The Atlanta Braves placed starting pitcher Bartolo Colon on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained oblique.

Bartolo Colon has struggled mightily in his first season with the Atlanta Braves. Now they can add injury to their list of concerns with Colon as he was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained left oblique.

“I don’t think it’s a huge issue, but I kind of feel like there’s something going on that’s not allowing him to perform the way he’s capable,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “We just figured it’s good to back off the stress and try to get him right. Hopefully everything clears up to where he can start doing what he’s capable of doing.”

A trip to the disabled list might actually be a blessing for the 44-year-old Colon, who is 2-7 with a staggering 7.78 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. If he hadn’t been placed on the disabled list, it’s possible he would have been removed from the starting rotation if his struggles continued.

Colon has been an innings-eater even at this stage of his career, as he had thrown at least 190.1 innings in each of the last four seasons entering 2017. Based on this injury and his poor performance, that streak might be coming to end.

Colon is coming off of an excellent 2016 season with the New York Mets where he went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He had not posted an ERA higher than 4.19 since 2007 as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.

The Braves brought in Colon, R.A. Dickey and Jaime Garcia over the winter to help stabilize a starting staff that was largely made up of young pitchers who struggled in 2016. Garcia has pitched well, but Dickey has also struggled as he has a 5.10 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

While the Braves have yet to announce a timetable for Colon’s return, it would be wise for them to make sure he is completely healthy before he returns. His current production is certainly something they can afford to live without.

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