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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Matt Lipka goes off while Ozzie collects his first AAA hit

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Lots of interesting stuff going on in the minors as Ozzie and Dansbae continue to adjust to their new surroundings while Matt Lipka went off down in Mississippi.

Toledo Mud Hens 6 @ Gwinnett Braves 2

Box Score

  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-4, 1 run, .341/.417/.505
  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 1-4, .333/.402/.458
  • Kanekoa Texeira, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 runs (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1.20 ERA
  • John Gant, RP: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3.57 ERA

The Gwinnett bullpen, in particular Ian Krol, had a rough night as Gwinnett fell to Toledo 6-2. Kanekoa Texeira had a good start for Gwinnett with 5 effective innings while giving up just 2 runs (only one earned). While he is very much in the "minor depth" part of the spectrum given his age and prospect status at this point, Texeira always seems to put up quality innings when he is one the mound. However, after 3 earned runs from Ian Krol, the game quickly got out of reach for Gwinnett as the offense could not muster the runs to keep up.

On offense, Ozzie Albie collected his first hit at AAA as he continues to adjust to the new level and his new team, but reports seem to suggest that he doesn't look overmatched despite the aggressive promotion. One player who is clearly not overmatched at AAA is Rio Ruiz who added two more hits to his impressive start to the season. If any player were to be a frontrunner for Most Improved Player in the system, Rio would be it. Much of Gwinnett's lineup was scavenged by the Braves earlier in the day so its not surprising that Gwinnett struggled a little bit on offense as the squad failed to record a single extra-base hit in the game.

Next Game: 5/3 hosting Toledo @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Toledo - Warwick Saupold, Gwinnett - Lucas Sims

Mississippi Braves 8 @ Jacksonville Suns 2

Box Score

  • Matt Lipka, 4-5, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3 runs, .229/.309/.398
  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 1-5, 2 RBI, .333/.434/.544
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 run, .229/.316/.243
  • Brandon Barker, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1.29 ERA

Matt Lipka took matters in to his own hands and, combined with yet another good outing from Brandon Barker, Mississippi routed Jacksonville 8-2. Brandon Barker is probable the most underrated pitcher in the entire system as the 2 runs he gave up in this game (on a two run homer no less) were the first runs he had given up in about 16 innings over three starts. His changeup has improved dramatically over last season which has given his somewhat limited arsenal more play against advanced hitters. The Mercer product was backed from a strong outing from the bullpen as Jason Hursh, Danny Burawa, and Brad Roney posted 4 innings of nearly perfect relief.

On offense, Matt Lipka had himself a night. 4 hits including his first homer of the season and 2 doubles out of the leadoff spot both set the table for the rest of the lineup as well as drove in a few runs as well. As for Dansby Swanson, even when the guy is making outs he is getting work done. After an RBI single in the first, he also had an RBI groundout. He is going to be just fine I think. Carlos Franco had himself a good night with three hits to hopefully shake off a rough start to the season for him. As for Dian Toscano, he does in fact exist and had a hit in this game but currently sits with a .196 average to start the season.

Next Game: 5/4 at Tennessee @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Mississippi - Andrew Thurman, Tennessee - Rob Zastryzny

Carolina Mudcats - Postponed due to water falling from the sky

Next Games: Double header at Salem on 5/3 starting @ 5:05 PM

Probable Starters: Max Povse and Ryan Clark - Carolina, Jalen Beeks and Dedgar Jimenez  - Salem

Rome Braves 5 @ Hagerstown Suns 4

Box Score

Rome Braves 1 @ Hagerstown Suns 4

Box Score

  • Ronald Acuna, CF: 1-5, 2 BB, 2 runs, .289/.373/.378
  • Austin Riey, 3B: 1-5, 2 BB, 2 runs, .242/.283/.407
  • Jonathan Morales, C: 2-7, 1 2B, 2 RBIs, .294/.311/.435
  • Max Fried, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.52 ERA
  • Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 runs (3 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 3.38 ERA

Rome had a double-header today to make up for yet another rain postponed game and split it with Hagerstown 5-4, 1-4. In the first game, Max Fried had himself another good night as he comes back from Tommy John with 5 strong innings where he struck out 6 and gave up just 2 runs. Its easy to forget that he is still rounding back in to form after missing a lot of time and should improve even more as he gets used to being back on the mound every fifth day. In the second game, Ricardo Sanchez had to pitch around baserunners for a large portion of his start but manage to limit the damage to 4 runs (3 earned) as he continues to try and improve on last year's disappointing season where he struggled with control and to stay healthy. Hat tip to Trevor Belicek and Bladimir Matos who were both stellar in relief while Taylor Lewis struggled again in his inning of relief.

On offense, there weren't really many stand out performances. Jonathan Morales had 2 hits and 2 RBIs in the first game but was quiet in the second while Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley both reached base three times during the course of the double-header. Riley in particular has struggled to make contact at times this season, but appears to be making some adjustments to limit them. Whether those adjustment bear fruit remain to be seen.

Next Game: 5/4 hosting Hickory @ 7:00 PM

Probable Starters: TBA