Braves reliever Tyler Matzek placed on the injured list

Braves reliever Tyler Matzek is headed to the 15-day injured list. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

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

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Braves reliever Tyler Matzek is headed to the 15-day injured list. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

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

MILWAUKEE — For the last two or three weeks, Tyler Matzek has experienced left shoulder pain. Some days are better than others. He tried pitching through it, but it eventually became clear the best avenue was to get it checked out.

Matzek on Tuesday was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to May 14, with left shoulder inflammation. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday in Atlanta.

“It’s kind of a weird thing for me,” he said after Monday’s loss to the Brewers. “I’ve had shoulder tightness, shoulder soreness, and it’s kind of a normal thing when you’re a pitcher. I’ve been pretty healthy in my career as a whole, and so this is just a weirder thing for me. I haven’t really had to deal with something like this.”

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Matzek hopes it’s a short injured-list stint that will see him spend the minimum time away while doing some rehab before getting back out there. The Braves used his roster spot to bring up Tucker Davidson to start Tuesday’s game. Davidson allowed one run over five innings in his last start May 11 and has a 4.44 ERA over 26 ⅓ innings for Triple-A Gwinnett.

Matzek said his back flared up before spring training and called it “major.” Due to this, he lost his mechanics.

“I've been pretty healthy in my career as a whole, and so this is just a weirder thing for me. I haven't really had to deal with something like this."

- Braves reliever Tyler Matzek

“When you do that, different parts of your body start trying to compensate for other parts, and things take on loads that they shouldn’t,” Matzek said. “Just tried to get through it. It’s a normal thing, you know. Most of the time, you make it through it, and sometimes it just flares up so bad that you get it checked out.”

Matzek has struggled this season. He has a 5.06 ERA over 10 ⅔ innings. He has allowed five earned runs over his last four frames and has only pitched a full inning in two of his last six outings.

A few weeks back, he began experiencing shoulder pain.

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“Think it was just compensating for the lack of ability in my back,” he said. “I felt good trying to pitch through the back. Felt like I was going out there and doing OK. I think it just kind of spiraled into another thing, or it could just be totally on its own.”

The MRI will reveal more about the exact diagnosis and Matzek’s timeline.

Meantime, it appears Spencer Strider, who pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Ian Anderson on Monday, could receive a larger role in the bullpen. The Braves need reliable relievers, and Strider has a 2.75 ERA over 19 ⅔ innings this season. He has not received many high-leverage opportunities to this point, but he entered in a one-run game Monday.

This could happen more with Matzek headed to the injured list, especially if other relievers are down on certain days. Strider has proven he can handle it and has exceeded expectations.

The Braves will need to fill Matzek’s void for the foreseeable future.

“That’s a guy that would always stick his head in and be available to pitch every day,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Hopefully it’s nothing when they go and find out.”