Atlanta Braves closer Raisel Iglesias will start the season on the injured list because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Thursday that Iglesias has "low-grade" inflammation and won't resume throwing for seven days. Atlanta opens its season March 30 against the Nationals.
Snitker told reporters that an MRI on Iglesias' shoulder revealed that "everything structurally is good" and said the Braves hope he will return "sooner than later."
Iglesias was expected to open the season as Atlanta's closer after serving as a setup man for Kenley Jansen last year for the Braves, who acquired the right-hander in an August trade with the Angels.
Iglesias, 33, posted a 0.34 ERA in 28 appearances with the Braves after the trade last season. The Cuban pitcher has 157 career saves in parts of eight seasons with the Braves, Angels and Reds.
Atlanta has multiple relievers with previous closing experience, including left-hander A.J. Minter and former Padres All-Star Kirby Yates, who led the majors in saves in 2019.
"The good thing is Minter has closed," Snitker told reporters, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He obviously would be the obvious guy. I don't know, it may be a matchup scenario-type thing. You just got to audible a little bit with the guys that you have and see."
Snitker also mentioned newcomer Joe Jimenez as a potential candidate to close during Iglesias' absence. Hard-throwing Jimenez has struggled this spring, posting a 4.91 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in four appearances, but he has recorded 20 saves over the past five seasons with the Tigers.
"[Jimenez] has pitched the leverage innings," Snitker said. "I think we'll just have to wait and see how we get [to the ninth inning].
"It'll be kind of like, how do we get to the ninth inning? What's the eighth inning look like, and what's our best matchup for that? And deal with the ninth inning when we get there."