Motte heads to DL with lower back strain

Braves recall Hursh from Triple-A to fill hole in bullpen

Motte heads to DL with lower back strain

ATLANTA -- Injuries are racking up in the Braves' bullpen as reliever Jason Motte was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain.

Motte felt some back tightness prior to entering the seventh inning of the series finale against the Nationals on Sunday. He had hoped to test his recovery over the All-Star break but the Braves decided to give him time to rest. The team recalled Jason Hursh from Triple-A Gwinnett to take his spot in the bullpen.

"I planned on pitching a bullpen [Thursday] to test it out," Motte said, "but I couldn't really get to that point without feeling it a little bit. I didn't want to overdo it a little bit and go back to square one.

"It feels like a little muscular thing and I've never had anything with my back like that before," Motte said. "It is all new ground for me, too. I am trying to get out there to see what feels normal."

Motte has a 3.76 ERA in 31 appearances this season, primarily in a middle-innings relief role, and his injury forces the Braves to mix and match relievers based on the game situation. Braves manager Brian Snitker didn't count out a rehab stint for Motte if needed.

"We will take it a day at a time with him and make sure that he is ready," Snitker said. "I would think that by the time he is ready to come back, it will be by the time the DL stint ends."

This is the fourth time that Hursh has been up with the Braves this season. He has a 1.59 ERA in six appearances and will work alongside relievers Luke Jackson and Rex Brothers.

"Other guys are going to have to get elevated in a little more high-leverage role," Snitker said.

 

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.