The Atlanta Braves announced a number of roster moves this morning, the most consequential of which was placing ace Max Fried on the injured list, retroactive to September 6th, the team announced. Also, Kyle Wright was recalled and Jacob Webb reinstated from the injured list. Fan favorite utility man Charlie Culberson was designated for assignment.
Fried might be the single most important player on the Braves roster right now as the only reliable high-end arm in the rotation. In the wake of Mike Soroka’s season-ending injury, Mike Foltynewicz’s demotion, and Cole Hamels’ injury, Fried has ably stepped up and developed into an ace for the Braves. He’s currently a top contender for the Cy Young in the National League with a 6-0 record through 9 starts, 50 innings, a 1.98 ERA/2.47 FIP, and zero home runs allowed.
A worrying drop in velocity hit a season low in his last start on Saturday, as illustrated here by PitcherList.com (via Twitter), averaging just 91.7 mph after being as high as 94.1 mph for his first two starts of the year . The injury listed is a left-side muscle spasm of the lumbar spine, aka back spasms. The Braves are obviously hopeful that some rest and treatment can get him back on the hill.
In the meantime, Hamels is on the comeback trail, and he could be activated as soon as next Monday, per Baseball America’s Gabe Burns (via Twitter). For now, Wright will return from their alternate training site in Lawrenceville to re-join the rotation. The Braves will hope for better results this time around for the 24-year-old, who was hit with a 7.20 ERA/6.48 FIP while going 0-3 in 4 starts earlier this season – though The Athletic’s David O’Brien reports that Wright is just up for a spot start. Still, Wright is highly regarded, their 4th ranked prospect by Fangraphs, Baseball America, and MLB.com.
The 27-year-old Webb could provide boost to Atlanta’s right-side relief corps. Webb has yet to appear in 2020, but he put up a 1.39 ERA in 39 games in 2019 – his first big league experience. The 6’2″ right-hander brings a 95 mph heater buttressed by a curveball and 86 mph change that generated a 40% Whiff% in 2019.
Culberson, 31, only appeared in 9 games this season going 1 for 7 with a double and RBI. The utlilty man has mostly been used as a pinch-runner this season. Culberson had some big hits for the 2019 Braves, but he took a Fernando Rodney fastball to the cheek on a bunt attempt in Washington which broke his cheekbone and ended his season. Culberson hasn’t seen regular playing time since the injury.
seemed like a matter of time…
THIS IS YET ANOTHER REASON WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT TO GO GET SOMEONE AT THE DEADLINE AA! LET’S GO! Hope Fried is better quick, Kyle Wright starts showing some of that top prospect talent and Webb… I like Webb… hope he can provide some value.
Anyone upset about CC being DFA’d, get out of here. Bigger problems happening for the Braves right now
How many cups of coffee have you had this morning?
Five times the daily recommended amount
Too much… but I should have added a little extra to it to get through tangos brutal news.z
any GM whose team needed SP help should be shamed for not outbidding Oakland for Minor at the very least
Minor sucks this year.
You do know the trade deadline has come and gone right? AA thought Milone was all the Braves needed.
Correct… hence the past tense nature of my sentence. AA failed Braves fans everywhere and it continues to shows its ugly head everywhere. Honestly, the conversation needs to start about putting him in the hot seat. The team is good… but I believe AA is more holding us back than helping us.
I’m inclined to agree with you, Bravesfan. I didn’t mind the Milone acquisition because I assumed it wouldn’t be the only move, and yet here we are.
AA does a few things well, but I don’t see him as an overly strong GM. He’s too stuck in his bargain hunting ways. They should have paid Donaldson, but didn’t. They should have traded for Clevinger, but didn’t. It’s getting frustrating.
“Should have paid Donaldson”??? Are you crazy?
Look, it appears the Donaldson move is working out well for us. But at the time, not going after a guy of that talent was basically telling Braves fans they straight don’t care. It’s working out in AA’s favor at the moment, but that was a risky non-move in messaging for Braves fans. And he lucked out even more that Ozuna is performing well beyond expectations. But this season moved needed to be made. We have a great team lacking only 1 element (SP). If we had that on lockdown, we’d be on par with the dodgers. It’s quite amazing our record is what it is when you really think about it. Milone was a fine pickup for a #5 starter… he just well might be our “ace” at the moment with fried out and Anderson being a rookie. Try to wrap your head around that lol
If you’re pointing toward the calf, who’s to say he suffers the same issues in Atlanta? The Braves training staff did well with him last year and he produced.
Still way too early to know how ATL has done with that Donaldson deal, but even despite Donaldson missing some time on IL, they’ve been more productive than ATL at 3B (Riley/Camargo) per position WAR. We’ll still need a clean-up hitter at this year, if Ozuna bolts (which is looking liklier every AB). And please don’t propose moving Acuña. smh
I also don’t understand why people propose moving Acuna Jr. to 4th. He likes and thrives in the lead off spot, so leave him be there.
I’d also agree it’s too early to judge the Donaldson deal. This year is wonky, anyway. If he’s hitting .220 with 15hrs at the end of next year, I’ll admit I was wrong. I don’t believe he will be, though.
I’m not one of them, but they see a small sample size stats of Dansby leading off and/or how many solo shots Acuna hits that could be possibly prevented batting him lower — without considering the consequences of those choices. You bat your best hitters are the top giving them more chances to do damage. Lately, Acuna/Dansby have been taking more pitches/walking more — considering their speed — that could really allow for more run opportunities from Freeman/Ozuna/d’Arnaud lower in the order, and utilize their optimal contact skills.
To me, not signing Donaldson showed me that the Braves and AA ‘did’ care. They cared about making this team a yearly contender based on real world finances. It was WAY too much money and too many years for JD, even though he really helped the Braves last year.
The Braves had Riley, who had solid projections and everyone was jumping off the ship because he couldn’t make adjustments in the second half. Donaldson was correct to ask for more years and more money, but the Braves were absolutely correct in not giving it. They have Freeman’s contract coming up, still need veteran pitching (no one expected Hamels to blow up).
The Braves signed five of the top 30 free agents last year according to almost anyone’s rankings. Repeat .. 5 of the top 30. That would not have been possible if they had overpaid for Donaldson.
Sorry, but to me, that shows the Braves do care. They cared enough to go away from one of the aging favorites (AA is a huge JD fan), because they knew it was in the best interest of the team and they had far more glaring needs.
Preach, UGA_Steve! Me and the choir will sing behind you. The ATL FO continues to build a team that will be competitive for a long time. That makes a lot more sense than spending big to try to win the Weird Series in a Covid year.
arthur blank_for owner
hey UGA.Steve and Wouldsettleforwildcard…this is formally braveshomer lol…I agree with your mindset but will have to disagree on the ATL FO. AA is nothing more than a corporate stooge now that unfortunately is tasked with answering the media & fans with never-3nding excuses, because Liberty Media representation never will. His hands are ultimately tied! It was easy for Coppy b/c he was rebuilding and didn’t need to explain why he wasn’t spending on FAs or trading for anyone…AA really does have it tough until we get an actual owner!
That’s a pretty big element to be missing. Heck, if the Angels had good starting pitching (and therefore had no reason to trade La Stella), then they’d be a great team, as well.
People who think signing Donaldson to that contract would have mortgaged our future clearly have never looked at the books and are just spitting out the same bull that is common around the league. 1 heavy contract isn’t gonna tank the future of this team.
The Braves aren’t the Dodgers or the Yankees and they never will be. 90% of MLB teams have to live on a budget, whether they’re owned by an individual or a company. AA’s ability to make the Braves consistently better WITH international restrictions and WITHOUT spending stupid money on the Bryce Harpers of the world is a lot more impressive than GM’s of rich teams that can build by trying to buy the best. AA’s moves to lock up Acuna and Albies were brilliant. He has to account for money to retain Freeman. Somehow, even with all that, the Braves consistently win more than most teams that spend more. People on this site rip AA regularly for not landing expensive FA’s, not retaining guys like Donaldson, and not selling off prospects at the trade deadline, but those are his financial realities. Our prospect pool is the ONLY place we’re ever going to get a superstar from. As a Braves fan, I just feel grateful for a system that’s produced Acuna, Albies, Soroka, Freid, and maybe Anderson ALL IN THE LAST THREE YEARS. What’s not to love about this team AND it’s owner? 🙂
@bravesfan: aren’t the Braves better off this year with Ozuna, d’Arnaud, and Duvall than they would have been with Donaldson? The Braves have financial realities that precluded them ever spending like they would have had to spend to keep Donaldson. Even so, how can you look at a decision that clearly benefited this team and rip the guy who pulled it off? AA has built a contender even with his considerable financial constraints. Just because he doesn’t spend money or prospects on the superstar du jour how can you say he’s holding the Braves back? Do you really think any GM can just go get any player their team needs? I don’t think it works the way you think it works. If we did sign Donaldson and passed on the three listed above, this team would be in serious trouble.
All the guys you mention are not the product of AA’s work, but coppy I believe. Fact check me, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. The cheap contracts, sure AA’s work. Getting the players to begin with… I believe coppy
Take one look at the Braves rotation and tell me he’s not holding back lol
Charlie noooooo 🙁
Braves Facebook fans aren’t going to know for months, always clamoring for Charlie (where’s Charlie) in every line-up announcement. LOL
Every hit of his this year has been for extra bases.
All 1 of them. If we’re playing the small sample game – he has 4x more strikeouts than hits.
But as many RBI as he has hits.
Right. It’s annoying seeing it every day. I like the guy and he’s come up clutch, but people need to chill with him lol.
plus he’ll probably clear anyway
Looks like Folty will and should be back up soon. Anderson is now the only decent rotation option and they need multiple pitchers that can come up and throw 5 innings at least. Bring up all of the young guns at this point and see what happens.
Yea, I hate to say it but we need folty and it’s not even a debatable decision
Agreed. At least he has upside. Tomlin has done an admirable job, but Erlin and Milone at their best barely equal Folty at his worst. The velo is concerning though. If he has a healthy arm I would prefer we run him out there than those last two options.
Sudden velocity drop?
TJ surgery announcement coming up in 1, 2, 3 …
So they just hand out TJS for muscle spasms now?
Marvels MAGA Man
If the muscle spasm is in the forearm. Probably.
Read the dang article for God’s sake
I’ll defend him. His comment appeared to come before the actual announcement of back spasms was announced by trade rumors. My gut fear was TJ with velo dip and the DL announcement without details
I’m not a doctor, nor have I played one on tv- but I’m pretty sure they can’t just throw new lower lumbar muscles in there.
Hopefully it’s not TJ for Fried. Possibly just dead arm.
In other more exciting news…Sixto on the rubber vs Braves today. Let’s go!!!
The kid looks legit. I am the #1 marlins hater… but I said it before the season… watch out… they might sneak up on people. Sanchez is legit
That zero homers through 50 innings is very impressive.
And to think that the Padres once traded him for Justin Upton.
For just one year of Justin Upton too. At least it was peak Justin Upton and he had an all-star season, but it was completely wasted by the team missing the playoffs.
I just don’t understand the Braves. They were deemed the next unstoppable team but their pitching just never developed.
It’s too early to write a lot of the young pitching off. Pitchers take time to develop. There has been a failure in Atlanta to add a veteran frontline starter, though.
Soroka, Fried, Anderson developed. Minter has looked incredible (again). Sure, there’s a long list of guys still in development, but that falls in line with a team’s typical failure rate. I mean, what could you say about PHI’s development without Nola (and international find: Sixto)?
It’s no less understandable than with the Cubs. Always develop pitching, pitching, and even more pitching if you want a sustainable winner.
The Braves’ biggest mistake was not signing Big Sexy Bartolo. It’s not too late, Atlanta.
So many comments on this site seem to be based on a belief that if AA just tried harder, the Braves could get all the players they need. AA doesn’t control the deals that are available, he just decides how much of the future to spend on making the current season better. Why would he have overpaid for pitching at the 2020 trade deadline? It’s a weird season, there are less than 20 games left now, and the Braves are better off taking their chances in the playoffs with Fried (who should be back), Hamels, and whoever’s hottest among the other SP’s and just continue to improve in the offseason through FA. The ATL FO has built a young, strong, exciting team that is only going to get better. I struggle to understand the lack of fan appreciation.
Yep, the big picture is what’s most important. Young, controllable talent. Organizational depth. Savvy payroll management. It all adds up to the Braves ruling the NL East for years to come., The second-brightest future in the division belongs to the Marlins. As for 2020, the Braves should be able to hang on in what is a weak division. Anyone who watched the Mets-Phillies these past few days will understand. Those two teams have overrated personnel, terrible defense, and an appalling lack of fundamentals. The Braves are better by a wide margin. A full 162 games would bear that out, which is why you don’t panic in this bizarre season.
How much of the Braves talent was collected before and after their own run in with the cheating monster?
wild bill tetley
If you are referring to their upper management fiasco, you have a very good point. Although it appears posters will only point out the Astros cheating as they’re lead to believe the other 29 teams have never done anything to gain an upper hand.
Innocent until proven guilty, and the Astros were proven guilty. Winning the WS compounded their crime.
wild bill tetley
And you just proved my point bhambrave; your team broke rules, cheated, and paid a penalty. Nobody calls the Braves organization cheaters. If they did they would not be wrong. But please tell us why we need to overlook Atlanta (and other teams’) transgressions.
Acuna/Albies were signed internationally when Wren was GM. They took away ~12 players signed by Coppy during international signing periods, not to mention taking away amateur draft picks and penalties on future international signing periods. Put that side-by-side with HOU and the Astros got away with murder, imho.
The Braves were actually punished on and off the field even though no players were at fault. The Astros sort of got punished by a fine. Players that participated basically got immunity and the get their rings. Not much of a comparison there
The organization cheated, therefore it is fair to label them as such.
I think there’s two sides to that story though. If TEX was asking for the moon for Lance Lynn, then yes that’s not AA’s fault for not being able to get a deal done that he felt was fair value. TEX should have moved Lynn they apparently didn’t because Daniels’ asking price was too much, which in my mind clears AA on that front.
Nothing happens in a vacuum though, so people see other deals that were made, like the Clevinger one in particular, and just think that AA could have offered a better package than that and they’d have a controlled front-line starter. Clevinger was clearly available, it’s just AA wasn’t willing to offer more than SD to get him.
Ultimately there’s a reason he’s the GM and he’s the one who ATL ownership trusts to decide those things, so I think on the Lynn situation he’s entitled to the benefit of the doubt like you’re saying, but at the same time the fanbase can still want a bigger acquisition to address a need and put the team in a better position to compete.
wild bill tetley
AA makes the Lynn trade if AA was looking for a contract extension.
The Braves didn’t need to go for a Clevinger or a Lynn. There’s a wide gap between them and Milone. Not knocking Milone, but an additional pitcher between them and him who could go 5 innings and give up 3 runs would have been an improvement over what they’ve got now.
That they got Milone should tell you there wasn’t anyone available, with more playoff contenders than there’s ever been. No one targets Milone in a deal, they target Alex Cobb, don’t want to give-up the prospects and/or take on money required to get Cobb, so they take on the most replaceable member of the rotation.
Frieds season is a fluke
And your evidence is??
MadBum, is that you?
You obviously don’t know much about him then. He’s got great stuff.
Back to back fluke seasons for Fries
How important is this season? There are a lot of angry Braves fans and I was also for a while. Now I don’t know. We are all reacting at AA like he failed in a normal season so I wonder if this season is just as important as any other season?
Of course on the other hand, some of those starters that were traded went for what I thought was exceptable costs which didn’t look like much more than farm depth. Are they better options than what Braves already have? Is Wilson, Wiegel, Davidson, Ynoa and Muller what Anthopoulos meant when he implied that the options available wasn’t an upgrade over what they had? Ynoa has gotten hit hard and so has Wilson for all of his 2.2 innings of work.
I don’t want to overreact to these pitchers getting waxed. This unusual season has lead to a lot of that. Let’s also not kid ourselves if we think any pitcher we would pick up would be a replacement for Fried if we find out later that this injury is the harbinger of doom. Whatever move the Braves made would have been for an inning eater.
So my closing thoughts? I don’t know what the hell to think yet.
I’d be less irritated if they werent going with soft tossing reclamation projects like Milone and Erlin instead of letting the young guys show what they’ve got, especially now that they don’t really accrue any time to lose that yr of control. There’s 3 weeks left, let’s see Davidson, Anderson, and Muller.
I didn’t want them to overpay on a 1yr deal because, as you said, how important is this season? The playoffs will be a total crapshoot. If they don’t win it this year, hey, cool, whatever.
For me it’s what lays beyond this year. The rotation still needs help next year, and Sororka won’t likely be ready at the jump. Clevinger would have helped with that and taken some pressure off the prospects.
Ozuna is likely gone, meaning they’ll also once again need a #4 hitter. That’ll be the 2nd offseason with the same hole on the roster.
I’m looking long-term at how AA seems to want to bargain shop and leave an area of the team in flux. Last year going in the pen was a wreck. This year the rotation is a wreck. What will it be next? That’s my general frustration.
Sure, you don’t want to overpay and mortgage the future like in any other season, but a 2020 Championship Flag would fly forever just like any other one does, so in that sense this season is NOT less important than the others.
Yesterday, tie score bottom of the 9th one out and Miami intentionality loaded the bases with the catcher due up knowing that was their best chance for double play which is exactly what happened. Why not a squeeze?
That’s my beef with Snitker, no abc baseball. And it has cost them a bunch of games the last couple of yrs.
You don’t squeeze with the bases loaded, or it’s likely an easy force out at home and maybe even a double play.
Hamels is trash.
Max was a huge part of last season. Maybe 10 days rest will do well. we have lost three of the last four and I blame SNIT Markakis needs to sit down for 10 days as he looks tired and has been horrid. bring Pache up to play center with Acuna Jr.in right and Osuna in left . Very righthanded outfield.Is Waters a switch-hitter ready to be promoted.I still like Newcomb and consider him better than those on I 85 between Gwinnett & Atlanta, NEWCOMB & Folty even mediocre are better than Milone and HAMELS was just a bad signing!
If the NL keeps the DH next year, you have to, at the very least, offer Ozuna a contract (3 years/63 mil). Maybe consider Duvall on a short contract too if he’ll take it. You also bring up both Pache and Waters. You can mix and match between Ozuna, Duvall, Pache and Waters in the OF. You sign Trevor Bauer and call it a day.
Duvall is arb eligible if I’m not mistaken buddy
Yes, you are correct.
Culberson was our brock holt. He wAs a fan favorite utility man who came up big when we needed him and was just an all around good dude. Not the best player in the world bit a dude Every one was rooting for
I’ve been following him since he came up with the Dodgers. An easy player to root for. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had a long coaching career after he’s done playing. In the meantime, someone is sure to pick him up for the stretch run. Not a difference-maker, but a steady pro who can provide depth.
getting idea out there for braves fans..luke jackson coming up through the minor leagues looked like a good starting pitching prospect..rangers, i think..he was improving as he moved up..he got to the majors and they put him in the bullpen and everyone seemingly forgot about how he looked pretty good as a starter..wouldn’t be able to go many innings right away but i hope someone on braves can read his history like any of us can and see that he was a starter coming up..he might be better at that than relief..they seem to be beating th ebushes for starters who can give them a plausible 5 innings..im also wondering where tucker davidson is..he looked like a pretty good starting pitching prospect last year about ready..dont hear as much about him as anderson, wilson, wright, toussaint..long live baseball and happy braves and happy native american humans..
Kyle Wright = JoJo Reyes 2.0
Meh… maybe. Don’t recall jojo projecting to be a front end starter when he was in the system though
JoJo Reyes too soon.