Well, this is unexpected.
Two hours after a 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins, Tom Hart broke the news that Atlanta would be recalling their top relief prospect, Shae Simmons, from AA Mississippi.
Braves will call up AA RHP Shae Simmons to join the team tomorrow in Miami. No word yet on who's place he's taking.— Tom Hart (@tom_hart) May 31, 2014
Congrats to the roommate on the call up.. Goodluck in the show! @shae_simmons— Jason Hursh (@Jason_Hursh) May 31, 2014
This is surprising, as no one reliever has really been awful, though several have underwhelmed. This actually reminds me a lot of Luis Avilan's call up. Avilan was recalled mid-season straight from AA as well, and seemingly out of the blue. That said, Simmons is much more of a prospect that Avilan ever was. His turn was going to come sooner or later, though many (myself included) believed he'd get some work in AAA Gwinnett first.
A promotion was definitely in his future though, as Simmons had been absolutely shredding the competition in AA Mississippi.
Simmons has a 0.78 ERA and a 30:6 K:BB ratio with Mississippi this year in 23 innings of work. This is pretty surprising, but I'm pumped.— Ian (@IanMM_) May 31, 2014
Simmons is a diminutive fellow who throws gas, leading to some Craig Kimbrel comparisons, though we shouldn't expect him to be that good.
Shae Simmons: Mid-90s, can run hard with proper plane, has touched 100 in past. Slider has tilt when spun well, can get underneath.— David Lee (@David11Lee) May 31, 2014
Simmons is a fastball (95-97 w/ sink) and slider (mid 80's, two-plane late bite) guy who'll mix in an occasional changeup. K's and GBs.— Ian (@IanMM_) May 31, 2014
Shae Simmons' slider is a 70 when on. Crazy break.— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) May 31, 2014
Simmons doesn't have typical power reliever's body. Undersized, delivery has effort. But the stuff jumps, has great FB/SL punch.— David Lee (@David11Lee) May 31, 2014
There's no word yet on a corresponding roster move. The leading candidates are Ian Thomas and Alex Wood. Thomas because he's the weakest of three lefties in the pen, and Wood because the organization wants him to get stretched back out to start. We'll update you as soon as we know more.
UPDATE 12:31 PM: The Braves twitter account announced that Ian Thomas will be optioned to AAA Gwinnett.
As for now, get excited. Shae Simmons is here, and he is legit.
The real question: Which Simmons on the Braves roster has the better arm?— Josh (@_jmc21) May 31, 2014