyly with spot stars from two or three different pitchers.