Shocking: Brandon Lyon may have shoulder problems

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Here’s a question: if you’re a pitcher who is struggling, do you actually prefer it if you realize that it may be because of injury? Is the alternative — you just don’t have it anymore — even scarier?

I’ll almost certainly forget that question between now and the next time I’m talking to a real pitcher, but I throw it out because the Astros are flying closer Brandon Lyon back to Houston for some tests due to “shoulder weakness.” This in the wake of Lyon’s fourth blown save in eight attempts yesterday and his larger hit-tastic-ness of late.

Here’s hoping nothing is seriously wrong with him.  At least I think here’s hoping that. I really can’t say.

Max Fried loses to Braves in salary arbitration

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitration and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year in arbitration instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.

He followed former Atlanta teammate Dansby Swanson in going to a hearing in consecutive years. Swanson, a shortstop, lost in 2021 and won last year, then signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The last player to win hearings in consecutive years was pitcher Trevor Bauer against Cleveland in 2018 and 2019.

Fried, a 29-year-old left-hander, went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2021, Fried pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.