The Braves received a scare tonight when left-hander Max Fried was struck on his left hand/forearm by a comeback liner off the bat of Alex Verdugo. Fried attempted a pair of warmup tosses with a trainer on the mound following the play but exited the game rather than continuing forward. Thankfully, the initial x-rays on the young lefty came back negative, as J.P Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweets. Fried has been diagnosed with a contusion and is considered day-to-day for the time being.
It’s excellent news considering that even after being charged with four runs in an inning of work tonight — one of which scored after he left the game and another two of which came home on a play that could’ve been ruled an error — Fried is sporting a 2.97 ERA with 7.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 52.6 percent ground-ball rate in 39 1/3 innings of work.
Here’s a bit more on the Braves…
- The Braves will discuss the possibility of utilizing left-hander Sean Newcomb as a reliever moving forward, manager Brian Snitker told reporters Tuesday (link via Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Snitker specifically praised Newcomb’s aggressiveness in a recent relief outing that saw him toss a pair of scoreless innings, though for now it seems clear that the discussion is in its early stages. Newcomb voiced a willingness to pitch in that role if it’s what the organization deemed best, noting as well that the decision isn’t really up to him. The 25-year-old was one of the Braves’ best starters for much of the 2018 campaign before slumping through much of the season’s second half. Atlanta’s pitching staff has been in a state of flux all season after a quiet winter in terms of pitching additions.
- There’s still no timeline for Darren O’Day’s return to a big league mound, writes David O’Brien of The Athletic as part of a larger look at the Braves’ bullpen (subscription required). The organization is hopeful that the veteran righty, acquired in last July’s trade for Kevin Gausman, will finally make his Braves debut at some point this summer, but to this point there’s nothing more concrete than that vague target. O’Day was sidelined with a hamstring injury at the time of that trade and was included in the swap largely because of the remaining money on his contract, though the Braves surely hoped he’d be an option for them in 2019. Instead, he’s been sidelined to this point by a forearm strain that appears to be progressing slowly. The 36-year-old had a terrific 2012-17 run with the Orioles and had a 3.60 ERA with a 27-to-4 K/BB ratio through 20 innings prior to last season’s injury. He’s earning $9MM in 2019 — the final season of a four-year, $31MM contract.