Braves Make Moves and Week 3 Farm Preview

Before we get to Clint’s piece, the Braves have made quite a few moves yesterday and today. Let take a look:

Down the road, my guess is Tyler Krieger could be an option for the 26th man due to his defensive versatility and ability to steal a base or 2.

Making Moves

This might be the most overdue transaction in the last decade for the Braves. There’s so much promise in Sean Newcomb’s arm, but said arm didn’t come with a manual. He’ll likely get claimed by some team that can just let him work without fear of getting cut and/or sent down, and that’s likely what he really needs. If I were said team, I’d insert him back into the rotation, the one thing he actually showed real promise in doing.

Huascar Ynoa hasn’t been the same pitcher since stupidly punching a wall. Frankly, I just don’t see him as a starting pitcher long-term.

Touki Toussaint is back after promising results, but discouraging peripherals. In 8.2 innings at AAA, he carried a 2.08 ERA with a 16.6 K/9, but also walked 7.3/9. Dylan Lee also boarded the MLB train with Touki and likely takes over Newcomb’s role as the lefty to utilize when the starters blow a gasket.

Jacob Webb Claimed

I figured Webb would get claimed and I figured it would be by a team with 0 desire to compete. Some were upset by this but I’m not sure why. He’s a fine pitcher, but that’s about it. There are others in line with team control that can do what Webb did without the roster restriction.

Ronald Acuna Jr. Returns…to Gwinnett

This is exciting news and I don’t expect him to be down long, especially since “RF” is penciled in aside his name. My guess is he’s in the Braves lineup for Friday’s game in Atlanta. I mean, could he be any worse than current options? No. It’s definitely no.

Now….On to Clint!

Two weeks are in the books down on the farm, as today begins Week 3 of the 2022 minor league season. Here’s a brief preview of what’s coming for the Braves four minor league affiliates this week.

AAA – Gwinnett Stripers 

@Jacksonville (MIA)

The Stripers will look to receive more consistency this week regarding its starting pitching, as Week 2 wound up being a rough one for the team’s starting staff. It looks like Touki Toussaint will take the bump on Tuesday for the series opener against the Jumbo Shrimp, which is an offense led by Marlins prospects JJ Bleday and Lewin Diaz, as well as former MLBer Willians Astudillo. 

Gwinnett’s lineup will be receiving a huge boost in Week 3. Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. is slated to start his rehab assignment with the Stripers on Tuesday. And it comes at a great time, considering Gwinnett will be facing Miami’s top prospect in Game 1, right-hander Max Meyer. The 23-year-old Meyer has already struck out 13 batters through two starts in 2022, and he’ll enter this week with a stingy 2.00 ERA. Today’s game could be a low-scoring affair, but regardless, getting a look at RAJ is great news for the organization. Still no word on prospect Drew Waters, although surely some news will come soon given the outfielder has yet to play in a game this season. 

AA – Mississippi Braves 

vs. Chattanooga (CIN)

Despite a rather historic outing by Jared Shuster this past weekend and another series filled with hitting by Michael Harris II (extending his hitting streak to nine games), the M-Braves still managed just one win in last week’s series. Mississippi will look to bounce back with what should be another tough matchup, this time versus a talent-filled Chattanooga team. The Lookouts feature several Reds prospects, including hitters Matt McClain (SS), Mike Siani (OF) and Mark Kolozsvary (C), as well as pitchers Brandon Williamson and Vin Timpanelli. Entering Tuesday, McClain and Siani are the two leaders within Chattanooga’s offense, each sporting a 1.275 OPS and 1.144 OPS, respectively. 

It appears Braves prospect Freddy Tarnok will get the series opening start today. The 23-year-old righty is coming off a strong outing last time out, in which he allowed just one hit in 4 ⅔ innings, while striking out four and walking three. Tuesday’s start will be Tarnok’s 11th overall at the Double-A level. 

Harris will see how far this current hot streak will take him. Thanks to eight consecutive games with a hit (which is every game so far this season), the prospect outfielder comes into Tuesday slashing .378/.410/.541 with two triples, two doubles and seven RBI – good for a 163 wRC+. As you can see at my Braves Farm homepage, that wRC+ ranks fifth among all Braves minor leaguers in 2022.

Like Waters above for Gwinnett, prospect pitcher Victor Vodnik has yet to get in a game in 2022. Vodnik is currently listed as active on the Mississippi roster, although he did deal with a couple of injuries last year. I haven’t seen any news regarding the kid’s status, which is weird. If you recall, Vodnik was sharp this spring, pitching in one game and striking out five in two innings down in Florida. Hopefully everything’s fine, because this season was supposed to be a significant one for the 22-year-old prospect.

A+ – Rome Braves

@ Bowling Green (TBR)

Rome enters Week 3 having won four of six against Hudson Valley (including three-straight), and right now the offense is hot, led by Cody Milligan, Vaughn Grissom, Tyler Tolve and Landon Stephens. The problem so far, though has been its pitching, for Tanner Gordon can’t do it all by himself (though he certainly tried this past Saturday when he struck out 14 batters in six innings). It’ll be interesting to see how this R-Braves lineup handles the Hot Rods pitching this week, as at some point it’ll no doubt have to face the Rays sixth-ranked prospect, righty Seth Johnson.

I mentioned pitching being a bit of weakness so far for Rome (though it did improve a bit in Week 2). But it definitely needs to have its act together in this series against Bowling Green (who enters Tuesday 8-1 overall). This team is absolutely loaded with future big league talent, rostering a whopping six players that are currently listed within the top 35 of Tampa Bay’s 2022 prospect list at FanGraphs.

  • 1B Heriberto Hernandez (#8)
  • 2B Osleivis Basabe (#25)
  • SS Alika Williams (#27)
  • 2B Tanner Murray (#29)
  • 1B Kyle Manzardo (#30)
  • OF Diego Infante (#35)

This should be a good series to see just what the Braves have with 2021 draftee Andrew Hoffmann, who pitched well last week but was BABIP’d to death in an outing in which he allowed a pair of runs, despite striking out six.

Can Rome’s non-prospect (and former UDFA) Stephens keep this up? The 24-year-old is on some kind of tear this season, slashing a video game-like .346/.452/.846 with four home runs and 10 RBI in seven games so far, enabling him to lead all Braves minor leaguers in wRC+ (220). The kid slugged 21 homers last year in Single-A, but he also struck out 35% of the time, so who knows. Although… Stephens is also currently striking out in 35% of his PA… so who knows again.

A – Augusta GreenJackets

vs. Fayetteville (HOU)

The GreenJackets may be playing below-.500 ball (4-5 record), but I’ve really been impressed with this club so far. The offense has flourished with guys like Adam Zebrowski, Caleb Durbin, Cal Conley (who all three were drafted in 2021) and Brandol Mezquita, and the pitching has been mostly consistent thanks to starters Royber Salinas and Tyler Owens, as well as bullpen arms J.J. Niekro, Estarlin Rodriguez and Kris Anglin. All in all, this is a fun team, which is a bit of surprise given some of the talent it lost from last season due to promotions. Owens will take the bump for tonight’s series opener, and so far the 21-year-old has only made one start in 2022, tossing a one-hitter over five innings that featured five strikeouts and just one walk.

Shown by its 2-7 record so far this season, the Woodpeckers aren’t exactly filled with household names. FG hasn’t published its Astros prospect list for this year yet, but looking back at 2021’s, only Alex Santos II shows up as a ranked prospect on the Fayetteville roster, as he ranked 15th on the most-recent list. And so far in 2022, Santos has made one start and appeared once out of the bullpen, combining to allow six runs from six hits in five innings (10.80 ERA), albeit to go with eight strikeouts (14.4 K/9). There’s also a kid named Logan Cerny – he’s a 22-year-old outfielder with Fayetteville this season. Cerny likes to strikeout, but so far this season he’s hitting .273 with already three homers and a team-lead 10 RBI, good for a 148 wRC+. He’s a guy to watch for this week.

Be sure to check my blog Braves Farm daily, as I’ll be recapping each game of this week’s series for all four Braves affiliates.

43 thoughts on “Braves Make Moves and Week 3 Farm Preview”

  1. Per Toscano on Twitter:

    2B Albies
    1B Olson
    3B Riley
    DH Ozuna
    RF Rosario
    C d’Arnaud
    CF Duvall
    LF Arcia
    SS Swanson

    LHP Max Fried

    I wish they’d switch Olson and Albies, what do y’all think? I mean, one gets on base 56% of the time, and the other is hitting homers in 10% of his at-bats this season… makes sense to have the homery guy hit after the on-basey guy, right?

  2. May 6 is the tentative date that I have seen on the official site for Acuña’s return.

  3. @3–I know they are saying May 6, but if he can play the field and run the bases with no problems for a few games in AAA, I think we’ll see him in ATL much sooner than that.

  4. D’arnaud! If he turns back into the threat he was before last year, that will lengthen the lineup nicely.

    EDIT: awww dansbo, take one for the team there

    Dansby is in bad shape. That 2-2 pitch was middle middle at 91 mph and it was not a good cut.

  5. Matt Olson works a great walk on twelve pitches, involving at least three excellent breaking pitches fouled off.

  6. Bob Costas is a lightning rod and attracts the most negative commentary of anyone in his generation of announcers. I hereby confess that I have always liked him. And the contrast of listening to him rather than Chip with Francoeur cements my opinion of both of them.

  7. The people I really don’t understand are the people who claim to dislike Costas but like Vin Scully. It’s pretty much the same style.

  8. @12. Yeah, I hate to admit it, but he’s really really good. I will say, however, that I’ll never forgive him openly rooting for the Mets during the 1999 NLCS, especially his “Tied at 7! Hoping for Game 7!”

    ..and there goes the perfect game…

  9. That Bellinger at bat was reminiscent of Olson’s earlier, but the outcome was different.

  10. Max is badass tonight. Time to break it open right here…

    Costas is a real pro & has always been A-OK in my book, fwiw.

    I’m not one to go crazy about TV announcers one way or another, but I’ve always liked his sense of history.

  11. OK, get a victory this afternoon & we come home with a winning road trip.

    Missed the Musial anecdote, but… believe it or not, I was mostly listening to Braves radio tonight with the TV on mute. But I saw he was sharing the booth with Frenchy. An odd couple?

  12. I like Costas too, ububba.

    Might take the afternoon off and enjoy some Ben Ingram next to the swimming hole out back. A few too many of these 10PM games and I suffer withdrawal.

  13. Tbh, I’m one of ’em who liked Scully and not Costas, but I’m prepared to acknowledge that it’s not a fair position. Costas’s ability to broadcast any sport with knowledge makes him absolutely unique in the modern era: I admire his talent even while I’ve always found him sanctimonious and preachy.

  14. @25

    In comparison to what is normally thrown our way for a ‘big game’ I thought we were well served. You could have anticipated ‘depth’ problems for Jeff, maybe, but no, he was a perfect foil. Think of the difference in broadcasting hours – in continents consumed! But he stood up. Think, again,of the drivel we were subjected to throughout our post season heroics and weep. Good for them both but – shall we ever see their like again? Them again?

  15. Arcia at short?
    time needs be bought
    Dans, put at rest,
    a week we suggest?
    so many battles still to be fought.

  16. I think Kuhn’s ridiculously imperious posturing was even more odious than Manfred’s robotic greed, but somehow both of them managed to screw this up.

    Gambling nearly destroyed baseball. Gambling, and gamblers, legitimately did destroy boxing and horse racing. So I think that avoiding the appearance of impropriety is important, even though baseball generally did that through arguably excessive and capricious punishments. (Why ban all the Black Sox, and Rose, but not Cobb or Speaker? Why reverse the lifetime ban of Steinbrenner, but not Rose? Some additional history here.)

    But Manfred has just totally given up on that. Let’s have sports books in the stadiums, advertising on the field! Let’s target the fans with ads inviting them to download betting apps to their phone, with a promo code for free money to bet, so they can bet during the game! Let’s open them up for player endorsements!

    I’m not normally a prude, but it just disgusts me. I’m fine with people betting on baseball, but just keep it out of sight of the field. Let them go to an off-track betting site. For MLB to give official license to gamblers is just sleazy.

    The only upside is that at least Judge Landis is rolling over in his grave, as he deserves.

  17. Baseball isn’t first here; they’re way behind football — but I agree with you. There will be a massive scandal and it will be entirely their own fault, because it was eminently predictable.

    The one thing I haven’t decided yet is how much blame to put on fantasy sports as a gateway drug. Because it’s essentially impossible to fix fantasy sports, I can understand how the leagues thought of it as a way to take some gambling money without any real possibility of corrupting the sport itself. But you can trace a pretty direct line from that decision to the very unseemly position every league is in now.

  18. AAR, I’m not normally a prude, either, and I’m right there with you. I’m also not normally a “please, somebody, think of the children” couch fainter, but stop pushing this bs at my extremely competitive sports-obsessed teenager.

    And yes, MLB is just keeping pace with other sports. I noticed that the NBA has started airing a gambling addiction advisory at the end of games. It’s about 15 tiny-type lines long and on-screen for maaaaaybe one second – which is pretty indicative of just how much attention sports and sportsbooks want on the issue.

  19. Looks like Riley won’t be playing this afternoon, and for a very good reason!! Good for him :)

  20. Bad paternity timing!

    SO pleased to see the strong hate support here for Manfred’s door opening to gambling…corruption of the worst kind, to individuals who it will emmesh and to our beautiful game. Predict it will go when he does – if it is possible to do so then, long term contracts etc. He is an awful man, the owner’s whore.

  21. Looks like this was a good game for me not to even realize was a businessman’s special.

  22. Well, Dansby’s still got the defense apparently. That play was a) easily the best thing (perhaps the only good thing) that’s happened in this game; and b) probably the best thing he’s done all season so far.

  23. Man, this series ripped the band-aid off the wound. Olson is a badass, but it feels like when Freeman’s career is over, both sides are going to kick themselves that an extension never got done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.