Well, the last thing that the Atlanta Braves needed to have happen on Opening Day was to have one of their key players injured, but unfortunately that is exactly what happened. As we covered earlier today, Max Fried was running to cover first base on a play in the fourth inning and injured himself enough that he had to leave the game. Most suspected that it was a hamstring issue and that was confirmed by the Braves during the game.
After the game, when manager Brian Snitker was asked about Fried, his response seemed to indicate that Fried was heading to the injured list.
Snitker would explain clearly that there is no way to know for certain if a stint on the injured list is going to be required for Fried as they will have to evaluate him a few days to see how things are. Hamstrings are notoriously fickle and it will just depend on how Fried is healing as to whether or not he will miss multiple starts which would necessitate a trip to the IL.
To Fried's credit, while he certainly felt the injury, he didn't sound too concerned about it being a long-term issue and attributed some of this to having an abundance of caution and factoring in the colder weather.
Where do the Atlanta Braves go from here?
Somewhat fortunately, the Braves actually a few options available to them in terms of covering innings with Fried on the mend. Roster rules should allow Ian Anderson or Bryce Elder to come back up assuming Fried heads to the injured list. Another option on the 40 man roster is Darius Vines although that seems less likely.
Fortunately for the Braves, they were able to secure a 7-2 win on Opening Day over the Nationals despite Fried's early exit and have an off day (the post Opening Day off days are still weird) to regroup and figure out what their plan is going forward.