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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Povse and Newcomb dominate

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The pitching was, on the whole, excellent for Braves' affiliates last night while offense was hard to come by

Garrett Spain

Gwinnett Braves 0, Syracuse Chiefs 1

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 1-4, SB, .230/.267/.370
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 0-3, .255/.339/.357
  • Ryan Weber, SP: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2.81 ERA

The offense fell mostly silent and despite an excellent pitching performance from the staff, Gwinnett fell to Syracuse 1-0. Ryan Weber got the start in this game and was mostly effective through 3.2 innings before giving way to the bullpen. Joel De La Cruz and Jose Ramiirez were excellent in relief, but unfortunately sandwiched between the two of them was a rough outing for Matt Marksberry where he gave up a hit and 3 walks in 0.1 innings. The damage was limited to one run, but thats all it would take.

Syracuse starter deserves some credit here as he was excellent in this game as he threw 7 strong innings with 6 strikeouts and giving up just 3 hits. The offense only managed four singles all day against Syracuse, one of which belonged to Ozzie Albies who also stole his 3rd base at AAA. He has had mixed results of late, but once his BABIP regresses back to career norms (his AAA BABIP of .270 is 88 points below his LOWEST season in his young career) he should be fine. One player that does not look fine is Rio Ruiz. After starting the season off great, he has dropped off in a hurry. He has just 5 hits in his past 10 games while striking out 13 times and just 6 walks during that span. With a career high BABIP as well, the peripherals do not suggest that we will see much improvement from Rio...hopefully he can get it together.

Next Game: 5/28 hosting Syracuse @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Gwinnett - Manny Banuelos, Syracuse - Aaron Laffey

Mississippi Braves 3, Jacksonville Suns 1

Box Score

  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 runs, .225/.331/.289
  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 0-4, .286/.370/.448
  • Levi Hyams, 1B: 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI, run, .203/.250/.453
  • Sean Newcomb, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.71 ERA

Mississippi used a strong outing from Sean Newcomb and just enough offense to defeat Jacksonville 3-1. Newcomb was excellent over 5 innings although it would have been nice to see him go deeper in to the game. The nicest development is that he gave up just the one walk which is his first such outing since the beginning of May. Outings like these are a good reminder that Newcomb is still learning and developing, but has fantastic potential if he can harness his top flight stuff. Danny Burawa and Steve Janas combined for 4 innings of scoreless relief, with Janas locking down the save.

On offense, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Dansby Swanson's hit streak came to an end on this day as he went 0-4. The bulk of Mississippi's offense came from the middle of the order, in particular Levi Hyams who had two extra base hits including his 4th homer of the year. Matt Kennelly and Dian Toscano also had RBIs in the game as Mississippi scratched together just enough runs to secure the win.

Next Game: 5/28 hosting Jacksonville @ 6:00 PM CST

Probable Starters: Mississippi - Rob Whalen, Jacksonville - Jarlin Garcia

Carolina Mudcats 3, Frederick Keys 1

Box Score

  • Ryan Gebhardt, 2B: 2-4, 1 run, .277/.347/.327
  • Jordan Edgerton, 3B: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, .198/.245/.314
  • Max Povse, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 2.58 ERA

Max Povse racked up the strikeouts as Carolina took down Frederick 3-1. Povse was on it tonight as he struck out 10 batters in five innings before leaving the game on 88 pitches. He gave up a surprising number of baserunners given how good his stuff was, but all of the hits were singles and three of them were of the infield hit variety. At some point very soon, we could see Povse make the jump to Mississippi. His 2.58 ERA is among the best in the system and he is sorta repeating the level from last year (before injuries shortened his 2015 season that is). If you are looking for the candidate to move up if Chris Ellis (or anyone else for that matter) gets promoted from the Mississippi rotation, this is your guy. Chase Johnson-Mullins continues to impress as Carolina's closer as he threw 2 innings of scoreless relief.

On offense, Jordan Edgerton was the main force in this game with a pair of doubles and 2 RBIs. Ryan Gebhardt set the table at the top of the order with a pair of hits and Braxton Davidson added a sac fly to drive in the only other run for Carolina. Sadly, Joey Meneses couldn't get in on the fun on this day as he went 0-3 to snap his most recent hit streak (5 games). One last note on Braxton: he has certainly improved at the plate of late, although he is hardly tearing the cover off the ball. However, the average is trending upward and he is starting to walk more again which are certainly good signs.

Next Game: 5/28 hosting Frederick @ 5:00 PM

Probable Starters: Carolina - Ryan Clark, Frederick - Franderlin Romero

Rome Braves 1, Greenville Drive 3

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-3, BB, .229/.280/.367
  • Jonathan Morales, C: 0-4, .298/.333/.404
  • Mike Soroka, SP: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2.62 ERA

Rome's offense struggled mightily as Rome fell to Greenville 3-1. Mike Soroka did not have his best stuff, but was still very effective for most of the game. A two-run top of the 5th inning where Greenville did a good job of playing small ball and hitting some good pitches marred Soroka's line a bit, but generally speaking when a guy goes almost 6 innings and gives up 3 runs and thats considered a low end performance for him, he is generally doing okay. Soroka continues to be one of the biggest success stories of the early parts of the season, showing the ability to make adjustments on the mound, miss bats, pitch within the strike zone, and do all of that despite the fact that he is just 18 years old. Dalton Geekie and Josh Graham combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless relief with 6 Ks (5 Ks for Graham over 2 innings).

On offense, well there is no real good news and Rome managed just two hits the entire game. Alejandro Salazar had the lone RBI for Rome, driving in Carlos Castro who had Rome's other hit in the game....a double. After a short stretch where it appeared that he was turning a corner, Austin Riley is in a bit of a slump again as he is now hitless in his last 3 games and is back to striking out a ton again. He still has plenty of time to figure things out, get his pitch recognition down and timing right, but its clear that he will require time and isn't on the fast track to the majors at this point.

Next Game: 5/28 hosting Greenville @ 6:00 PM

Probable Starters: Rome - Patrick Weigel, Greenville - Roniel Raudes