The Atlanta Braves have a Jewish player on the major-league roster for the first time this season after calling up left-handed pitcher Max Fried from AA Mississippi on Saturday, Aug. 5.
The promotion was a surprise because Fried, 23, struggled in his first year in the Southern League, compiling a 2-11 record with a 5.92 ERA over 86 2/3 innings as a starter. But he gave up no runs over 10 innings in his past three starts after taking some time off to let a recurring blister heal.
Those short recent outings for Mississippi align with his new role for Atlanta, where he’ll pitch out of the bullpen in long and middle relief.
The San Diego Padres drafted Fried seventh overall out of high school in the 2012 draft, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2014. He missed most of the 2014 season and all of 2015 while recovering.
During that period, the Braves acquired Fried when they traded Justin Upton to the Padres in December 2014.
Fried was dominant in the Rome Braves’ championship run through the Class A South Atlantic League playoffs last year and gained positive reviews for his performance in spring training with the Braves in March.
“It’s definitely been a long journey and a lot of obstacles,” Fried told MLB.com. “I couldn’t be happier to be here.”
Two days before Fried got the call to SunTrust Park, the Boston Red Sox promoted Jewish Atlantan Matthew Gorst to High-A Salem (Va.) from Class A Greenville (S.C.).
Gorst, a right-handed relief pitcher, thus follows by about a month his former Johns Creek High and Georgia Tech teammate, Brandon Gold, in making the move to High-A.
Gorst had a 6-3 record with four saves and a 3.19 ERA before his promotion. He made his debut for the Carolina League’s Salem Red Sox by pitching one shutout inning at Myrtle Beach on Aug. 5.
Across the country that night, Gold pitched his sixth consecutive quality start for Lancaster (Calif.), the High-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Gold, 3-0 with a 2.93 ERA for the JetHawks, got no decision while giving up two earned runs on eight hits, two walks and four strikeouts in six innings against Rancho Cucamonga.
Dean Kremer, the first Israeli selected in the baseball draft, pitched three innings for the Quakes in that game.