WASHINGTON – Max Fried will miss the remainder of the season. But his recent trouble doesn’t erase the possibility that he could serve as the Braves’ starting pitcher in Game 1 or Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
Fried was placed on the 15-day injured list Friday morning, and the club recalled right-hander Darius Vines from Triple-A Gwinnett. The southpaw pitched six solid innings in a 10-3 win over the Nationals on Thursday night, but a recurring blister began to develop again during the final inning of work.
The 15-day period will end on October 6, one day before the Braves start the NLDS. Therefore, Fried will be available to start Game 1 on October 7 or Game 2 on October 9.
“He’ll be able to get off [the IL] “Right before the Division Series, so hopefully he’ll start in that series,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He can keep throwing. We can keep him active just by covering that thing. It was bad enough that he wouldn’t make his next start.”
Fried had serious issues during his minor league days and after he first reached the major league in 2017. There haven’t been any reported issues over the past few years, but he indicated earlier this week that he’s just found a better way to manage the problem. Pimples over the past few years.
This latest blister is on the patch on Fried’s index finger, Snitker said. Many of the previous blisters that appeared on this finger were closer to the nail.
“It’s something that happens a lot obviously,” Freed said Thursday night. “It’s just a matter of managing it and dealing with it. It’s a case by case case. But I have to be OK. The playoffs are the most important. So whatever gets us there is what we do.”
Fried had a few extra days of rest after a blister appeared during the final inning of his five-goal effort against the Phillies on September 12. The delay was effective enough for him to complete five of his six innings Thursday night without any discomfort.
Snitker was not aware that the blister had reappeared until Fried exited the game and went to the clubhouse to undergo his physical therapy after the start.
When Fried gets extra rest, he can maintain his arm strength by placing tape on his index finger whenever he throws. At some point over the next couple of weeks, he’ll likely participate in at least one simulation game.
“I hate for him to have to go through all of this again,” Snitker said.
The Braves hope Fried’s blister will go away or at least be manageable. But now there’s at least reason to wonder if the left-hander will be available for two starts during the NLDS. With a day off between the first two games, both Game 1 and Game 2 starters will be able to start over in the best-of-five series with normal rest.
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