Atlanta Braves receive a devastating update on Spencer Strider's injury

Spencer Strider didn't receive good news after feeling discomfort in his pitching elbow.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Atlanta Braves fans have been eagerly awaiting an update on their ace, Spencer Strider. Strider struggled through his start against the Diamondbacks on Friday evening, completing four innings on 88 pitches. The Braves ended up winning that game by a 6-5 final in extra innings.

Strider's fastball velocity was lower than usual last night and Arizona was all over his pitches. Not to mention, his control was severely off. After the Braves impressive comeback win in extra-innings, Brian Snitker revealed that Strider complained about discomfort in his elbow after coming out of the game.

That's all the information we had last night as Strider wasn't available for questions. The Atlanta Braves announced he'd have an MRI performed on Saturday to give more information on what was going on with his right elbow.

That answer was provided not long ago as the Braves announced Strider's MRI revealed damage to his UCL in his right elbow.

Spencer will head to Arlington, Texas to be evaluated by Dr. Keith Meister at a later date. This evaluation will determine the treatment plan and if surgery is needed. Strider has already experienced Tommy John surgery in 2019 during his time at Clemson. If he needs the procedure again, it's not ideal for the Braves whatsoever.

Strider was poised for an incredible season in Atlanta but Tommy John surgery would sideline him until 2025. The Braves have pitching depth at Triple-A to help them get through 2024 as Bryce Elder, AJ Smith-Shawver, Dylan Dodd, Allan Winans, Darius Vines, and Huascar Ynoa have all pitched in MLB games at some point.

The Braves have decided not to make a roster move on Saturday but will address that before Sunday's series finale with Arizona.

Strider's absence would also create questions beyond this season as Max Fried and Charlie Morton could be out the door after this season. It's not something the Braves likely wanted to worry about this soon. However, injury has forced their hand a bit and now they'll have to.

Strider joins a growing list of top starters in Major League Baseball suffering elbow injuries. Earlier on Saturday, the Guardians revealed their ace Shane Bieber will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the season. The Marlins lost starter Eury Pérez to the procedure and the Yankees announced Jonathan Loáisiga is going to have the surgery as well. Even Gerrit Cole had UCL damage after his Cy Young season in 2023.

This has been a growing epidemic in baseball since 2018 and while some have suggested it's the pitch clock to blame, I find that hard to believe. UCL issues have always existed even before the pitch clock was implemented. Pitchers throw harder now and the usage of a sweeper and power changeup are major culprits in the growth of elbow injuries as Ken Rosenthal explained in his recent post with The Athletic ($).

This isn't the news Braves fans wanted so soon into the 2024 campaign but it is the hand they were dealt. Atlanta is still a very good team and should still perform well thanks to a great offense and plenty of pitching depth. As soon as the Braves provide further updates on Strider, we will report them to you.

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