Teheran placed on DL with back ailment

Newly acquired Kemp activated to 25-man roster in the All-Star's place

Teheran placed on DL with back ailment

ATLANTA -- After exiting his start on Saturday, Braves ace Julio Teheran was hopeful that his velocity drop isn't a sign of an ailment that would require a couple weeks of rest. The All-Star became more concerned when he awoke on Sunday morning feeling some discomfort around the same back muscle that had bothered him the previous weekend.

Opting not to take any chances, the Braves further depleted their rotation on Tuesday afternoon, when they placed Teheran on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle, which is located below and behind the shoulder.

"I didn't feel it while I was pitching, but the next day I was pretty sore, and that's when we knew we needed to do something," said Teheran, who had never previously been on the disabled list.

Teheran exited a July 22 start at Coors Field because of tightness in his right lat muscle, but the progress he made over the next few days led the Braves to simply push his next scheduled start back two days. It did not take long for them to realize this ailment might need more than just a couple extra days of rest.

While allowing three earned runs in five innings against the Phillies on Saturday, Teheran's average fastball velocity was 88.8 mph. His average fastball velocity had not been below 91.3 mph in any of his past six starts leading up to this outing.

"This affords us an opportunity to allow him to shut it down a little bit over these next few days," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Hopefully when he gets back out there, he'll be ready to finish strong."

Now that they'll spend at least the next two weeks without an All-Star ace who had produced a 2.81 ERA through his first 21 starts, they will have to scramble to fill rotation voids, which was influenced over the past week by Matt Wisler being sent to Triple-A Gwinnett and the decision to trade Lucas Harrell to the Rangers.

Mike Foltynewicz started Tuesday night's game against the Pirates and Rob Whalen is expected to be promoted to start Wednesday night. Tyrell Jenkins is slated to start Thursday and Joel De La Cruz could start Friday night's series opener in St. Louis.

Aaron Blair has produced encouraging results during each of his past four starts for Triple-A Gwinnett and now seems to be the best candidate to start Saturday's game against the Cardinals. Blair's fastball has sat between 93-95 mph during his past few starts and he has minimized his walks.

If Foltynewicz, Whalen, Jenkins, De La Cruz and Blair start these next five games, the Braves will find themselves with a rotation that does not include a single pitcher who began the year at the Major League level.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.