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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/14: Patrick Weigel Returns

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Patrick Weigel made his return from a 14 month Tommy John layoff and Ian Anderson made his Double-A debut

(Mills Fitzner/Rome Braves)

(57-61) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (52-66) Louisville Bats 4

Box Score

Austin Riley, 3B: 0-4, .279/.350/.409

Danny Santana, CF: 3-4, HR, RBI, 3 SB, .265/.289/.502

Wes Parsons, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3.20 ERA

A big day from Danny Santana and a key pinch hit home run drove the Stripers to a 5-4 win. Louisville took an early lead with two runs in the 1st inning, but Gwinnett had a response in the bottom of the inning with Danny Santana’s solo home run. The Stripers stayed trailing, seeing the lead stretch back to two runs but finally came through in the 5th inning. Xavier Avery pinch hit and knocked a 2 run home run to tie the game at 3. The Bats immediately came back to retake the lead in the top of the 6th, but the Braves were able to get late runs as an answer. Lane Adams led off the 7th inning with an infield single and an Alex Jackson double pushed the runner to third base with one out to give Gwinnett a serious scoring opportunity. Sean Kazmar lifted a sacrifice fly, tying the game back up at 4-4. Danny Santana was once again at the center of things in the bottom of the 8th, when he singled to lead off the inning. Santana then stole second and third base before scoring on Dustin Peterson’s 2 out double. This gave Gwinnett their first lead of the game and the win.

Wes Parsons struggled early in the game and allowed hits to three of the first four batters, scoring two runs and putting Gwinnett in an early hole. After the four hits in the first inning Parsons only allowed 2 more and kept the Stripers in the game. Parsons retired a streak of 8 straight batters until allowing a home run in the fourth inning for his third run allowed in the game. Parsons allowed his second triple of the game to follow that but worked out of the inning without another run scoring. Parsons worked a scoreless 5th inning with a strikeout before departing. Corbin Clouse struggled in his first inning of work, allowing a lead off double and then a run scoring single to make it 4-3. Clouse struck out two batters in the inning, then in the 7th struck out another in a perfect frame. Sam Freeman worked a scoreless 8th inning, tip toeing around a hit and a walk to keep the game tied. Jacob Webb then got his 8th save in Gwinnett with a scoreless ninth, striking out two and allowing only a single.

Next Game: 8/15 vs (52-66) Louisville Bats @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Bryse Wilson (2-0, 7.50 ERA)

LOU: Lucas Sims (4-3, 2.68 ERA)

(55-64) Mississippi Braves 3, (56-62) Chattanooga Lookouts 1

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .333/.348/.422

Travis Demeritte, DH: 1-4, RBI, .216/.315/.408

Ian Anderson, SP:4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2.25 ERA

Ian Anderson struggled in his debut with Mississippi, but still held the Lookouts offense to just one run and helped the Braves to a 3-1 win. Cristian Pache led off the bottom of the first inning by blasting a ball off of the wall in the left field for a double, which caromed away from the left fielder and allowed Pache to advance to third when the center fielder mishandled it. A sacrifice fly followed from Alejandro Salazar and Pache scored the game’s first run. Tyler Neslony doubled into the gap following this, and was brought in by a hard single from Travis Demeritte. The Braves didn’t mount much more of an attack until the 7th inning, when Daniel Lockhart led the inning off with a bunt single. An error on a sacrifice bunt and a hit batter loaded the bases before Cristian Pache came up with an RBI single to make the game 3-0 in favor of the Braves. Pache now has 6 multi hit games out of 11 with Mississippi.

Ian Anderson’s first Double-A start was a bit of a mixed bag, as he flashed serious potential with incredible inconsistency that led to 4 walks over 4 innings of work. Ian worked exclusively with the fastball in the first inning, and outside of a walk looked pretty good. His command was off and on, as it was all night, but he painted a couple of fastballs and generally seemed to hold his composure well. The second inning was his biggest struggle, as after a leadoff single he got two strikeouts and then got ahead of the next batter 1-2. He hit that batter then struggled to put away any of the next three, allowing a single and a walk to score a run. The curveball looked fantastic, showing extreme depth and a sharp break and shape. He commanded the pitch reasonably well but he wasn’t getting the swings-and-misses he was accustomed to. Pitch sequencing was basic and a bit too predictable, and seemed to affect his ability to fool batters. The changeup was barely used, which is disappointing but not entirely unsurprising at this stage in the development of the pitch. He did mix in one particularly good changeup in the second inning that completely fooled the batter and made him lose grip of the bat on a swing and miss. The third and fourth were much the same, with moments of brilliance but a frustrating inconsistency that should be solvable. Elian Leyva pitched 4 innings of scoreless relief, not walking anyone and striking out two batters. Jason Hursh struck out two in his only inning of work, preventing any runs despite allowing a walk and a hit.

Next Game: 8/15 vs (56-62) Chattanooga Lookouts @ 8:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Ricardo Sanchez (1-4, 5.65 ERA)

CHA: TBD

(46-68) Florida Fire Frogs 1, (48-69) St. Lucie Mets 4

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 0-3, BB, .214/.267/.268

CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-4, 2B, RBI .372/.447/.533

Tucker Davidson, SP: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 4.71 ERA

The Fire Frogs got a quick run in the first inning but nothing else and fell 4-1 to the Mets. Back to back doubles with one out from Riley Delgado and CJ Alexander got Florida on the board 1-0, but they couldn’t push any more runs across in the inning. Florida didn’t get more than one baserunner in any inning until the 8th, when a leadoff walk from Marcus Mooney was followed with a two out hit from CJ Alexander. The Fire Frogs couldn’t capitalize, taking a 4-1 deficit into their final at bat. Three Fire Frogs struck out in the ninth surrounding a walk, ending the game. Riley Delgado got off to a bit of a slow start at Florida, but over his last 18 games he is hitting .357 with 7 strikeouts and 5 walks in 76 plate appearances. Delgado is currently on a 6 game hitting streak and has 4 multi hit games in that span.

Tucker Davidson had an okay start for Florida save for one poor inning, but wasn’t efficient enough with his pitches or his control to go deep and departed after 5 innings with 94 pitches thrown. Davidson had pitched 4 scoreless innings and seemed to be cruising, with 2 hits and 2 walks allowed and 4 strikeouts. The 5th was when Davidson started to struggled, allowing the first three batters of the inning to get singles and load the bases. A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and then a double cleared the bases and made it 3-1 Mets. Davidson then finished off his start with a strikeout of Jay Bruce for the second out. Daysbel Hernandez finished off the 5th inning with a ground out and then pitched a scoreless sixth inning of relief. Victor Cavalieri came in for the 7th and struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in a perfect inning and was rewarded with a second frame in the 8th. Cavalieri struggled in the 8th, allowing a run on a hit and two walks before getting a pop out to end the inning.

Next Game: 8/15 vs (48-69) St. Lucie Mets @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Jeremy Walker (3-10, 4.27 ERA)

STL: Hugo Llanes (6-9, 4.56 ERA)

(29-24) Danville Braves 4, (26-28) Pulaski Yankees 5

Box Score

Greg Cullen, 2B: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBI, .301/.398/.416

Justin Smith, LF: 1-5, HR, RBI, .227/.348/.493

Matt Hartman, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 1.80 ERA

Danville tried to put up late rallies against the Yankees, but couldn’t come through with that last big hit and fell 5-4. Danville walked the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, but three strikeouts ended the threat and stranded all the runners. The Yankees then took the lead in the bottom of the inning, but the Braves had an answer in the top of the second. After two more walks Greg Cullen came through with a 2 run double, tying the game at 2-2. In the top of the fourth the Braves loaded the bases again, this time with nobody out, but only came through with one run on a sacrifice fly. That run did give them a short-lived 3-2 lead, which the Yankees took away with a run in the bottom of the inning. The Braves fell behind 5-3 after the sixth inning, but Justin Smith was able to cut that deficit to one run in the 7th with his 5th home run of the season. Danville got a one out double in the 8th inning from Nick Shumpert but couldn’t push him home for the tying run, and in the ninth inning got two runners on with one out but lost the game by grounding into a double play.

Matt Hartman made his third start for the Braves, and lost his streak of 7 scoreless innings to start his professional career. After two quick outs in the first inning Hartman walked a batter and then allowed a home run, the only hit of the day against him, to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Hartman pitched scoreless second and third innings, but walked 4 batters in 3 innings and didn’t strike anyone out. Luis Mora pitched the fourth inning and allowed a run on two hits, but did strike out two batters. Ryan Shetter gave the Braves some nice workout of the bullpen with four strikeouts and no walks in three innings of work, but gave up the key hit of the game in the 6th inning. Shetter allowed a two run home run that gave the Yankees the lead and Shetter the eventual loss. Nolan Kingham pitched a brilliant 7th inning, retiring all three batters he faced on just 9 pitches while striking out 2 of those.

(19-24) GCL Braves 2, (22-23) GCL Tigers East 4

Box Score

Charles Reyes, LF: 3-4, 3B, RBI, .272/.298/.321

Christian Zamora: 0-1, 3 BB, .146/.262/.236

Patrick Weigel, SP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

The offense for the GCL Braves struggled in the game, leading to a 4-2 loss. The Braves had a key opportunity in the first inning when Jeremy Fernandez and Charles Reyes both got singles back-to-back to lead off the game, but a 5-3 double play quickly snuffed out a rally and early scoring chance. The Braves struggled after that, falling behind 2-0, but finally came up with a big inning in the bottom of the 8th. A throwing error with one out set the stage for Reyes to come up with an RBi triple, and then a single from Braulio Vasquez tied the game. Unfortunately the Braves couldn’t come up with any more runs and the Tigers got 2 in the ninth to win.

The biggest headline on the day for the farm system in general was the return of Patrick Weigel, who last pitched on June 18th of the last season before tearing his UCL and having to undergo Tommy John Surgery. Weigel is a big time arm who could have a chance to contribute in 2019 if he can show he is healthy and return to the previous form that had him dominating the minor leagues. Weigel allowed a hit to the first batter he faced, but then picked him off before retiring the final two batters of the inning. Weigel got one strikeout in his outing. Tristan Beck came on in relief of Weigel and was unfortunately not at his best, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks in his 1 23 innings of work. He did work around those struggles to prevent any runs from scoring and struck out three batters. Victor Vodnik came on in the 5th inning and allowed the first run of the game on three hits, but also struck out 3 batters in the inning. Alex Camacho pitched a scoreless 6th inning but then allowed the second run of the game in the 7th. Jackson Lourie allowed 2 runs in the ninth on a hit batter, 2 singles, and two stolen bases to give the Tigers the lead and eventually the win.