The Atlanta Braves got more encouraging news in regard to their rotation ace. Max Fried has been out since early May with a left forearm strain. Today Max pitched in game one of Gwinnett’s scheduled doubleheader. He allowed two home runs and three earned runs total in his 3.1 innings of work. He also reached his targeted pitch count of 65 pitches.
It was not necessarily the results Max was looking for, but it was another step in the right direction for his bill of health. It seems the Braves are leaning towards allowing Fried to make one more rehab start before returning to Atlanta. The official plan has not been announced yet, but look for a pitch count target of around 80 for Max to keep getting him stretched out.
Fried has made just five starts on the season but he owns a 2.08 ERA and 3.06 FIP in those five starts. Allan Winans is set to make his big league debut today, and will be the 14th different starting pitcher the Braves have used this season (tops in the league).
So some stability in the rotation would go a long way to say the least. Strider, Morton, and Elder have been the mainstays all season, but the other two spots have seen a plethora of different guys. Michael Soroka seems to be the guy the Braves trust the most to hold down one of those two spots, so if they can patch it together another week they could find themselves the healthiest they have been all year.
Fried coming back soon and using August to kind of “start his year” would be ideal. The Braves would really benefit if he progresses and turns into Maximum Fried right before postseason baseball gets underway.
However, we cannot get ahead of ourselves here. As of now we have to just take his 65 pitches today and report of good health afterwards and look to take the next step. Fear not Braves fans, we are almost to the top of the staircase.