The Atlanta Braves have been playing some dominant baseball and they aren’t far off from getting back one of the best pitchers in baseball. It’s left-hander Max Fried who is starting a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, the organization announced Thursday.
The Braves have the best record in baseball and Fried finished second in NL Cy Young voting last season.
This seems one of the reasons someone coined the cliché “the rich get richer,” right?
Fried, 29, was 14-7 with a 2.48 ERA (167 ERA+), 1.01 WHIP and 170 strikeouts against 30 unintentional walks in 185 1/3 innings last season for the Braves. He made his first All-Star team and was the runner-up in Cy Young voting to Sandy Alcantara.
This season, Fried left his Opening Day start early and missed a few weeks with a strained hamstring before returning for four more starts. He was shelled on May 5 and then was shut down due to a forearm injury. Despite getting knocked around while likely compromised, he still has a 2.08 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 25 strikeouts in 26 innings this season.
Fried recently threw live batting practice and came away without any reported issues, so the rehab assignment is the next step. Rehab assignments can last up to 30 days, but most of the time it doesn’t come to that. With Fried ready to take a start, he’s likely to go a few innings and then take two or three more starts to build himself up to a starter’s workload. After that, he’s back with the Braves.
Those Braves have gone 25-4 since June 1 without both Fried and fellow starter Kyle Wright, who won 21 games and finished 10th in Cy Young voting last season. Credit the offense and starters like Bryce Elder and Spencer Strider for holding down the fort, but the best team in baseball is about to get its ace back.