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Atlanta Braves Reliever Peter Moylan Has Bulging Disk; Don't Expect A Panic

Braves reliever Peter Moylan had an MRI on Monday and discovered a bulging disk in his back.

Moylan is hoping to avoid surgery for a third time on his back after going under the knife for the same thing in 2001 and 2003. He said the symptoms aren't as severe this time, so he has hopes he can avoid the surgery. Fredi Gonzalez said Moylan will have an epidural this week and undergo therapy following it, so it's just a wait and see approach as to whether he will be ready to return in 15 days.

What this means for the Braves bullpen is a lack of a sinker baller from the right side. Jonny Venters remains the best in the pen at getting grounders, and he is equally effective from both sides, but he will likely remain in the late innings no matter the leverage of a sixth or seventh inning situation.

Jairo Asencio is a very effective reliever that took Moylan's spot on the roster, but for now he probably won't receive many high-leverage situations. Look for everyone in the pen to move up an inning, with Scott Linebrink receiving more innings in bigger situations.

If Moylan's injury proves to be a threat to his season, I don't see the Braves panicking at acquiring a reliever. They are stacked with arms in the minors, including Stephen Marek, Cory Gearrin and Juan Abreu.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.