Left-hander Max Fried is slated to make his return to the mound on Monday, when the Braves open up a three-game series against the Padres. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker told reporters (including David O’Brien of The Athletic) that Fried will be activated from the 15-day injured list prior to the game. Fried will end up missing only 16 days due to a strained left hamstring, as he went to the IL on April 4 but with a backdated placement of April 1, so ensure a quicker return as long as the hamstring issue turned out to be pretty minimal.
With Fried and Kyle Wright now healthy, Atlanta’s rotation is more or less back in its expected form, with Fried, Wright, Spencer Strider, and Charlie Morton comprising the top four, and Bryce Elder pitching well in a bid to cement his spot. The Braves had planned to use Jared Shuster or Dylan Dodd as the fifth starter heading into the season, but while the two rookies have struggled against MLB hitters, while Elder has an impressive 1.53 ERA over three starts and 17 2/3 innings.
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- Brayan Bello is also expected to be activated from the 15-day IL on Monday, as the Red Sox righty will make his season debut in a start against the Angels. Bello dealt with some forearm tightness early in Spring Training, which delayed his ramp-up enough that a short IL stint was necessary to open the season. With Bello expected to be a regular starter, the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier suggested that the Sox might utilize a six-man rotation until their next off-day on April 27, in order to give a bit more rest to a pitching staff that hasn’t many good results early in the season. Tanner Houck might ultimately be the odd man out of the rotation, and while Houck told Speier that he would prefer to stay as a starter, “I don’t have much say over it. We’ll have conversations, but I can only go out there and compete and put my best foot forward and continue to fight for the spot.”
- The Yankees are likely to activate Josh Donaldson from the 10-day IL on Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone told ESPN’s Marly Rivera and other reporters. Donaldson will play in a minor league rehab game on Tuesday and then take the field against the Angels on Wednesday. A right hamstring strain sent Donaldson (retroactively) to the injured list on April 6, and his return will provide some relief to a lineup that is missing Giancarlo Stanton and Harrison Bader. In Bader’s case, he has been working out and taking part in baseball activities at Yankee Stadium, and Boone indicated that a minor league rehab assignment might begin this week as Bader makes his way back from a left oblique strain.
- X-rays were negative on Avisail Garcia’s right wrist after the Marlins outfielder was hit while swinging at a pitch in today’s game. Jesus Sanchez had to replace Garcia to finish the rest of the plate appearance, but Garcia looks to have avoided serious injury, even if the Marlins might hold him out a day or two to monitor the wrist. After a rough first season in Miami, Garcia’s struggles have continued in 2023, as he has hit only .162/.225/.270 over his first 41 plate appearances.