Key Braves Starter Shut Down, To Miss NLDS

A brutal blow for the Atlanta Braves as they’ve had to shut down key veteran starting pitcher Charlie Morton. Not only does this mean his regular season is over, but he'll also be ineligible for the Division Series, since rosters for that series must be submitted before his 15-day IL period would have expired. 

The 39-year-old left his last start on Friday with a right index finger sprain.  

There's still hope that he could return for the ALCS, should the Braves make it, but it's nevertheless bad timing for a team that's put up historic offensive numbers this season, but still needs the pitching to be in order to get where they want to go.

The Braves have recalled RHP Allan Winans from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Morton's spot on the roster, and he, in fact, started on Sunday.

Bryce Elder will likely slot in now as the No. 3 starter in the ALDS. He was an All-Star in the first half, but has struggled to a 5.40 ERA since around the time of the All-Star Break.

The other option is an even more gruesome one, as Kyle Wright  is 0-2 with a 12.86 ERA since returning from a four-month stint on the injured list. 

 Photo: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports