"Finally I can say I'm healthy and get back to a routine where I can pitch every time," Ayala said. "It took a long time, but I was doing my best."
Ayala was back in Atlanta's bullpen on Friday night for the first time since he began battling anxiety after an April 24 appearance at Coors Field.
The Braves would like to add bullpen depth by acquiring at least one veteran before the end of the month. But there could be less urgency to add two relievers if Ayala pitches like he did while posting a 2.40 ERA in 118 combined appearances with the Yankees and Orioles the past two seasons.
Over the past two months, the Braves were concerned about Ayala's decreased arm strength. But the reliever's fastball improved as he was pitching for Triple-A Gwinnett the past two weeks.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.