There had been no mention before Thursday of a knee issue with McCarthy, who was scheduled to start Saturday against the Cardinals. But a team official said it’s something McCarthy has dealt with off and on this season and that it flared up this week.
The Braves need a starter for Saturday and would have rookie lefty Max Fried lined up on regular rest if they bring him up from Triple-A to make that start.
While Mike Foltynewicz could be bumped up a day from his planned Sunday start to pitch Saturday and still be on regular four days’ rest, the Braves prefer to give their starters an extra rest day when they can. So it seems more likely he’ll stay on schedule to start Sunday.
One thing is certain: They won’t have highly regarded prospect Kolby Allard make his debut Saturday, since Allard pitched Tuesday for Gwinnett and would be on short rest if he pitched Saturday.
McCarthy is 6-3 with a 4.92 ERA in 15 starts. He won Sunday against the Orioles, lasting five innings and allowing three runs and five hits including a pair of home runs.
The Braves had lost each of his previous four starts and McCarthy had a 5.40 ERA in that span with 26 hits, including six homers allowed in 21-2/3 innings. He’s pitched fewer than six innings in five of his past six starts.