Braves RHP Charlie Morton goes on IL with finger issue, making him ineligible for NLDS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Atlanta Braves took another blow to their injury-plagued rotation, placing right-hander Charlie Morton on the 15-day injured list Sunday. The move means the 14-game winner won't be eligible to pitch in the NL Division Series.

The 39-year-old Morton left his start Friday against the Washington Nationals after only one inning with right index finger inflammation.

He wouldn't be eligible to come off the IL until Oct. 7, which is after the Braves will have set their roster for the best-of-five NLDS. Atlanta, which has baseball's best record, has already earned a bye in the best-of-three opening round.

The only way Morton could be activated for the Division Series would be as a replacement for another injured player.

The loss of Morton (14-12, 364 ERA) is another blow to a team that has high hopes of winning its second World Series title in three years.

It came shortly after the Braves placed lefty Max Fried on the 15-day IL with a lingering blister issue. However, he would be eligible to return for the NLDS, if healthy.

Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder have been the only starters to make it through the season without any physical setbacks.

Fried, runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award a year ago, has been on the IL three times while making only 14 starts, although the Braves are hopeful he will be recovered in time for the playoffs.

Kyle Wright, a 21-game winner in 2022, has missed most of the season and only returned to the rotation. But he is 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA and doesn't appear to be a viable option for the postseason rotation.

Thanks to off days, the Braves could get by with only three starters in the NLDS. But with Morton sidelined and Fried's status in doubt, they may have to turn to an unlikely option to fill the third spot.

Sixteen pitchers have made starts for Atlanta, including right-hander Allan Winans, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and scheduled to start the opener of a doubleheader Sunday against the Nationals.

Strider was set to go in the nightcap, which is a make-up of a game Saturday that was called off because of inclement weather.



The Associated Press