Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider has been placed on the 15-day IL, backdated to Sept. 21, with a strained left oblique muscle.
Right-hander Alan Rangel has been recalled in a corresponding move. The Braves have also reinstated Ehire Adrianza from the 10-day IL, while infielder Rylan Bannon has been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Strider has been sensational for the Braves in his rookie season. He has a 11-5 record, with a 2.67 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 31 appearances, 20 of which have been starts.
"Tough news in Atlanta: Spencer Strider, #MLB's top rookie pitcher who has been sensational this year, was placed on the 15-day IL with a strained left oblique muscle." - Bob Nightengale
He has notched 10 or more strikeouts in a game six times this season and twice this month alone. He struck out 16 against the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 1, and 10 on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Strider will remain on the IL until the end of the regular season, with the goal of being available for the playoffs.
Right-hander Bryce Elder will fill his spot in the meantime, while the returning Rangel will also provide some much-needed cover. Rangel has compiled a 5.26 ERA in 26 games for Double-A Mississippi this season.
Strider is expected to receive medical clearance just in time for the postseason. If he doesn’t, it would be an enormous blow to the Braves' title-defending aspirations.
Should the Mets win the National League East title, the Braves will need to go through the NL Wild Card Series. If Strider is unable to pitch, the Braves will most likely turn to Max Fried in Game 1, Kyle Wright in Game 2 and Charlie Morton in the decider.
Does Spencer Strider’s injury put Michael Harris II in the driving seat for NL Rookie of the Year?
The Atlanta Braves are lucky to have not one but two Rookie of the Year contenders in Spencer Strider and Michael Harris II.
The pair have been a driving force behind the defending champions’ reinvigorated World Series aspirations. Strider has been sensational on the mound, while Harris has been outstanding on the plate. In the NL Rookie of the Year race, it is very difficult to pick an outright winner out of the two.
With less than two weeks of regular season action remaining, Strider seems to be the NL ROTY frontrunner. His impending absence, however, may help tip the scales back in Harris’ favor.
If Harris goes on a tear over the next two weeks and helps the Braves win the NL East pennant, then there’s a chance he may clinch the NL ROTY award. But as things stand, Spencer Strider remains in pole position.
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