While most eyes were focused on Mike Foltynewicz’s performance in Game 2. Max Fried has turned heads with a pair of dominant relief appearances. While Fried spent most of the season as a starter, the Braves have decided that he may be more valuable to them in the postseason as a reliever. Brian Snitker discussed Fried during Saturday’s off day and said that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of using Fried in the ninth inning at some point in the playoffs.
While Fried may not be your traditional closer, his value to the Braves is in his versatility. He gives Snitker a multi-inning option to deploy against left-handed and right-handed hitters. At this point, Fried shouldn’t be just called upon in the ninth, he should be used when the game is on the line and in the highest leverage situation whether that happens to be the ninth inning or the sixth.
The Braves are also weighing their pitching options for Game 4. While they are unlikely to tip their hand, it appears that they are considering starting Dallas Keuchel on three days rest or going with Julio Teheran.
What isn’t in question is who will start in Game 3. Mike Soroka will make his postseason debut and the Braves are hoping for a Foltynewicz-like performance out of the young right-hander. Soroka has long been credited for his maturity despite being just 22 years old. He discussed the influence fellow Canadians Chris Reitsma and Cal Quantrill had on him at a young age during Saturday’s media session.
More Braves/Cardinals notes
- Adam Duvall’s moment in Game 2 helped turn boos into cheers as the Braves evened up the series.
- After being left out of the starting lineup in Games 1&2, Matt Carpenter is likely to return to the lineup in Game 3.
- Didi Gregorious hit a grand slam to help the New York Yankees take a 2-0 lead in the ALDS with an 8-2 win over the Minnesota Twins.
- Gerrit Cole turned in a dominant performance for the Houston Astros in a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros now lead the series 2-0
- FanGraphs’ Dan Szymborksi breaks down Stephen Strasburg’s dominant outing against the Dodgers in Game 2.
- The Giants let general manager Bobby Evans go last September and installed Farhan Zaidi as the team’s president of baseball operations in November. The team however did not replace Evans. Zaidi recently indicated that they will move swiftly to fill the GM position this offseason.
- It is usually teams that seek out candidates to fill open positions. However, Joe Girardi is reportedly doing his due diligence on the Mets to before throwing his name into consideration for their vacant manager position.
- Former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is hoping he will be considered for the many open managerial openings across Major League Baseball.