April 13, 2024

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Braves All-Star outfielder Sean Murphy lands on the IL with an oblique injury

Braves All-Star outfielder Sean Murphy lands on the IL with an oblique injury

For the Atlanta Braves, the satisfaction of a lopsided road win over the Philadelphia Phillies was tempered by the news that catcher Sean Murphy will go on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

Murphy was injured when he swung and missed at a pitch in the seventh inning of the Braves' 9-3 win on Friday. The 2023 All-Star got to his left side immediately and left the field with the team's coach moments later.

Veteran Travis d'Arnaud will handle the bulk of the catching duties until Murphy returns, which could take 10 days but is often much longer for this type of injury. Triple A's Chadwick Tromp will be called up to back up d'Arnaud.

“I hate it for Murph,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said, adding that they won't know the severity of the injury until Murphy undergoes imaging tests on Saturday. “He had a really great end to the spring, he felt good, and it's just one of those weird things that happens in baseball. I look around and thank God we have a guy of Travis' caliber stepping in now.”

D'Arnaud, 35, was a first-time All-Star in 2022 with the Braves, before moving to a lower role last season after Atlanta traded Murphy from the Oakland Athletics. But d'Arnaud still played in 59 games last season.

When D'Arnaud suffered his fourth career concussion in April 2023, while on the IL Murphy had played 16 games in 19 games, with Tromp sustaining the other three. Now, d'Arnaud will be doing the heavy lifting while Murphy is on the El train.

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But Tromp will likely make at least a few more games while Murphy is sidelined than he did when the older d'Arnaud was out last season. D'Arnaud snapped a five-game winning streak last June when Murphy was dealing with hamstring pain.

The Braves have a luxury that few other teams have with two such notable veteran catchers.

“It's great, you don't care who catches the ball because you have two of the best players in the game no matter what,” Braves opening day starter Spencer Stryder said. “But I really feel for Shawn. I know he's upset. Something so random, you know, you just have to swing it. It's something you do all the time, so it's crazy that he could just randomly hurt you. But he'll make this a good thing, and it'll be “Better because of it. When we get him back, we'll be excited.”

“I just think about the work Murph did in spring training and in the offseason, and for something like that to happen on Opening Day, it stinks,” D'Arnaud said of dealing with a heavier load in the coming weeks. “I just feel bad for him.” “For me, it's just warming up, playing, cooling down and trying to win a ballgame. Try to keep it that simple.”

“When Travis got concussed last year, we had Murph,” Snitker said. “Like I said, we're fortunate to have two No. 1 forwards on our club. I'm just saying that for Murph, because he did everything right. He finished the spring great “Really and he was excited to get here. It's just one of those things that happens.”

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(Top photo of Braves catcher Sean Murphy: Brett Davis/USA Today)