Braves' All-Star Catcher Sean Murphy Sidelined with Injury

Braves adjust lineup after unexpected turn in season opener.

by Zain ul Abedin
Braves' All-Star Catcher Sean Murphy Sidelined with Injury
© Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

In a move that sends ripples through the earliest aspirations of the season for the Atlanta Braves, the team announced its placement on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left oblique muscle for one of its most acclaimed stars, All-Star catcher Sean Murphy.

The development came on Saturday, throwing a pall over the potent lineup of a team usually focused more on hard-luck tales from off the field. It happened in a most unfortunate way Friday during the game: an injury at a moment that marred the Braves' victorious 9-3 season-opening triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies.

It came in the seventh, with the game very much in the balance, when Murphy, swinging on a seemingly routine pitch, finally gave in to the strain that would cause him to leave the game.

Murphy's Major Setback

The incident is a major blow for Murphy, who last season was able to celebrate his first All-Star selection—a testament to his rising trajectory that brought him into a key role for the team.

It left the Braves with no choice but to promote catcher Chadwick Tromp to the Major League roster, in a bid to ensure that they remain strategic behind the plate to fill in for the hole shaped by Murphy. D'Arnaud, in his latest deployment in a game that already possessed playoff implications, finds himself in a high-leverage spot, batting eighth Saturday against the Phillies.

Braves manager Brian Snitker could only lament on that: "Baseball is just not predictable sometimes, and it can knock you down. "I hate it for him. It's one of those freak things that happen in baseball," Snitker said, citing the randomness and often cruel turn of fate sometimes dealt to athletes.

The quality of character, resiliency, and adaptability is questioned in this turn of events by the Braves over the arduous MLB season. And as the team rallied around its sidelined star, it was left to Tromp and d'Arnaud to rise in his absence, keeping up the high standards he had set.

The next games will only reveal the depth in which the Braves are and have been for much of the season but also reveal the collective spirit of pulling together in times of adversity.