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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Swanson and Riley continue their rehab in Rome

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The Braves’ two injured young stars continued to improve as they look to get healthy down in Rome.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Gwinnett Stripers 0, Durham Bulls 3

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, .2B, .604 OPS
  • Johan Camargo, 3B: 2-3
  • Ian Anderson, SP: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 5.48 ERA

The Stripers had plenty of chances in the middle of this game, but could not push any runs across in their 3-0 loss to Durham on Saturday. Save for two mistakes that ended up being home runs (welcome to Triple-A and the new baseball, Ian), Ian Anderson pitched pretty well as he made it into the sixth inning while striking out five batters. There is pretty clearly going to be an adjustment period for Ian in Triple-A as the walks have taken a pretty significant jump (as has the home run rate), but it is more than fair to give him time to hone his command a bit with the new baseball.

As for the offense, they went 1-11 with runners in scoring position which is less than ideal. Cristian Pache seems to be settling in for Gwinnett as he now has a six game hitting streak with a couple of multi-hit games (including this one) thrown in there. Johan Camargo has been raking down in Gwinnett as he has hit safely in every game he has played in Triple-A (the counter sits at eight) and has five extra-base hits along the way. Drew Waters had a bit of an off night at the plate as he managed just a walk, but he did have an outfield assist in the game on a throw to second base.

Mississippi Braves 4, Biloxi Shuckers 13

Box Score

  • Ryan Casteel, 1B: 2-4, 2B, HR, .818 OPS
  • Riley Unroe, 3B: 3-5, R, .706 OPS
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 3.95 ERA

This game got out of hand in a hurry as Mississippi fell to Biloxi by the score of 13-4. This wasn’t Jasseel De La Cruz’s best effort this season, but he did limit the damage better than any of Mississippi’s other pitchers on Saturday evening as he gave up just three runs in just under five innings of work. Unfortunately, Thomas Burrows, who has really struggled this season, gave up four runs on three hits and three walks in 1.1 innings of work. He was then followed by the Braves’ 2013 first round pick Jason Hursh who gave up six runs in his two innings of work including a grand slam which turned this game into a rout.

On offense, Ryan Casteel had himself a night as he had a double and connected for his 20th home run of the season. Casteel isn’t a sexy prospect on the fast track to the major leagues as he is 28 years old, but for a Mississippi team that had their lineup and rotation gutted by promotions, Casteel has been a consistent offensive force in the heart of their lineup all year long. Riley Unroe had himself a game as well with three hits on Saturday and William Contreras, who had most of the night off, had a pinch hit single in his only plate appearance of the evening. That is good news because in Contreras’ last 10 games, he is batting just .161.

Florida Fire Frogs 8, Dunedin Blue Jays 9

Box Score

  • Brett Langhorne, 2B: 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, .570 OPS
  • Shean Michel, CF: 2-4, RBI, R, .573 OPS
  • Brooks Wilson, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 2.32 ERA

Florida lost a wild one late on Saturday evening as they fell to Dunedin by the score of 9-8 after leading 7-1 at one point in the game. This was really only the second “bad” start of the season for Brooks Wilson and even then he still made it through six innings. Of his 10 starts this season, this was only the second time he has given up four or more earned runs. Unfortunately, this too is where the good news ended as Lukas Young gave up three earned runs in a rough relief appearance and Brandon White struggled to find the strike zone and gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the 9th.

On offense, Brett Langhorne and Shean Michel each had multi-hit games for Florida. Langhorne and Riley Delgado accounted for the only extra-base hits in the game for the Fire Frogs as each of them had doubles. Rusber Estrada drove in a pair of runs for Florida as the Fire Frogs used a balance attack from the entire lineup to stake themselves to an early lead. Unfortunately, that is where the good news ended as the offense only managed to plate one run over the final six innings of the game.

Rome Braves 4, Columbia Fireflies 3

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 2-3, BB, R, .839 OPS
  • Michael Harris, RF: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, .495 OPS
  • Austin Riley, LF: 1-3
  • Mitch Stallings, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2.45 ERA

Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley continued their roads to recovery, but it was Rome’s regulars who helped secure a 4-3 win over Columbia. Mitch Stallings went six strong innings while giving up three runs and striking out four. Our own Garrett Spain was on hand for the game and reported that Stallings’ fastball sat in the 89-91 mph range with a good changeup to go along with it. Luis Mora threw 1.1 innings of scoreless relief and was touching triple digits while doing so.

As for the rehabbers, Austin Riley went 1-3 while Dansby went 0-3 with a walk in his four plate appearance. Justin Dean did what Justin Dean does as he had another multi-hit game and he now has six in his past 10 games. Michael Harris had a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning and Garrett was very pleased to see lots of hard contact at the plate and good range out in the outfield. He is a prep bat who was just drafted, so it is worth being patient with him...but there are a lot fo good signs so far.

Danville Braves 2, Elizabethton Twins 4

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 2-4, RBI, .680 OPS
  • Beau Philip, SS: 0-4, .587 OPS
  • Darius Vines, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 6.61 ERA

There wasn’t much in the way of offense for Danville and a late rally from Elizabethton downed the Braves by the score of 4-2. Cody Milligan had a multi-hit game for Danville which is good news. The bad news is that the rest of the lineup combined for three hits which is less than ideal. Darius Vines and Greg Leban combined for six innings and gave up just one run to keep Danville in the game, but unfortunately Deyvis Julian had a rough relief appearance in giving up three earned which proved to be the difference in the game. Beau Philip, the Braves’ 2nd round pick from the 2019 draft, has cooled off again after heating up in the middle of August as he is hitless in his last three games.

GCL Braves 4, GCL Rays 9

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-3, 2 BB, .784 OPS
  • Eliezel Stevens, DH: 3-4, R, .595 OPS
  • Joel Reyes, RF: 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, .605 OPS
  • Eudi Asencio, SP: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3.82 ERA

Not much to add here as the GCL Braves fell to the GCL Rays by the score of 9-4. Vaughn Grissom continued to impress as he reached base three times in the game and is now batting .364 over his last 10 games. It would be nice to see him showing a little more power in games, but that is a minor quibble. Eliezel Stevens and Joel Reyes did their best to keep the Braves in the game as each had three hit games.