ATLANTA — Max Fried is penciled in to return to the mound for Thursday’s series opener against the Washington Nationals. Fried allowed one run over five innings last Tuesday against the Phillies, but exited after five innings and 87 pitches after beginning to develop a blister on his index finger. The Braves elected to err on the side of caution and chose to give him extra rest in an effort to prevent it from becoming a lingering issue.
“In the last inning, just started to feel like it was coming on. Kind of caught it before it got really bad,” Fried said. “Obviously with the position that we’ve put ourself in, we didn’t want to risk it. They said they would rather make sure that it’s completely gone, no issues, and then not have to worry about it again.”
Fried has been throwing with tape covering the area on his finger, but said that he completed a bullpen session Monday with no issues.
“I had a bullpen yesterday and didn’t have anything on it and it feels good. I’ll be ready to go.”
Fried was bothered by blisters while coming up through the minor leagues, but hasn’t had any significant flare ups in recent seasons. He said that it is something that he has learned to deal with.
“I deal with little blisters and stuff all the time,” Fried said. “It’s more about the location and where it is and that kind of stuff. But yeah, it’s just something that you got to deal with in the season. No one’s ever going to be 100%.”
Fried did say that if it had been a playoff situation, that he would have continued to pitch in Philadelphia. With the division clinched, the Braves had no incentive to take a chance. Fried has had two stints on the injured list this season and missed three months with a strained left forearm. He has made 13 starts this season and has a 2.64 ERA and a 3.11 FIP in 71 2/3 innings.