Fried gave up two hits and five walks over 4.2 scoreless innings in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Twins. He struck out three. While the southpaw was able to escape with no damage, the five free passes are hard to ignore. Fried now has a 5:9 K:BB through 7.2 spring innings despite his seemingly respectable 3.52 ERA, but he still has a couple weeks to iron out the kinks before Opening Day.
Fried gave up three hits and two walks over 2.2 scoreless innings against the Rays on Saturday, Dawn Klemish of MLB.com reports. He struck out one. While it wasn't the cleanest outing for the left-hander, it was a vast improvement on Fried's spring debut, when he lasted only one-third of an inning against the Jays. "He looked better," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "He's still not there yet, but... he looked a little more on the attack and commanded things better, which I figured he would." Fried, who is working to refine his changeup in camp, is expected to open the season as the team's No. 2 starter on the heels of a breakout 2019.
Fried is expected to pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the NLDS, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Fried was originally penciled in to start Game 4, with the caveat that he might be required in the bullpen before that. He struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief in Game 1 on Thursday and will continue in that role going forward. Julio Teheran is now likely to start Game 4, having been added to the roster to replace Chris Martin (oblique).
Fried lines up to start Game 4 of the NLDS on Monday against the Cardinals, but the Braves may change their plans, Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Fried is seen as the Braves' fourth starter, but the team is open to using its pitching staff creatively if necessary. Fried could be called upon in relief in one of the first three games, prompting Atlanta to go with a bullpen game or use Dallas Keuchel on short rest in Game 4.
Fried is not scheduled to make another start this season, Grant McAuley of 680 The Fan reports. The Braves will go with Dallas Keuchel, Mike Foltynewicz and Mike Soroka this weekend, which is how they are expected to line up for the NLDS. While Atlanta wants to make sure its playoff starters are pitching competitively and on turn, they probably won't log high pitch counts, so we could see Fried out of the bullpen in one of those three games.
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