clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Morales keeps hitting while Casey Kelly throws a gem

New, 38 comments

The farm system continues to generate more and more excitement as there were strong performances from pitchers as well as position players.

(2-7) Norfolk Tides 1 @ (8-2) Gwinnett Braves 4

Box Score

  • Rio Ruiz, DH: 0-4, 3 K, .314/.385/.457
  • Ronnier Mustelier, 3B: 2-3, 1 3B, 2 runs, 1 RBI, .300/.318/.400
  • Emilio Bonifacio, CF: 3-4, 1 RBI, 2 SB(5), .450/.478/.550
  • Casey Kelly, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 3.00 ERA

Gwinnett improved to a system-best 8-2 as they downed the Tides, 4-1. The story of the game was the outing from the newly acquired pitcher Casey Kelly. Kelly pitched his longest outing since having Tommy John surgery with 7 shutout innings. Acquired from the Padres in the offseason, if Kelly can regain some of the luster of his days as a top pitching prospect it would be yet another boon to the farm system. The bullpen came in and while Ian Krol did give up a solo homer, they were for the most part effective in sealing the win.

On offense, Gwinnett got contributions here and there to stitch together enough runs for the win. Emilio Bonifacio continued his hot hitting with a 3-hit game and is now hitting .450 to start the year. Ronnier Mustelier added two hits as well as an RBI to raise his average to .300. Rio Ruiz had a tough game with 3 strikeouts and seeing his 8-game hit streak snapped.

Next Game: 4/17 hosting Norfolk Tides at 2:05 EST.  Probable Starters: Gwinnett - John Gant, Norfolk - TBA

(2-8) Mississippi Braves 1 @ (5-4) Montgomery Biscuits 5

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 2-4, 1 run, .310/.370/.333
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-4, 1 RBI, .308/.364/.462
  • Willians Astudillo, DH: 0-4, refuses to ever strike out, .286/.333/.321
  • Brandon Barker, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1.64 ERA

Mississippi continued its poor start, record-wise, to the season as they fell again to the Biscuits, 5-1. Brandon Barker is the model of consistency as he put up his 3rd straight solid appearance to start the season. In 11 innings this year, he has given up 2 earned runs while striking out 10. However, one pitcher who has really struggled lately is Andrew Thurman and his struggles continued in his relief appearance. After 2 innings, he had given up 4 runs on 3 hits (including a home run) and 2 walks. Matt Marksberry pitched an inning of scoreless relief to round up the pitching  performances.

On offense, Ozzie Albies continues to just be a good baseball player. Despite having the honor of being considered the most aggressive promotion in the minors by multiple baseball pundits, Albies has responded by hitting safely in 8 of his first 10 games including 3 multi-hit games. He also made a web gem of a play to save a run to round out a very good day from the young shortstop. Dustin Peterson continued his resurgence with another RBI to give him 7 RBIs in the first 10 games of the season. Willians Astudillo now has gone 135 at-bats without striking out.

Next Game: 4/17 hosting Chattanooga @ 5:00 CST.  Probable Starters: Miss - Lucas Sims, Chattanooga - TBA

(4-6) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 6 @ (6-4) Carolina Mudcats 4

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 2-4, .350/.422/.500
  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 0-4, 2 K, .189/.279/.243
  • Keith Curcio, CF: 1-4, SB(2), .375/.422/.525
  • Ryan Clark, SP: 2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 12.38 ERA
  • Zach Quintana, RP: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 0 BB, 2.45 ERA

Ryan Clark had his second straight sub-par outing to start the year as the Mudcats fell to the Pelicans, 6-4. Clark has struggled a bit to start the year, although his first outing he did manage to help preserve the bullpen during a doubleheader as he went 6 innings. Today, he lasted only 2 as he gave up 6 hits and two walks leading to 6 earned runs for the young righty. On the plus side, Zach Quintana came in and locked the Pelicans down for 5.2 innings of relief. Its worth noting that Sean McLaughlin, with his 1.1 innings of relief, hasmade 3 scoreless appearances to start the season where he has struck out 6 in 4.2 innings.

On offense, Dansby Swanson continues to be excellent as he had his 5th multi-hit game of the year (out of 10 total played). Keith Curcio added a hit and a stolen base to continue his strong start to the season. As for Braxton Davidson, being among the youngest players in the league has proven to be quite a challenge for him. He was again held hitless while striking out twice.

Next Game: 4/17 hosting Myrtle Beach @ 2:00 PM EST. Probable Starters: Myrtle Beach - Jake Stinnett, Carolina - Enderson Franco

(4-6) Rome Braves 9 @ (2-8) Asheville Tourists 8

  • Ronald Acuna, CF: 1-5, 1 run, .308/.357/.333
  • Jonathan Morales, DH: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, .421/.421/.500
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-5, .268/.302/.488
  • Bradley Keller, RF: 3-4, 2 runs, HR(1), 3 RBI
  • Caleb Beech, SP: 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3.00 ERA

Rome a couple big offensive innings and contributions throughout the lineup to holdoff Asheville, 9-8. Caleb Beech wasn't at his sharpest today as, while induced the usual tons of ground balls, they were hit harder than usual today and his defense didn't help matters with a couple of errors. Trevor Belicek had a tough day as he allowed 5 earned innings in 3 innings of relief, while Grayson Jones stepped in an secured the save in the bottom of the ninth.

On offense, there are lots of good things happening. Austin Riley has now hit safely in 9 of the first 10 games of the season and while he has too many strikeouts right now, many of those strikeouts have been concentrated in a few games but its certainly worth monitoring going forward. Jonathan Morales, on the other hand, is doing little else other than getting hits right now as he added two more hits to bring his average DOWN to .421 for the season. Morales and Lucas Herbert have been sharing time behind the plate with each other for the most part with the other generally DHing. It does appear that while Herbert may have a higher ceiling and has been getting a bit unlucky, Morales is the more advanced prospect at this point in time.

Next Game: 4/17 at Asheville @ 2:05 PM EST.  Probable Starters: Rome - Touki Toussaint, Asheville - David Hill