Last week, we named Mike Soroka our player of the week during a week that we had several deserving candidates and this week is more of the same. Dansby Swanson (11 hits), Rio Ruiz (14 hits, 2 HRs), Lucas Sims (promotion, 10 Ks in his one start....more on that in a bit), Brandon Barker (2 starts, 1 ER, 9 Ks), Ozzie Albies (11 hits, 6 walks), Jonathan Morales (12 hits, grand slam), and Chris Ellis (2 strong starts, 3 ER total) all had very reasonable cases to the title this week. In the end for us, it came down to Rio Ruiz (who no one here would fault for picking) and our winner this week, Aaron Blair.
In some ways, this is a nod to a player that was not only dominant in his last two starts, but an acknowledgement of the fact that he may not be eligible for this award much longer. In his last two starts, he has thrown 13 innings, given up just 4 walks and 5 hits, while striking out 16 batters. His last outing was his best as he threw 7 no-hit innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts. In short, he was among the best performers among pitchers in all of minor league baseball so we feel pretty good about naming him our Minor League Player of the Week.
As I eluded to before, its becoming very clear that either Aaron Blair or Mike Foltynewicz are going to be called up to start for the Braves tomorrow. Lucas Sims, who has been excellent this year in his own right, was promoted yesterday to Gwinnett and will start tonight in AAA. Folty was scheduled to make that start and while that would seem to lend an edge to him, its still very possible that Folty's start would just get pushed to tomorrow and Blair would make his Atlanta debut.It doesn't help Folty's case that he still seems to be struggling with his control a bit, but his presence on the 40-man roster could be a deciding factor. There is also this:
Triple-A #Braves postgame notes tonight have Folty starting Sat. as scheduled, likely signals Blair starting for ATL Sunday as expected— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) April 23, 2016
Obviously the post game notes are not hard and fast decisions, but this is certainly encouraging for those who are iinterested to see what Blair can do in the majors. In any case, Blair's time in Gwinnett does not seem like it will be very long even if he isn't called up this weekend. He has been outstanding in Gwinnett, so congratulations Aaron!