HomeMLB RumorsSpencer Strider To Undergo MRI On Right Elbow

Spencer Strider To Undergo MRI On Right Elbow

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Braves ace Spencer Strider will go for an MRI on his right elbow on Saturday after complaining of discomfort on Friday night (per Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). The All-Star right-hander threw just four innings and 88 pitches in his second start of the season, giving up five earned runs while striking out four. As Mark Bowman of MLB.com noted, his 12 whiffs were tied for the “sixth-lowest total he has induced while throwing at least 80 pitches” in his MLB career. For comparison, Strider produced 18 whiffs and eight strikeouts on 90 pitches in his season debut. To make matters worse, his velocity was down on all four of his pitches. Although Strider didn’t mention his discomfort until he exited the game (per David O’Brien of The Athletic), something was clearly off throughout his start.

Despite his unimposing stature, Strider is one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in baseball. His four-seam fastball averaged 97.2 mph and topped out at 100.5 mph in 2023. He pairs his blistering fastball with a terrific slider, a changeup (against left-handed batters), and as of this year, a curveball. For a flame-throwing hurler toying with a new breaking pitch, the words “elbow discomfort” are especially worrisome. Not to mention, Strider has already suffered a torn UCL, undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019 during his time at Clemson University.

Strider burst onto the scene in 2022 and established himself as one of the best pitchers in the game the following year. He led the National League in wins, strikeouts, and FIP, en route to All-MLB First Team honors. He entered the 2024 campaign as the undisputed ace of a strong Braves rotation and a popular preseason pick to win the NL Cy Young. A serious elbow injury would be devastating for both Strider and his club.

Even if the MRI comes back clean, Bowman suggests Atlanta will exercise caution with Strider over the next two weeks. He could take a 15-day trip to the IL while his elbow regains strength. After all, there is little harm in playing it safe.

The Braves remain the favorites in the NL East even if Strider misses significant time. Still, any injury to their No. 1 starter would be a huge blow, particularly if Strider is unavailable to pitch in the playoffs. The team provided little reason for optimism or pessimism after the game, so fans will have to wait until Saturday to learn more about the extent of Strider’s potential injury.


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