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Braves Ace Lands on IL; Will Likely Return in Postseason

Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried has been placed on the injured list with a blister on his pitching hand. He will return for the postseason.


A Nagging Issue

Though the Fried injury is a concern for Atlanta, it’s not a season-killer for the team or player. Fried has dealt with persistent blisters throughout his professional career, particularly in the minor leagues. In his last start on September 12, a hot spot popped up on his index finger, and he left after five innings. The Braves pushed his next start to Thursday as a precaution. However, the blister flared up in his sixth inning against the Washington Nationals. In response, Atlanta placed him on the 15-day IL. He’ll miss his final two starts of the regular season. Fried had been lights out in September after a rocky season from an availability standpoint. In just 14 starts this year, Fried is 8-1 with a 2.55 ERA, throwing 77.2 innings with 80 strikeouts. He’s eligible to return at the beginning of the National League Division Series.



The Line Keeps Moving

Despite losing an ace in late September, the Braves figure to handle the loss just fine. Right-hander Darius Vines will return to the roster in response to the Fried injury. He’s made three appearances this season with one start. In 11 innings, he’s allowed four runs and struck out eight batters. At this point, the Braves are a well-oiled machine, particularly offensively. Despite a four-game losing streak that ended this week, the Braves are three games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles for the best record in the league.

Meanwhile, their remaining schedule is soft. Atlanta plays the Nationals six more times and the Chicago Cubs three times. The Cubs, in particular, have struggled in the past few weeks and have seen their playoff spot grow more precarious.

Even though the Fried injury is disappointing, the Braves figure to ride their season-long hot streak into the postseason. With the talent on their roster, they look primed for a deep run, with Fried headlining the rotation.


Main Photo Credits: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


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