The Atlanta Braves placed ace pitcher Max Fried on the 15-day injured list with a strained left forearm.
The roster move, announced Tuesday, marks the second IL trip this season for Fried, who also missed two weeks in April after suffering a hamstring injury on Opening Day.
Fried said before Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox he was relieved an MRI showed no structural problems with his elbow. He had Tommy John surgery in 2014.
“Now it’s just about letting the muscle heal and rest,” Fried said, adding there is no timetable on his recovery.
It’s possible Fried’s rest and rehabilitation period could last several weeks.
“It’s a long season,” Fried said. “It’s obviously really tough because I want to be out there, and I want to pitch.”
The Braves said the 15-day IL stint is retroactive to May 6, one day after Fried’s most recent start Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. Fried allowed a season-high five earned runs in six-plus innings against Baltimore and also committed two throwing errors.
“It suddenly felt different than the usual soreness,” Fried said.
Fried said he is relieved the injury is not more serious. Manager Brian Snitker called the diagnosis of a strain “the best possible outcome, possibly. You [hate] to lose him, obviously.”
Fried was not listed by the Braves as a starter for this week’s series against the Red Sox, however, and manager Brian Snitker told reporters Sunday that the team was “working through things” when asked about Fried’s availability.
The Braves still have not listed a starter for Wednesday’s game against Boston.
Snitker said he was not ready to announce Wednesday’s replacement for Fried.
Perhaps the leading option to be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett is left-hander Jared Shuster, who began the season in Atlanta before posting an 8.31 ERA in two starts, leading to his demotion. Shuster has a 2.37 ERA in four starts with Gwinnett.
Dylan Dodd and Michael Soroka are other options to be recalled while Fried is on the IL. Soroka, who was Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020, is trying to complete his comeback from two tears of his right Achilles tendon.
Dodd, a left-hander, is 2-1 with a 6.46 ERA in three starts with Atlanta this season.
Fried is the second Atlanta starter to go to the IL, joining right-hander Kyle Wright, who is out with shoulder soreness. The Braves have not announced who will join their rotation alongside Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton and Bryce Elder, although rookie left-handers Dylan Dodd and Jared Shuster both started games last month when Fried and Wright were sidelined.
Fried, 29, is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts this season, his seventh with the Braves. He finished second in voting for the National League Cy Young Award last season after going 14-7 with a 2.48 ERA but lost his salary arbitration case against the Braves earlier this year and will make $13.5 million in 2023 instead of his $15 million request.
Left-hander Danny Young was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett in a corresponding roster move Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.