ATLANTA -- Max Fried took another step toward rejoining the Braves' rotation on Monday afternoon, when he threw a pain-free side session and completed some fielding drills at Truist Park.
“It's just a matter of getting Max to check the boxes [to] build himself back, because everything is pointing in a really good direction,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Fried will throw live batting practice later this week, and he could be activated to make a start during next week’s three-game series (May 4-6) against the Nationals. The 27-year-old southpaw has been sidelined since straining his right hamstring during a lopsided loss to the Marlins on April 13.
How Fried suffered the injury just added to the miseries he’s experienced while trying to build on the success he had last year, when he posted a 2.25 ERA over 11 starts.
After allowing career highs in hits (nine) and runs (eight) over just four innings against the Marlins, Fried batted in the bottom of the fourth because the Braves were carrying a short bench. He doubled, then strained his right hamstring while advancing to third on a wild pitch.
Fried has battled inconsistent command, posting an 11.45 ERA through his first three starts. The time off may allow him to refine his mechanics, which have seemed to be rushed, causing him to frequently fly open during his delivery.