Atlanta-When a left ankle injury left Max Fried sent off after his first innings after his 9-4 win against the Marlins on Wednesday night, the obvious question was whether he was ready to start the first leg of the Wildcard series next week. “I’ll check him tomorrow.
Atlanta-When Left Ankle Injury Is Forced
“I’ll check him out tomorrow and go there,” Braves manager Brian Sneaker said. “I hope everything goes well. The qualifiers are good, but we will know more tonight.”
Fried was not able to speak to the media because he was moved to a facility away from the stadium for further evaluation.
This is an issue to be closely monitored as Braves prepares to enter the postseason with an already weakened rotation. For now, Fried’s hopes for an early exit from the start of his last regular season was a precaution to prevent further aggravation of the left ankle he turned while defending the bunt at Starling Marte.
Fried initially lobbyed to remain in the game. But when the wildcard series had a week left, Braves seemed to take a cautious path with a NL Cy Young Award nominee who was on the injured list earlier this month due to a back cramp.
“He said’I’ll try,'” Snitker said. “If you didn’t know if you could go, I said we wouldn’t test it or screw it. that’s [the last thing] He had to go out there and hit his arm while trying to get past.”
Had Fried continued to pitch, he would have lessened his chances of exhausting at the start of the Wildcard series on Wednesday. And what if Fried isn’t ready to start Game 1? Well, if you followed the Braves, you know there is no answer to this question.
In the semifinal wildcard series, Braves’ starters will be Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright. Anderson made three out of five career starts, and before Wright’s two good starts in the past two weeks, the candidates for the postseason rotation were questionable. Cole Hamels was in the mix before his very short season, and the week ended when he made one start. My left shoulder is tired.
So most of the pressure is on Fried. It’s as if Ace Mike Soroka had torn his right Achilles tendon in the third start of the season. Fried has taken care of the added responsibility as he has been writing a solid NL Cy Young Award resume over the past few months.
However, the past two weeks weren’t very fun for Fried, who was on the injured list after a slowdown after a back convulsion against the Nationals on September 5th. That night, his four-seam averaged 91.5 miles, lower than the average 93.4 miles he produced in the last eight starts.
Fried’s fastball has been 92.9 miles from two starting starts since returning from the wounded list. However, the recent outings consisted of 22 pitches, half of which were four-seam.
As soon as he turned his ankles turning Marte’s bunt out, Fried allowed Jesus Aguilar and Brian Anderson a straight home run. He competed against Aguila without allowing home runs to 220 hitters he met this year.
The under-2.00 ERA Fried has maintained over the past few months has risen to 2.25 due to a solo home run. It wasn’t that he wanted to end the season, but as long as the left ankle works together, he will have a chance to end the year in a more suitable way.
Mark Beauwoman I’ve been dealing with MLB.com’s Braves since 2001.