The Braves won the battle yesterday on Opening Day, defeating the Nationals 7-2, but the real story was the injury Max Fried suffered in the fourth inning. He left the game with hamstring discomfort, which can be a tricky injury, and Brian Snitker said after the game he will likely spend a stint on the IL.
Brian Snitker said Max Fried has a hamstring strain. Snit said it would likely be an IL situation, though the Braves don’t have to decide that this moment.
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) March 30, 2023
Fried will at least miss his next scheduled start in St. Louis, and I don’t see any reason why the Braves wouldn’t put him on the Injured List. It’s April; there’s no point in risking anything with the ace of your staff.
Thankfully, Alex Anthopoulos did a wonderful job of acquiring boatloads of pitching depth this offseason. Even with Kolby Allard heading to the 60-day IL and Kyle Wright needed more time to ramp up his workload in Gwinnett, the Braves still have Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to replace Fried in the rotation if it is needed.
I would bet a large amount of money on it being Elder that gets the nod. Anderson has done nothing to earn the Braves trust since the 2021 World Series. It’s been all downhill, and I think he is going to have to show a lot before he gets another crack in the majors. His velocity was down in Spring Training, and his control was atrocious.
Elder wasn’t anything to write home about this Spring either, but I feel much more confident in him moving forward. He ended last season spectacularly, and I was a little surprise the Braves optioned him so soon in the first place. He’s the guy if the Braves need to replace Max Fried in the rotation.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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