There was a welcome sight at Truist Park as Max Fried played catch in the outfield prior to Thursday’s series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. Fried has been on the injured list since May 9 due to a forearm strain. Fried threw from about 60 feet in the beginning of his throwing progression.
This just innnnn….Max Fried smiling & throwing. Hope this makes your Thursday as much as it did me #Braves pic.twitter.com/qp0Uag7zu8— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) May 25, 2023
This is still just the first step in the process for Fried, who will need to build back up, but it is still encouraging to see.
“He’s started, so that’s always a good thing when they start that progression like that,” Brian Snitker said of Fried. “Obviously they’re feeling good if they’re going to let him throw. Building back up, that’s going to be the whole thing now.”
Snitker as expected didn’t place any kind of timeline on Fried who will likely need as much as a month to build up.
Michael Tonkin to the injured list
Dylan Dodd will start the series opener Thursday. Reliever Michael Tonkin was placed on the 15-day injured list with a strained neck as the corresponding move.
“We’ve been riding him pretty hard here. It’s just another one of them things that we want to make sure we get him right, because we are going to need him again,” Snitker said of Tonkin. “So we’ll just calm everything down and hopefully get through it and get him back.”
Tonkin has appeared in 13 games and has a 3.42 ERA and a 4.49 FIP in 26 1/3 innings.
Braves’ halfway through grueling stretch of games
Atlanta is 12-10 in May and is in the middle of a stretch of 13 games in 13 days. They faced plenty of quality opponents this month, but have been able to keep their heads above water and still have a 5.5 game lead in the NL East. The Phillies have struggled to start the season, but are still a talented club as the Braves know first hand after falling to them in the NLDS last November.
“You gotta go through stretches like this and hopefully you can kinda keep your head above water,” Snitker said. “We’re right there at the line, I think. So we’d like to have played better on this stretch, but a lot of those other teams have a lot to say about things also. So I think it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be a good series this weekend.”