The Atlanta Braves pitching staff keeps getting hit with bad news as the regular season winds to a close.
Just a few days ago, the team placed Max Fried on the injured list.
Now, Charlie Morton is the one hitting the shelf, with inflammation in his right index finger.
There is a difference, though: Fried is expected to be part of the NL Division Series roster, whereas Morton can only return if the Braves make it to the NL Championship Series.
“The Braves placed Charlie Morton on the 15-day injured list with right index finger inflammation, which means he won’t be eligible to pitch in the NLDS,” MLB insider Justin Toscano tweeted.
The Braves placed Charlie Morton on the 15-day injured list with right index finger inflammation , which means he won’t be eligible to pitch in the NLDS.
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) September 24, 2023
Morton had to leave Friday’s game against the Washington National after just one frame when he felt something in his finger after a pitch.
The Braves had the 39-year-old hurler undergo X-rays and they showed no fracture.
The decision to place him on the IL comes after undergoing an MRI on Saturday that showed the inflammation.
Losing Morton, who has a 3.64 ERA in 163.1 innings this season (and 183 strikeouts) is a significant blow for the Braves’ rotation as we head into the postseason.
Atlanta’s lineup can compete with any other unit in the league, but their pitching staff is more “great” than “absolutely elite”.
The ailment does not appear major so the expectation is that Morton can return for a hypothetical NLCS, but playoff baseball is so competitive that there is no guarantee that the Braves, owners of the best record in baseball, make it that far.NEXT: Braves Insider Clarifies Max Fried's IL Stint