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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Mississippi goes to extras and starters continue to excel

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All of the starting pitchers were excellent on this fine evening while Mississippi needed extra-innings and a strong effort from their bullpen to pull out a win.

Chris Ellis Garrett Spain

Gwinnett Braves - Cancelled

Rain stinks

Next Game: 6/2 at Durham @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Gwinnett - Casey Kelly, Durham - Austin Pruitt

Mississippi Braves 6, Biloxi Shuckers 2 - F/14

Box Score

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 1-5, BB, run, .273/.362/.438
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 3-7, 2B, 2 RBI, run, .244/.339/.308
  • Chris Ellis, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.00 ERA

Chris Ellis and the bullpen came up big for Mississippi as the Braves broke through in the 14th inning and won 6-2. All Chris Ellis has done this season is be consistently excellent (sans a hiccup two starts ago). After being considered by some to be a throw-in somewhat in the Andrelton Simmons trade, Ellis has shown himself to be a very capable and real prospect in the first couple of months of the season with a 3.00 ERA and seemingly giving 6 quality innings every time he is on the mound. Its easy to nitpick a guy (his 26 walks in 66 innings could certainly be better), but the Braves have to be pleased with the work Ellis has put in this season. The bullpen stable of Jason Hursh, Madison Younginer, Brandon Cunniff, and Steve Janas were dialed in and pitched 8 innings of scoreless relief while striking out 6 batters. Janas in particular has really impressed out of the bullpen this season while giving up 7 earned runs in 33.1 innings of work.

On offense, there were a lot of hits and production (19 hits on the evening) so I certainly recommend you check out the box score for the full rundown. Mississippi broke through with a bunt single, a Dansby HBP, and Dustin Peterson single to load the bases and then consecutive doubles from Carlos Franco and Willians Astudillo score 4 runs and thats all she wrote. Dansby reached base a total of 3 times (BB, HBP, FC, single) while Johan Camargo hit his 3rd home run of the season which is surprising given that he had 4 homers in his entire professional career before this season started. Overall, Mississippi had 7 multi-hit games from its lineup and the only reason the game lasted as long as it did was due to the team leaving 15 men on base during the course of the game.

Next Game: 6/2 at Biloxi @ 7:10 PM CST

Probable Starters: Mississippi - Sean Newcomb, Biloxi - Javier Salas

Carolina Mudcats 3, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Box Score

  • Jordan Edgerton, 3B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, run, .194/.238/.306
  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 1-4, 2B, RBI, run, .217/.301/.317
  • Matt Withrow, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 3.67 ERA

Matt Withrow threw his best start of the season as Carolina won 3-0. Withrow was excellent in this game, showing life in the zone and a heavy fastball that the Dash couldn't seem to figure out. Matt is still getting stretched out more and more as a starter and while it would be nice to see him get to 6 innings a little more often, he threw just 87 pitches so there aren't any real concerns with his efficiency to make it as a starter. David Peterson, Carlos Salazar, and Evan Phillips combined for 4 scoreless innings of relief to secure the win. Salazar in particular is a very interesting bullpen prospect as while he walks too many guys now, he has a very live arm that the Braves drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft and if he can harness his stuff he could be an intriguing bullpen option for the Braves down the road.

On offense, Carolina managed just 6 hits but made the most of their opportunities Jordan Edgerton had the only multi-hit game for Carolina in the game and had an RBI and run scored to go along with it. Braxton Davidson had a double and a RBI, but also struck out twice and now has 9 Ks in his past 5 games. Some promising players from last year's Rome squad have struggled mightily after being promoted to Carolina. Joseph Daris had an All-Star appearance last season but sports a .188/.262/.242 in high-A while Tanner Murphy (a fringe top 25 prospect for some) has been even worse with a .124/.181/.155 line in 2016.

Next Game: 6/2 at Winston-Salem @ 7:00 PM

Probable Starters: Carolina - Max Povse, Winston-Salem - Matt Cooper

Rome Braves 3, Columbia Fireflies 9

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, 1 run, .246/.291/.369
  • Carlos Castro, 1B: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, .219/.219/.438
  • Alejandro Salazar, SS: 3-4, 2B, .282/.305/.308
  • Mike Soroka, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.66 ERA

Mike Soroka was excellent yet again, but the bullpen was very....well, not good as Rome fell to Columbia 9-3. Its really shocking to think that in his 11 starts this season, Soroka's worst one was a 4 inning, 4 earned run against Hickory and he is doing this as an 18 year old while sporting a 56/13 K/BB ratio in 61 innings this season. The most impressive attribute he has is his ability to make adjustments in game based on whats working and whats not. He may not always have all of his secondary pitches working, but he knows how to get outs with all of his pitches which will serve him well going forward. Unfortunately, Dalton Geekie and newcomer Adam McCreery combined for 3 innings while allowing 7 runs (5 earned) and instead of a close game that could go either way....Rome was blown out.

On offense, there were certainly some heartening signs. Austin Riley has now hit safely in 5 straight games and has not struck out more than once in 6 straight. Carlos Castro homered in his second straight game and Alejandro Salazar had himself a night with 3 hits. Luke Dykstra has now also hit in 5 straight games and now has 47 singles on the season as he ranks among the league leaders in AVG and hits. No word yet on when Ronald Acuna can be expected back in the lineup after he was placed on the DL on May 12th. However, given the cast on his hand/wrist its likely we won't see him play at all in the month of June.

Next Game: 6/2 at Lexington @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Rome - Patrick Weigel, Lexington - Scott Blewett