Max Fried will make his return to Atlanta’s rotation Wednesday with a start against Washington, the team announced. The Braves optioned left-hander Sean Newcomb to Triple-A in a corresponding move.
Fried hurt his right hamstring while running the bases on April 13, adding injury to insult in what was an awful outing. The 27-year-old yielded eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and two walks in that game prior to his departure. It was the second poor start out of three to begin 2021 for Fried, who has put up an atrocious 11.45 ERA in 11 innings. Along the way, Fried has allowed 23 hits, including three home runs.
The issues that haunted Fried before his IL placement didn’t rear their head during the 2020 season, when he came in fifth in National League Cy Young voting. Last year’s version of Fried logged a marvelous 2.25 ERA over 56 innings, totaled 50 strikeouts against 19 walks, and gave up only two home runs. He also registered a 53.0 percent groundball rate, which has fallen to 41.5 this season.
Fried hasn’t been the only letdown in the Braves’ rotation this year, as newcomers Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly have joined him in preventing runs at a below-average clip. And the team has received zero contributions from Mike Soroka, who hasn’t pitched because of shoulder troubles. Thanks in part to the adversity their starting staff has faced, the Braves are just 13-16. However, the back-to-back-to-back National League East champions are still only 1 1/2 games back of the top spot in their division.
“Fried hurt his right hamstring while running the bases on April 13, adding injury to insult in what was an awful outing.”
I believe the phrase should be, “Fried hurt his right hamstring while running the bases on April 13, adding insult to injury in what was an awful outing.”
Connor actually has it right. The insult was the awful outing, which was followed by the injury. So, the injury was added to the insult. It’s a clever play on a common expression. Right, Connor?
Please have Newk close games in Gwinnett so he can get back the aggressive, challenge mentality that we saw him pitch with for a short period of time.
I still have confidence that Atlanta can win this division. However, that is not the ultimate goal and it should not satisfy anyone within the organization at this point. It’s World Series title or bust now. The 1995 Braves need some company and no team has come through yet.
World Series or bust is unrealistic. Falling short of a championship does not constitute a bad or disappointing season. Nor does it subtract from the thrill of watching a team have a successful regular season. That shouldn’t be the reason why you root for your favorite team.
It isn’t World Series title or bust every single year if you actually win a title occasionally. This franchise has not won a title in 26 years though and they’ve had plenty of teams that were capable of doing it. I don’t expect dynasties but I look at any decade without at least one World Series title as a failure of a decade.
I kind of agree with this.
As a Marlins fan, when we won in 1997 and then in 2003, I figured that we could suck for 9 years of every decade, but if we won a title in every decade, it was still a successful decade because a championship in a decade makes your team at least one of the top 10 remembered teams of a decade. It was more disappointing that the Marlins didn’t win one in the 2010s then just sucking for a lot of years.
I don’t want my team to suck every year but I would rather have five postseason appearances and a title or two than 10 postseason appearances and no titles.
You’re crazy. You act like a berth is not a chance.
I mean yea, in theory, a win a decade is nice.
But be that GM. You’ll have no market.
It matters not whether you are satisfied except to yourself I guess. Braves will try to win the division. They will then try to win the first post season series, then the next and so on.
In the same vein, the pitchers will try to pitch their best and the batters will try to hit their best whether you are satisfied or not.
In short, your level of satisfaction means little to nothing to the Braves. I doubt it means anything to anyone else for that matter.
It’s called having standards. You want to be the best, not just one of the last 10 teams. You can’t accomplish that every single year but you should always be building for the next World Series title rather than just being content with winning the division.
Even Freddie Freeman had stated that winning the World Series is the goal.
Of course the Braves want to win a WS every year except during the rebuild years, what? About 3 years.
They aren’t satisfied with losing.
Seriously, if any Braves fan thinks the team doesn’t care about winning a title, then they should find a team that does care about winning a title…or forget about baseball.
Bottom line is that a fan must accept the premise that their team is trying to win. And if you give up on that premise, then move on.
They never make the necessary moves to put the team over the top. They care too much about division title streaks to actually trade prospects and go for it.
That may be your opinion but I think you are wrong. I think the calculation is that they want to keep their best young players because the team can be competitive over multiple years, hoping that they win a title or 2 or 3 during the up years. If they trade away their young talent for a high level player then it’s all chips in on winning a title in a year or 2 years depending on the contract. If the gamble fails, then they have little in the way of good young talent and will be uncompetitive once the guy they brought in leaves for greener pastures, by green I mean money. That is my opinion and I think my opinion is more likely to be correct because in no way do I believe that the Braves don’t care if they win a WS as long as they win divisions.
Braves traded away a lot of young talent in the early 2000s, looking for that piece that would get a WS. Then the guy left town on a free agent contract and the farm was depleted, leading to the rebuild.
If Braves had a 300 million payroll, I would be saying something different.
In any event, I repeat…If you think Braves don’t care about winning or winning a title, then you should find another team. The loser is you if you think Braves don’t care about winning yet still consider yourself a Braves fan.
Lol what? Who is the move to make?
Neil G, You are correct. As a fan, I would rather have my team in the hunt every year than have to endure a bunch of terrible;e seasons for one championship. While I wanted the Dodgers to finally win a World Series again, not winning it doesn’t detract from an otherwise successful season. It is not failure. Most people in life never win something equivalent to a championship. Does that mean all those people lived a failed life? Of course not. Unfortunately, many fans think it’s all about them. They want their team to win a title so they can gloat about something they had nothing to do with. Take credit for someone else’s accomplishments.
The Braves will be fine, as will my Dodgers. But if the Dodgers don’t rebound and even if they miss the playoffs, I won’t be angry. That’s not why I follow baseball or the team. When the season ends, I move on. I don’t whine all winter long about something that ultimately has nothing to do with me. Nor do I look at the team as a failure. And I have never booed or been part of the “fire-the-manager” crowd. Fans who do that are an embarrassment to themselves.
One more thought: Baseball has a long season. For this reason, you can’t live and die with every pitch. Win or lose, there is always another game tomorrow. That’s my favorite thing about the sport: it replicates real life. Living is not about success. It’s about dealing with disappointment, making adjustments, and moving on to the next day. Best sport ever. The only one that truly matters to me.
I like your comment, Isn’t it time we settle down and just enjoy our team and the time we spend watching them. I am a braves fan and i have friends that are Cub and Dodger fans. We all have good and bad years. But that is just part of baseball. I like it just the way its been for a hundred years. My sisters are in NY and one likes the Yanks and the other the Mets. Life is just better with baseball in all of our lives.
That’s fine philosophy for you. I wasn’t trying to weigh in on the debate of whether it’s better to be competitive and never win a championship vs win a championship and not be competitive for several years. Different people have different opinions.
I was trying to make the point of which way is a team more likely to win a championship with a limited budget as the Braves have.
Going all in on a high price tag trade target by unloading lots of high value prospects is very risky. Braves tried that twice in the early 2000s. Here is what happened.
1. In 2003, Braves traded Wainwright to the Cardinals in exchange for one (very, very good) season of J.D. Drew. Braves thought that 1 big bat would get them over the hump and win a WS. It did not. Wainwright went on to become one of the best starters in the National League, winning 167 games and two World Series titles since 2005 for the Cards.
2. On July 31, 2007, Elvis Andrus (2 time all star and starting SS for Rangers), and minor league pitchers (Matt Harrison (2012 All Star), Neftalí Feliz (2010 AL Rookie of Year)) were traded from the Braves to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira, who had 1 good year for the Braves and then left in free agency.
So Braves set the Cards up with a prospect who became the pitching cornerstone of the Cards for a decade, helping them win 2 WS titles. Braves then set the Rangers up with 3 prospects who became their starting SS, their closer and a middle reliever on their way to 2 WS appearances (and narrow losses). Braves did this to get 2 good bats, each for 1 year, without even a WS appearance. Meanwhile, Braves depleted their farm of some of their best talent..
I suspect Braves are holding on to the best young talent to avoid these mistakes. Also, I think the reasoning for holding on to this talent is to extend the period where Braves will be competitive, figuring that approach has a better chance of landing a title (or more) than going all in on a stud at the expense of the farm.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
@Neil. I agree. The Braves are also in a very bad situation where they are owned by a corporation that they have to beg for payroll to acquire big ticket free agents.
I cannot do anything about who owns the Braves and I don’t dwell on it. Payroll disparities in MLB bother me a lot but I can either try to move on and follow the Braves or check out on MLB. I have had periods of doing both frankly. In the early 2000s, I checked out of MLB because I couldn’t stand watching the Yanks and their bloated payroll take over MLB. After about 10 years, I tuned back into the Braves because I retired and had time on my hands. I only learned of the 2 trades I mentioned above after I checked back in to MLB and the Braves. Had I known about those trades in real time, I might have pulled my hair out in frustration.
So to a more pleasant subject, I am enjoying watching these prospects and keeping up with them. Acuna, Albies, Soroka and Fried (acquired as prospect via trade) highlight the rebuild. But hey, promise is being shown from Ynoa, Riley and Contreras. I’ve been following Contreras for years and man, I’m cautiously optimistic that Braves found their catcher of the future. That leaves Langeliers, a top 100 prospect, in the wings. If Contreras continues to improve, then a case can be made for trading Langeliers for something good…real good. Braves should get a good piece for a top catcher prospect like Langeliers. So let’s hope Contreras keeps up the pace and that Braves can cash in their chips on Langeliers.
The 2004 and 2007 teams were not one move away from winning a title. The 2021 team is. That’s the difference.
Even if on a division rival, it’s always nice to see a good young talent resume his career after injury.
Contreras has batted well at every level of the minors and has batted well in limited play on the big club both in regular season and in spring ball
I’m not too worried about Contreras hitting. He seems more ready to hit Major League pitching than Pache does.
First, I will wait and see how well Contreras adjusts to ML pitching once ML pitching adjusts to Contrera (and it will if Contreras is able to continue this excellence at ML level).
We saw what happened to Riley once pitching adjusted to him.
Second, Pache has maybe a bit more trouble adjusting to each level of advancement than Contreras, although Contreras struggled initially at AA (as I recall, and if it wasn’t AA it was one other minor league level).
Pache looks tentative at the plate right now. Confidence seems to exude from Contreras. So I think Pache’s problem right now is more mental….just my opinion.
You don’t just lose Melancon, Greene, O’Day, and then think that the Braves will be as strong as they were in 2020, they aren’t, and the bullpen is getting overworked already. Bullpen depth is everything, and so is starting pitching depth.
Another loss is coming up with Smyly v Lester tomorrow.
I agree, Lester will loose to Guy Smyley.
I knew the Braves weren’t bringing back all of those relievers but I figured one of Melancon/Greene would have been re-signed.