The Atlanta Braves announced today that Max Fried's next start will be pushed back one day from Thursday to Friday. This will push him from the series finale against the Miami Marlins to the opening game against the Baltimore Orioles.
It is important to note that there is nothing wrong with Max Fried. This move stems from the rainouts against the New York Mets that forced a doubleheader on Monday. The Braves will now need an extra starter this week due to using both Spencer Strider and Charlie Morton during the doubleheader.
The Braves have not yet announced how they will go about tomorrow's game pitching-wise. Instead, they will make that decision based on tonight's game. If Kyle Wright were to put together a great performance and spare the bullpen, the Braves might consider going with a bullpen game against the Marlins Thursday.
However, the bullpen has been fairly taxed over the last week, so the Braves may need to call up someone from Gwinnett for a spot start. Both Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd would be on at least five days rest for tomorrow. Shuster pitched last Saturday while Dodd pitched on Friday.
Both did not have the best of starts at the major league level, and have been inconsistent in Gwinnett over the past few weeks. Shuster has thrown 13 innings in AAA, with a 3.46 ERA, 5.93 FIP, 5.75 xFIP, 19.4% strikeout rate, and 16.1% walk rate. His last start he pitched 4 innings, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits, 2 HR, 2 BB, and 3 K.
Dodd has thrown 14.2 innings in Gwinnett, with a 4.91 ERA, 4.70 FIP, 4.29 xFIP, 25.4% K rate, and 12.7% walk rate. His last start was 3 innings, allowing 6 hits, 6 runs, 1 HR, 1 BB, and 4 K. It has been a rough go for both young starters in AAA.
This option would require the Braves to option someone for a roster spot. The players with options on the current roster are Strider, Wright, Bryce Elder, Dylan Lee, and Nick Anderson. Although he pitched phenomenally against the Marlins, optioning Elder could make sense. The Braves schedule over the next week would allow them to run a 4 man rotation and when they would need a 5th starter again would coincide with the 10th day Elder would be required to spend in the minors after being optioned.
The Braves could tell him he will be back on the 10th day, bring up either Shuster or Dodd, and then option them after the game and active Raisel Igelsias (if he is ready) and run an extra man in the bullpen for the next week. Then make the bullpen decision when Elder returns.
There is also the option a bullpen arm gets a trip to the injured list tomorrow to make room for the starter. That would still allow for the Braves to option the starter back to Gwinnett after the game for Iglesias.
Some interesting decisions to be made for the Braves over the next 24 hours!