The Braves are reshuffling their rotation ahead of tomorrow’s season finale, as divulged by Brian Snitker ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Nationals:
Snitker says that Bryce Elder will start Wednesday. Fried will move back to Thursday. They will skip Spencer Strider the next time. He is dealing with some oblique soreness— Kris Willis (@Kris_Willis) September 20, 2022
Strider was apparently insistent on making his next start, but will get a bit of a breather for himself and his oblique.
Bryce Elder was recalled yesterday and didn’t pitch in the game, which sets him up to make Wednesday’s start. Elder has a pretty weird 88/109/117 line this year that also features a sky-high xERA. He really struggled through four starts in April, but bamboozled the Marlins in two starts (August 14, September 3), putting up a combined 16/5 K/BB ratio and just one run (no homers) in 13 innings of work. The Braves will hope that he can do the same to the Nationals tomorrow afternoon.
The not-so-hidden implication of giving Strider a rest is that it sets to line him up a little better to face the Mets in what could be a decisive series next weekend. Strider was set to pitch this Friday against the Phillies, and then probably again in the last game in Washington before the Mets series, so this basically skips a start and lets the Braves slot him in so that presumably he, along with Max Fried and either Kyle Wright or Charlie Morton, can help the Braves battle for the division.
Strider is currently seventh in MLB in pitching fWAR (4.9), across 20 starts and 11 relief appearances totaling 131 2⁄3 innings.