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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Spencer Strider shoves in debut, Orlando Arcia continues hot streak

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Fun night down on the farm with quality performances on both sides of the ball.

Minnesota Twins v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Gwinnett Stripers 2, Louisville Bats 1

Box Score

  • Orlando Arcia, SS: 2-4, 2B, HR (6), RBI, 2 R
  • Drew Waters, CF/LF: 0-4, K
  • Jasseel de la Cruz, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
  • Jose Rodriguez, RP: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

While the offense was largely stagnant for Gwinnett, Jasseel de la Cruz and the pitching staff held down the fort and the offensive efforts of the red hot Orlando Arcia were enough to get the Stripers by the Bats by the final score of 2-1. Jasseel started his season in the bullpen for Gwinnett presumably because it was likely that he could be needed in that role in Atlanta, but now it looks like he is being stretched back out as a starter and he looked good in three clean innings. Jose Rodriguez backed that up with four strong innings of his own. After a scoreless inning from Mitch Horacek, Victor Arano came in and closed the game out.

On offense, it was the Orlando Arcia show again as he scored both of Gwinnett’s runs including a solo homer in the 8th inning which proved to be the winning run. He has hit safely in all 10 games he has played this season which seems pretty good especially since he already has six homers. Drew Waters has struggled to start the season as he missed a good chunk of spring with an injury and did not play for a few games recently as well. The only other extra base hit for Gwinnett on the evening was Travis Demeritte with a double (he has been really good as well) with the rest of the Striper offense being a smattering of singles here and there.

Next Game: 5/15 at 6:05 EST vs. Louisville. Expected starters: Gwinnett - TBD, Louisville - Bo Takahashi

Mississippi Braves 2, Biloxi Shuckers 3 - Game One

Box Score

  • Shea Langeliers, C: 1-3, HR
  • Justin Dean, CF: 2-2, SB, HBP, R
  • Victor Vodnik, SP: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
  • Troy Bacon, RP: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Mississippi Braves 2, Biloxi Shuckers 0 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Shea Langeliers, C: 0-1, 3 BB
  • Tyler Neslony, LF: 2-3, HR, RBI, BB
  • Odalvi Javier, SP: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Mississippi split their twin bill with the Shuckers on Friday with a 3-2 loss followed by a 2-0 shutout win and the pitching in both was excellent. Victor Vodnik got the start in game one and while his final line doesn’t look it, he looked great with his fastball blowing Shucker hitters away and getting some nice rise and occasional glove side movement. The fourth inning got away from him due to some command loss and some minor league umpiring that was, shall we say, very suspect all game for both teams. Getting eight strikeouts in the 10 outs he recorded is no joke, but unfortunately that fourth inning turned out to be the difference in the game. Troy Bacon was really good yet again in relief.

In game two, the pitching staff was in full lockdown mode and it started with the work of Odalvi Javier who dominated in 3.1 innings of work including seven strikeouts. Sean McLaughlin came in to give nearly two scoreless innings of his own before old friend Josh Graham closed the game out with two clean innings to close the game out including a pair of strikeouts.

Shea Langeliers had a nice doubleheader with a solo homer in the first game and then drawing three walks in the second. Based on where he hit the homer, it is not that surprising that the Shuckers didn’t have much interest in pitching to him in the second game. Justin Dean got his second stolen base of the season as he reached base in both halves of the doubleheader. Tyler Neslony had a nice game in the second half of the twin bill with a couple of hits including a homer of his own.

Next Game: 5/15 at 7:35 EST @ Biloxi. Expected Starters: Mississippi - Matt Withrow, Biloxi - Ethan Small

Rome Braves 3, Greensboro Grasshoppers 5

Box Score

  • Logan Brown, C: 2-3, RBI, BB
  • Garrison Schwartz, DH: 0-2, 3 BB, SB
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 5 K
  • Kasey Kalich, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

The heart of Rome’s offense struggled and Greensboro jumped on starter Alan Rangel early as the Braves fell by the score of 5-3. Rangel, who we assume is at least an minority owner of the Rome Braves at this point since he has played there since 2016, had a tough outing while giving up five runs of which only four were earned in four innings of work although the strikeouts were nice. The Rome bullpen duo of Lisandro Santos and Kasey Kalich kept Rome in the game, but the offense couldn’t quite make up the difference. Keep an eye on Kalich as not only is he coming off a pretty gnarly wrist surgery (he basically pitched most of his college career with a broken wrist), but he has not given up a run in his three appearances and is likely to continue to tick upwards in terms of stuff as he gets back into the swing of things.

On offense, the star of the night was Logan Brown without question as he put together strong at-bats all night and had a pair of singles and a walk. Unfortunately, Rome would only have two hits other than that the rest of the night with no extra-base hits at all. The team did make things interesting with some cagey baserunning including a steal of home by Shean Michel (love to see it), but the offensive struggles were too much to overcome. Michael Harris and Bryce Ball in particular had a rough game with five strikeouts between the two and Ball drawing a walk being the only appearance on the basepaths.

Next Game: 5/15 at 6:30 EST @ Greensboro. Expected starters: Rome - Bryce Elder, Greensboro - Omar Cruz

Augusta GreenJackets 10, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 2

Box Score

  • Brandon Parker, LF: 3-4, RBI, BB, 2 R
  • Cam Shepherd, SS: 2-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB
  • Spencer Strider, SP: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
  • Ben Thompson, RP: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Well this was a fun one as Spencer Strider was absolutely lights out in his pro debut and the Augusta offense never took their foot off the gas as they rolled to a 10-2 victory. Strider was extremely impressive. While he got a late start this spring with what sounds like a minor injury issue (hence going only three innings), he looked like he belonged at a higher level of the minors as he struck out seven of the nine batters he faced. It honestly should have been eight of the first nine, but some minor league umpiring cost him a called strike three in an at-bat that ended in a weak groundout. It was a steady dose of high fastballs that these low-A hitters did not have much of a chance against. You can expect to see a longer breakdown of Strider’s start very soon. Ben Thompson deserves a shoutout for three scoreless innings of his own to back up Strider while Gabriel Rodriguez continued his mighty struggles out of the bullpen as he failed to record an out, walked three batters, and ended up getting charged with a pair of earned runs.

Offensively, it was really a team effort as six different Augusta players drove in runs on the evening. Cam Shepherd had his best game of the season by a mile as he drove in four runs on a pair of doubles. Cade Bunnell reached base three times and both drove in and scored a pair of runs and Brandon Parker got on base four times out of the two hole to help set the table. One downside of the game was Stephen Paolini who has really struggled to start the season. After a 0-4 day at the plate with three strikeouts, he currently sports a .342 OPS and has struck out in nearly half of his plate appearances through his first nine games.

Next Game: 5/15 Doubleheader starting at 4 PM @ Myrtle Beach. Expected Starters: Augusta - Chad Bryant and TBD, Myrtle Beach - DJ Herz and Manuel Espinoza