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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 5/11: Rough Day on the Farm

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Friday saw three rough games and Joey Wentz continued his recent troubles with his command.

Atlanta Braves Photo Day
Austin Riley
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Friday was not a good day. There were three ugly losses- though two of them actually weren’t ugly until after the seventh innings when the bullpens struggled and made what were mostly close games look horrible in the final scores. Then there was the Florida loss to Tampa where Joey Wentz couldn’t throw a strike. The only positive was a good game by almost every prospect of note in the lineup for Rome. Hopefully things get better on Saturday with Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson among the scheduled starters.

Norfolk Tides 10, Gwinnett Stripers 3

Boxscore

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, .300/.364/.350
  • Max Fried, SP: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.60 ERA
  • Luke Jackson, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 3.16 ERA

Max Fried started and was a bit uneven, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks over four innings- though he did pick up five strikeouts. He was followed by Luke Jackson, who not only pitched two perfect innings, but struck out five of the six batters he faced. Rex Brothers followed in the seventh inning of a 3-2 game, and he gave up four runs while only recording a pair of outs to put the game out of reach. After Josh Ravin stopped the bleeding with four outs, David Peterson allowed three more runs to really make this one look worse than it was for most of the game.

The bats were mostly quiet, but in addition to Austin Riley going one for four with a single, there were a few extra base hits. Phil Gosselin hit a long two run homer, while Danny Santana and Rio Ruiz hit doubles. Ruiz’s double was already his 10th of the young season.

Next Game: Saturday 5/12 hosting Norfolk @ 6:05 PM. Probable Starters: Gwinnett-Matt Wisler, Norfolk-Asher Wojciechowski

Mobile BayBears 14, Mississippi Braves 3

Boxscore

  • Alay Lago, 2B: 2-4, 2B, .288/.312/.381
  • Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-4, RBI, SB, .221/.325/.375
  • Tyler Neslony, RF: 1-4, 2B, RBI, .271/.315/.322

There isn’t much to talk about here in an ugly loss. Alay Lago had the only multi-hit game as he singled and doubled. Tyler Neslony added a double, and Luis Valenzuela a triple, while Travis Demeritte singled and stole a base. A Michael Reed single was the only other hit here, as Jesus Castillo and the Mobile pen pitched very well.

The pitching was brutal, minus Elian Leyva who pitched two and two thirds scoreless innings with six strikeouts. Starter Enderson Franco allowed six runs- four earned, over four and a third, though he had only given up three runs through the first four innings. The doors were really blown open in the eighth and ninth, as Josh Graham gave up five runs in a third of an inning, and Devan Watts gave up three more runs over his inning and two thirds that followed Graham.

Next Game: Saturday 5/12 visiting Jackson @ 7:05 PM. Probable Starters: Mississippi-Kyle Wright, Jackson-Sam Lewis

Tampa Tarpons 7, Florida Fire Frogs 1

Boxscore

  • Lucas Herbert: 2-4, .195/.276/.333
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 6 BB, 1 K, 3.77 ERA
  • Troy Bacon, RP: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1.26 ERA

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Joey Wentz, who now has 17 walks over his last 14.2 innings of work. Wentz started out great and walked two batters over his first 14 innings of the year, but he has really struggled with his command since then and this is the second time in those four starts where he has failed to pitch three innings. You have to hope that he’s healthy and that he’s able to snap out of this troublesome stretch in his next outing. Troy Bacon followed Wentz and picked up four strikeouts in his two and a third. Bacon walked three, but he had only walked two batters in his previous 12 innings, so that’s a good sign that his command is moving forward this year. Connor Johnstone added three scoreless innings with four strikeouts of his own, and Justin Kelly pitched the final inning.

At the plate there isn’t much to talk about as Nick Nelson and the Tampa bullpen limited the Fire Frogs to just six hits. Lucas Herbert went two of four, which keeps his hot streak going as he is now six for 12 with a pair of homers in his last three games. After a slow start to the season hopefully Herbert can gain some momentum from this stretch. Taylor Murphy went two for three with a double. Alejandro Salazar and Marcus Mooney added singles.

Next Game: Saturday 5/12 visiting Tampa @ 6:30 PM. Probable Starters: Florida-Ian Anderson, Tampa-Albert Abreu

Rome Braves 6, Augusta GreenJackets 2

Boxscore

  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 3-4, HBP, .254/.301/.351
  • Isranel Wilson, RF: 2-4, RBI, 2 2B, Assist, .184/.283/.316
  • Bruce Zimmermann, SP: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 10 K, 2.82 ERA

This was the lone win on the night, but there were plenty of good things to come from it, including 16 strikeouts from Rome pitching. Last year’s fifth round pick Bruce Zimmermann started and had yet another good game, striking out 10 while allowing just two runs over five and two thirds. This moves his ERA to 2.82, and bumps his WHIP up to 1.02, while he’s also got a K/9 of a strong 11.3. Zimmermann was followed by Walter Borkovich and Brandon White, each pitching more than one inning(Borkovich one and a third, White two) and neither allowing a run. With this game, both Borkovich(1.62) and White(1.59) have an ERA under two.

At the plate it was tough to pick out just two standouts. Jefrey Ramos was an obvious choice because he had three hits in four at bats, along with a hit by pitch to reach base four times on the night. After that it got tougher as three prospects had two hit nights: Jean Carlos Encarnacion and William Contreras each went two for five, with JCE picking up an RBI- but I picked Isranel Wilson above because he went two of four, and both of his hits were doubles, along with him picking up an outfield assist when he threw out Heliot Ramos at first. Drew Waters, Kurt Hoekstra, and Riley Delgado also added doubles in the win.

Next Game: Saturday 5/12 visiting Hickory @ 6:00 PM. Probable Starters: Rome-Odalvi Javier, Hickory-TBD