The Atlanta Braves were dealt a significant blow as they announced the placement of their premier right-hander, Charlie Morton, on the 15-day injured list this Sunday. This sidelining is attributed to a troubling inflammation in his right finger.
Such a move all but guarantees Morton's absence from the crucial upcoming National League Divisional Series (NLDS). Despite the fact that Morton's injury list initiation was backdated to September 23, his projected activation date on October 8 remains problematic.
This falls a day post the Braves' roster submission deadline for the NLDS, slated for October 7. Though theoretically, Morton could fill in for any injured player during the series, any semblance of roster maneuvering could draw the intervention of the commissioner's office.
Yet, hope remains for fans, as Morton is poised to return for the NL Championship Series, should the Braves progress that far.
Morton's Stellar Season Overview
Friday witnessed Morton, 39, exit abruptly after just one inning during his latest start.
Reflecting on his performance this season, he's registered an impressive 3.64 ERA (121 ERA+) and a commendable 2.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Baseball Reference credits Morton with an estimated 3.1 Wins Above Replacement, underscoring his indispensable role in the team.
It's worth noting that Morton isn't the sole Braves' starter making his way to the IL this week. Earlier, left-hander Max Fried was shelved owing to a blister. However, Fried's stint on the IL is expected to end just in time for the roster deadline, hinting at his potential return for the series.
With Fried's probable return, predictions lean towards the Braves presenting an NLDS rotation featuring the likes of Max Fried, Spencer Strider, and Bryce Elder. Kyle Wright, despite recent struggles following his return from an injury, remains a top contender for the remaining slot in the rotation.
Currently dominating Major League Baseball with a stellar 99-55 record, the Braves, due to their league's top-two record, are set to skip the Wild Card Series. As the postseason looms, these roster changes and challenges will undeniably shape their journey.
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