Austin Riley considered day-to-day with left side inflammation

All-Star third baseman injured in Sunday’s loss to Mets, replacement Zach Short plays key role in Monday’s win over Cubs
Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley slides into third on a two RBI triple against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley slides into third on a two RBI triple against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Braves third baseman Austin Riley wasn’t in Monday’s lineup against the Cubs after leaving Sunday’s game with left-side tightness. An MRI revealed Riley has inflammation in his side and is considered day-to-day.

“They’ll treat him up again (Tuesday) and see where he’s at,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Obviously, we’ll be cognizant of that too. The MRI just showed inflammation. That’s a good thing. Now it’s just going to be maintenance and day-to-day type thing.”

The Braves had expressed hope Sunday that Riley would avoid the injured list. “Right now, yeah (that appears to be the case),” Snitker said after the Braves’ 2-0 win Monday over the Cubs.

Whenever he returns, Riley will try to get himself going again; he’s hitting .245 with a .707 OPS in 37 games to start this season. It’s a tremendous relief that it seems he won’t have a lengthy absence.

Zack Short, whom the Braves acquired four days ago and replaced Riley on Sunday, started at third Monday and had the go-ahead RBI hit in the sixth. He was the team’s current option to replace Riley, but the Braves could also use veterans David Fletcher and Luke Williams if Riley (or another infielder) wound up missing extended time.

Atlanta Braves third baseman Zack Short (59) hits a RBI double during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Truist Park, Monday, May 13, 2024, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

“If I didn’t prepare like I was going to get in every game, I would be doing myself a disservice, and my teammates, too,” Short said. “Obviously, it sucked to have Austin go down like that. But again, it’s just next man up and ready to go.”

Riley has generally been an iron man for the Braves. Over the past three seasons, he’s missed just eight games.

“He’s a very reliable guy,” Snitker said before the game. “Hopefully it’s nothing bad.”