Braves place Collin McHugh on the injured list, recall Jared Shuster

Atlanta Braves' Collin McHugh relieves during the sixth inning of game one of the baseball playoff series between the Braves and the Phillies at Truist Park in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 11, 2022. (Jason Getz /



Atlanta Braves' Collin McHugh relieves during the sixth inning of game one of the baseball playoff series between the Braves and the Phillies at Truist Park in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 11, 2022. (Jason Getz /

During Wednesday’s game in St. Louis, the Braves noticed Collin McHugh’s velocity was down. McHugh realized his stuff was not playing well. And after the game, he felt more sore than normal.

So on Thursday, the Braves placed McHugh on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. They recalled left-hander Jared Shuster, who will start Friday’s game – a spot previously left open when the Braves optioned Shuster.

“Nothing super out of the ordinary, but the stuff didn’t play. it was playing down a little, (I) wasn’t missing many barrels,” McHugh said. “From a precautionary standpoint, (the Braves were) like, ‘Hey, (we’ll) give you a few days to really work on some stuff. Take a couple days, get back to a good baseline and then go from there.’ Rather now for 15 days than later on in the season for longer if it starts to get out of hand. I would say it’s super precautionary at this point, but giving everybody a chance to kind of reset that baseline is important.”

Added Braves manager Brian Snitker: “He’s too valuable for us. Rather than beating him up or whatever, we just kind of figured it’d be smart to get that thing well.”

On Wednesday, McHugh allowed a run on three hits over an inning. With one out needed to seal the victory, Snitker pulled McHugh, who threw 27 pitches, and went to Jesse Chavez.

Asked if he felt more soreness or something different, McHugh said: “It’s hard to say. I tell guys: From the beginning of the season on, nobody ever feels 100%. It’s shades of gray when it comes to how you feel on a given day. You learn as a pitcher because you’re really in tune with how your body feels. And yeah, it’s probably a little extra sore than typical for this time of year.”

But he knew that, on the mound, he wasn’t his best.

“Stuff was not good. I think I can be pretty frank about that,” McHugh said. “I didn’t miss many barrels, and they were putting good swings on a lot of things. And it’s been a couple outings now where command’s been a little erratic for me, which is a bit unusual.”

McHugh said he didn’t receive any imaging. When he talked to reporters, he hadn’t yet spoken to the athletic training staff, but he assumed he would take a couple of days off from throwing, then return to the mound and work on things.

For now, the Braves have bullpen depth, even without McHugh or closer Raisel Iglesias.

“I’ve been saying this for all spring, and I’ll reiterate it again: We’ve got more arms than we know what to do with, and that’s a really, really good problem to have,” McHugh said. “(President of baseball operations) Alex (Anthopoulos) and the front office have done a really excellent job of creating depth, and then leaving it to these guys to really go out and prove that they want to be here and need to be here.”

Snitker still has multiple late-inning options, too, led by A.J. Minter, Joe Jiménez and Nick Anderson. Those three – and others – can pitch in high-leverage spots.

“It makes Snit’s job a little bit easier, hopefully,” Minter said. “But it shouldn’t be about the seventh, eighth, ninth inning. It’s ‘Go in and get three outs.’ It shouldn’t be any more stress than what it already is. It’s just a matter of going in, doing our jobs, throwing strikes. And with the hitters we have in this lineup, we feel like we’re never out of a game.”

McHugh said he got a late start in spring training and might’ve been three to four days behind others because of some early-season soreness. He didn’t feel like he was working behind, though.

Then this extra soreness hit.

“I think at this point in the season, we’ve got to be really precocious with the health of our arms, the health of our staff, because we know coming down the stretch, we need everybody to be here, everybody to be healthy,” McHugh said. “And if you’re gonna take two weeks now versus a longer period potentially later in the season, it’s really not that hard of a decision to make.”

In his MLB debut in Washington, Shuster allowed four runs over 4-2/3 innings. He surrendered all four in the first inning before settling in and pitching into the fifth.

When teams option a pitcher, he must spend at least 15 days in the minors before a club can bring him back. The exception: A team can recall a player from the minor leagues to replace an injured player. This is why the Braves brought Shuster back so soon.

“Rebound from the first inning of his last start because after that, he threw up zeros,” Snitker said when asked what he wanted to see from Shuster. “I’m sure he’s gonna be anxious and excited to get back out there. I’m glad he experienced it, and now it’s back to work.”

Updates on Fried, Iglesias

Max Fried (strained hamstring) has been tossing the baseball to keep his arm going, but he can’t yet run, Snitker said. He hasn’t been covering first or doing any baseball activities like that.

Iglesias (shoulder inflammation) has not yet resumed throwing. Iglesias has been receiving treatment and is doing well, Snitker said.

Wright stretches out

On Wednesday, Kyle Wright allowed five earned runs on seven hits over six innings for Triple-A Gwinnett. Four of those runs scored on a grand slam. He threw 84 pitches.

The important numbers from that: Six and 84.

The Braves wanted Wright to be fully stretched out before he makes his regular-season debut. Going six innings and throwing 84 pitches is a positive sign.

Asked if this puts Wright on track to be activated when eligible Tuesday, Snitker said Wright felt OK on Thursday, but that the Braves would evaluate him after his next bullpen session.

Wright entered spring training behind other starters after receiving a cortisone injection in his right shoulder in January.