The Braves rotation has been surprisingly stable, even without two of their top horses in Max Fried and Kyle Wright, but it’s impossible to imagine it staying that way forever. This team needs those guys back if they want to accomplish their ultimate goal of winning their second World Series in three years, even if it doesn’t happen for a couple of months.
Max Fried looks to be much further along in his rehabilitation than Kyle Wright. The Braves ace is already throwing but not quite ready yet to take the mound. The earliest he can return is July 5th, but from what reports have suggested, it’s not unfeasible that he’s back around the All-Star break.
Wright’s issues, on the other hand, are a lot more grim. He came into the season battling a shoulder injury and only made five starts before the same injury flared up again, which is not atypical for shoulder problems. He’s been completely shut down and has yet to even start throwing a baseball. However, he is confident that things are trending in the right direction.
“Feeling stronger every day, which is good,” Wright said, via Grant McAuley of the Gwinnett Daily Post. “I feel like the rehab program and plan has been great. The main thing is just literally giving it time to heal and recover.”
Despite returning just a couple of weeks into the season, Wright never quite looked like the guy who finished 10th in the NL Cy Young race a year ago. He posted a 5.79 ERA over his first five starts with an unsightly 1.77 WHIP. It’s fair to wonder if he may have come back too soon, something the Braves are going to make sure doesn’t happen again.
“I think the main thing was just letting it heal, because I was talking to all the doctors (and they believe) that it would heal on its own,” Wright said, via Grant McAuley. “We just need to let it recover, give it some time to calm down, strengthen it while it’s calming down, and then go from there.”
The promising news is doctors don’t feel the situation requires surgery, which should mean Wright will be able to return at some point this season. I still remain skeptical of his potential impact because of the nature of shoulder injuries. They can linger, and even when pitchers return from them, they sometimes never look like the same guy they were pre-injury.
This is an ordeal that can have a lasting impact on the organization. Wright is in the Braves’ plans not just this year, but for several more to follow. He isn’t a free agent until after the 2026 season. Because of that, Wright is going to need to pass every medical test with flying colors before the club even thinks about letting him hop back on the mound in any capacity.
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