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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Lucas Sims struggles against Toledo

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Tough night for many of the Braves' top prospects.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Toledo Mud Hens 12 @ Gwinnett Braves 5

Box Score

  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-4, 1 run, .337/.411/.495
  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 0-5, .059/.059/.059
  • Lucas Sims, SP: 4 IP, 8 H, 8 runs (6 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 5.06 ERA
  • Matt Marksberry, RP: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

This one was ugly all around. It started off well for Lucas as he struck out two, including a rehabbing Cameron Maybin, in the first inning but after that the young pitcher struggled. Lucas wasn't particularly bad throwing strikes as he threw 57 of them on 84 pitches, it was that he struggled with his location and seemed to get frazzled. Following a Moya double (who had a monster game), Sims surrendered a towering homer to Chad Huffman, and then a hard single to Nate Schierholtz. The next inning the three of them did more damage as this time Sims gave up a two run homerun to Moya, and a homerun to Schierholtz. It wasn't pretty, and Lucas got shelled because of it. He's now allowed 4 (3 tonight) homers in 3 games in Gwinnett and reminded us that he is just 21 years old and will have a game like this every now and then as he develops. That said it was just his first bad outing of the season (defense really let him down on 4/12) and it looks like an aberration as his fly ball totals were not at his normal levels (twice as many as any other start), and he struggled to get the ball down resulting in half as many ground balls as he normally gets.

The offense never really had a chance as they didn't get things started until down 8-0. Ozzie struggled going 0-for-5 with an uncharacteristic pair of strikeouts and has now struck out 5 times in his last 3 games. Am I worried about him? No. Next question.

The biggest offensive threat Gwinnett had last night was Ronnier Mustelier (incredibly fun name to say) who picked up the lone XBH, and a walk. Described as pretty much a copy of Adonis Garcia, Ronnier has struggled in Gwinnett posting the lowest OPS of his career. Sean Kazmar had the other multi-hit game also picking up a pair of RBI. It feels weird to type such a boring offensive recap when the offense scores 5 runs but like Atlanta it was built on a series of singles and soft contact.

Next Game: 5/4 hosting Toledo @ 10:35 AM

Probable Starters: Toledo - Matt Boyd, Gwinnett - Casey Kelly

Carolina Mudcats 3 @ Salem Red Sox 15

Box Score

  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 1 run, .301/.366/.434
  • Jordan Edgerton, 3B: 1-3, 2B, RBI, .192/.222/.333
  • Max Povse, SP: 3.2 IP, 5H, 5ER, 4BB, 3SO, 2.97 ERA

The pitching staff surrendered 15 runs on 14 hits and never had a shot against an absolutely loaded Salem Red Sox team. Max has pitched 5 times. 3 of those 5 times are against Salem. After stifling them twice, the Red Sox had plenty of game experience and really beat up on Max last night. The hardest hit ball Max surrendered was a 1 out triple to Devers, but the singles turned in to double as he surrendered 3 more stolen bases. The Red Sox have a stacked lineup but the one thing Povse seems to struggle with the most this year are the stolen bases. If you need to read something good from this recap its that I learned at 6'8" Max hits the radar gun around 97mph. That's terrifying.

The duo of Zack Bird, Raymar Navarro (returning from suspension), following Povse struggled yielding 8 runs, walking 3, and giving up 8 hits. The lone pitcher to not yield an earned run was first baseman Ryan Gebhardt.

The offense got off to a hot start with Jordan Edgerton doubling in Reed Harper, but stalled for the main part after that collecting one more XBH in the form of a long HR by Joey Meneses. After struggling like none other last year, .239/.298/.327, Joey is returning to the form that made him the Braves best firstbase prospect. After collecting 3 straight .850+ OPS seasons everything seemingly fell apart for Joey in 2015 so it is very encouraging to see him put last year behind him and continue to develop. Firstbase prospect depth is well, really shallow, so nice to see him succeed.

Carolina Mudcats 6 @ Salem Red Sox 7

Box Score

  • Reed Harper, 2B: 3-3, 2B, 1 RBI, 2 runs, .260/.302/.300
  • Keith Curcio, RF: 1-3, 2B, 1 run, .300/.359/.433

This was a tough one to lose as the defense really let down Wes Parsons by committing 3 errors while he was on the mound. An example of this was in the third inning when Moncada walked and SCORED on a BUNT by Mauricio Dubon. The next batter, Andrew Benintendi, then reached on fielding error by Joseph Daris which allowed Dubon to go to third and score on a sacrifice fly by Danny Mars. The defensive miscues didn't stop there as Carlos Salazar gave up 2 unearned runs, and Sean McLaughlin gave up another unearned run.

Reed Harper had himself a perfect game going 3-for-3 with a double, and did not commit an error! It wasn't particularly pretty as the Mudcats also capitalized on 3 errors as well - scoring 3 unearned runs. Braxton Davidson continues to struggle this year now OPSing .521, and striking out 34 times in 87 at-bats. In what is a big year in his development (still just 19 years old) he seems well overmatched and we may see a demotion coming. At times he seems too patient and doesn't swing at pitches unless it is right where he wants it. I've watched a few of his at-bats end strikeouts because he didn't want to swing at it. Again, important to note he's still just 19 and maybe some time down in Rome will help him.

Next Game: 5/4 @ Salem, 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Ryan Clark - Carolina, Dedgar Jimenez  - Salem