Unfortunately for the Atlanta Braves, it has been inevitable since Opening Day that starter Max Fried was going to have to go on the injured list after injuring his hamstring on a play at first base. The Braves were hoping that Fried would only have to miss one start, but it became apparent that he was going to have to miss at least a couple.
The only question, then, was the timing of putting him on the injured list and who was going to get called up in his place. Ian Anderson pitched recently and, well, not very well and Mike Soroka and Kyle Wright are not ready yet. So, the only real option to make a start soon was Bryce Elder and that is exactly who the Braves called up today.
Braves recall Bryce Elder, place Max Fried on the injured list
Bryce Elder was an interesting pitcher last year as he struggled after making his debut, but the Braves seemed to love bringing him up for spot starts against bad offenses down the stretch (looking at you, Marlins). The offenses that the Braves are facing over the next week are far from bad in the Cardinals and Padres, so it will be interesting to see how he does. Elder has already made one start for Gwinnett this year where he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts in six innings of work.
As for Max, it didn't SEEM like the injury was too serious, but the Braves' being cautious here makes a lot of sense. Hamstring injuries are notoriously finicky and for a position like pitcher where there are repeated, explosive movements, you definitely want to make sure everything is healed up before running him back out there for a long season. How the rotation plays out the rest of the week will be interesting to watch, but for the moment the Braves seem to have a decent short-term plan in place (although it is now a bit trickier to get Shuster back up to the big leagues with Fried now officially on the IL).