Braves place Fried, Pache on 10-day injured list

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
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ATLANTA — Braves left-hander Max Fried was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right hamstring Wednesday after injuring himself while running the bases.

Fried is off to a rocky start coming off a stellar 2020 season, and now he’s sidelined by a fluke injury in Tuesday night’s loss to the Miami Marlins. He tweaked his hamstring running from second to third on a wild pitch.

The Braves also placed rookie outfielder Cristian Pache on the IL with a strained left groin.

Left-hander Tucker Davidson and outfielder Guillermo Heredia were called up from the alternate-training site to fill the openings.

Fried (0-1) has an 11.45 ERA through three starts after going 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA last season and finishing fifth in the NL Cy Young Award balloting.

He was dreadful in the 14-8 loss to the Marlins, allowing nine hits, eight runs (seven earned) and two homers in four innings. In his previous start, he lasted only two innings against the Nationals while surrendering five runs.

Manager Brian Snitker hopes his ace will miss only one start.

“With a hamstring, you just never know,” Snitker said. “It’s just a mild strain. I think we’ll know more in a couple of days. It’s always a concern with those things. They’re so unpredictable.”

Davidson will provide depth in the bullpen until the Braves sort out who will fill Fried’s next turn in the rotation. It would likely be either Bryse Wilson or Kyle Wright.

Pache, who earned the starting center field job in spring training, is also off to a rough start, with a .133 average through 11 games.

Heredia can play all three outfield positions but will likely get most of his time in center field, sharing time with Ender Inciarte.

Snitker said Heredia, a right-handed hitter, will likely get his first start Thursday when the Braves are set to face Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers.

The Braves didn’t want to take any chances with Pache, one of their top prospects.

“We want to make sure he gets healthy,” Snitker said “It’s not something we want to linger.”

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.