The Atlanta Braves issued unfortunate news on Sunday morning, announcing that starting pitcher Charlie Morton was put on the Injured List for an injured index finger. Morton departed from Friday evening's game after just one inning.
To replace Morton on the roster, Allan Winans was recalled from Gwinnett. He will start Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Nationals.
What does Charlie Morton's injury mean for the postseason?
Unfortunately, due to the timing of his IL placement, Morton would not be eligible to come off the IL until after the NLDS has begun. Because teams can't change their roster after a series begins unless there is an injury, the only way Morton appears in an NLDS game is if another pitcher gets injured during the series.
If there is an injury that requires a roster removal, that player would be ineligible for the next round of the playoffs. It's safe to say the Braves won't be trying to play roster games to get Morton on the roster for the NLDS.
The Braves didn't announce if Morton would be available during the NLCS if Atlanta advances, but with eight games left in the season, it's safe to assume that Morton's injury is severe enough to keep him out of the NLDS. Otherwise, the team would have skipped his next start rather than opting for an IL stint.
This is an unfortunate development for Atlanta, coming just two days after putting Max Fried on the IL as well. While Fried will be eligible for the NLDS, there are obviously concerns about setbacks with the ace's blister problem.
Before the injury, Morton was projected to be the 3rd starter in the NLDS. As long as Max Fried is healthy, the Braves will likely go with him, Strider, and Elder in the NLDS. Kyle Wright is also a potential option.