"We’re taking it a day at a time right now," Braves manager Brian Snitker said Monday.

Braves hope Dallas Keuchel can make 2019 debut Friday against Nationals

Dallas Keuchel could make his season debut by week's end.

Braves manager Brian Snitker confirmed Monday the team is hopeful the left-hander will pitch Friday at Nationals Park.

“We’re taking it a day at a time right now, but everything is pointing (toward Friday),” Snitker said, per MLB.com.

Keuchel signed a one-year deal worth $13 million with Atlanta earlier this month after spending eight months on the free-agent market, though he hasn't appeared in a game since last October.

The Braves, however, were pleased with Keuchel's performance Saturday as he threw 101 pitches over seven innings for Double-A Mississippi. Before that, he tossed 77 during a seven-inning outing for Class A Rome on June 10.

“He was in good shape when he signed and you could tell,” Snitker added. “He put the time in to put himself in this situation.”

Keuchel, 31, posted a 3.74 ERA over 34 starts for the Astros last season.

The Braves will soon get more reinforcements with the return of center fielder Ender Inciarte, who has been out since May 15 with a lumbar strain. He was cleared to resume baseball activities this week.

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