Right-hander Julio Teheran will replace injured reliever Chris Martin on the Braves’ postseason roster, the team announced Friday morning. Mark Bowman of MLB.com tweets that with Teheran now on board, he’ll likely draw the starting nod in a theoretical Game 4, with lefty Max Fried continuing on as a relief option for the rest of the series.
Martin didn’t throw a pitch in last night’s contest, as he sustained an oblique strain when coming out of the ’pen to begin the eighth inning. At the time, Atlanta held a 3-1 lead but quickly saw things unravel when right-handers Luke Jackson and Mark Melancon combined to surrender six earned runs while recording a collective total of five outs. Despite a pair of ninth-inning homers from Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman, the Braves were left stunned by a 7-6 loss at the hands of the NL Central champion Cardinals.
Fried had been tentatively lined up to start Game 4, if necessary, after being available out of the ’pen in the first couple games of the series. He tossed 14 pitches and picked up two strikeouts in a flawless inning of relief yesterday, and if he’s going to be reserved for a bullpen role for the remainder of the NLDS, it stands to reason that he’ll be more available for multi-inning work now as well.
Martin’s injury, meanwhile, likely brings an end to his time with the Braves. While Atlanta could re-sign him, he’s a free agent at season’s end and will also have the opportunity to explore offers from other clubs. Acquired on July 30 in a trade that sent pitching prospect Kolby Allard to the Rangers, the 33-year-old Martin logged a 4.08 ERA and a sensational 22-to-1 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings with the Braves.
The unfortunate injury also gives the 28-year-old Teheran what could be one final opportunity to pitch in a Braves uniform. While he’s controlled for the 2020 season via a $12MM club option ($1MM buyout), there’s no guarantee that the Braves opt to exercise that clause. (MLBTR readers weighed in on the subject last night and were evenly split when polled about his future.) In 174 2/3 innings this season, Teheran pitched to a 3.81 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9 and a 39 percent ground-ball rate. Those are solid enough numbers, but Teheran’s walk rate has risen significantly over the past two seasons while his velocity has dropped (career-low 89.7 mph average fastball in ’19).