I’m going to try something new this season and that’s keeping up with minor league transactions. Every Tuesday, I’ll take a look at each level to go over some of the moves and provide analysis. If this is the kind of thing that interest you, let me know. Apologies that this was released so late today. Planning for a 5 year-old birthday’s party takes a lot out of you. I will not include any of today’s transactions and instead push them off to next week’s version.
Activated: Jose Ramirez…He was placed on the DL after he was outrighted, but didn’t stay on it for long. The righty has been active with three games already and has flashed the strikeout potential that led to him making the roster out of spring training (7 K’s in 4 ING). He’s also surrendered a solo homerun.
Promoted: Lucas Sims…I was a bit surprised to see him get a callup so quickly, but you have to remember that Sims had a dozen starts at Double-A and five starts last fall in Arizona. His first go-around with Gwinnett continued his season-long control issues, but also continued his strong strikeout numbers. It’ll be interesting to see how Sims reacts over the next month or so. Hitters in Triple-A are often guys who have seen major league-quality pitches and will make a young pitcher work if he doesn’t throw strikes.
Optioned: Casey Kelly…Talk about doing little to hurt your case to return. Kelly worked three innings in his Braves debut and kept a game from becoming a blowout after Bud Norris struggled. It was a good follow-up for Kelly, who worked seven scoreless in his second start with Gwinnett. It wouldn’t surprise me any to see Kelly still turn into a capable major league option. After all, there was a time where he ranked in the Baseball America Top 100 in four consecutive seasons.
Optioned: Matt Marksberry…It’s a bit surprising that the Braves choose to keep Eric O’Flaherty over the younger lefty. Say what you will about Marksberry’s limitations, but he has been studly against lefties in the majors (.164/.270/.255). He handled Mississippi hitters with ease before his short promotion to Atlanta. He’ll be the next lefty called up when the Braves want one.
Optioned: Williams Perez…The biggest problem for Perez in the majors is that he really doesn’t have the stuff to be a big league starter. He can stick around and even might have a nice run where he holds down the fort for a few starts, but he relies on deception and control in the minors – things that don’t get him far enough with major league hitters. He struggled in his return to Triple-A, giving up three runs on three walks over five innings. He also struck out five.
Demoted and Promoted: Braeden Schlehuber…It’s been a slow start to the season for Schlehuber, who began things on the DL. After being activated the week before last, he was “demoted” to Danville to get the roster numbers under control before being “brought” back. The career .218 hitter is 1-for-6 in two games this year.
Outrighted, Demoted, and Promoted: Joel De La Cruz…What a quick major league experience for De La Cruz. He didn’t appear in a game when he was called up with Hunter Cervenka before being not just demoted, but outrighted off the 40-man. He’s been pretty decent in the early going for Gwinnett and will look to continue that.
Activated: Kyle Kinman…Good to see Kinman’s stay on the DL was short-lived. A lefty with a lot of believers, Kinman struggled a bit out of the gate after making a late run in camp with the big league club. In his first appearance since being activated, he threw a quiet inning with a walk, but induced a double play to face the minimum.
Demoted: Danny Burawa…The former Yankees product opened camp with a chance to make the major league roster. He’s not back down in Double-A, marking the fourth consecutive season he’s spent time at the level. Part of his demotion was related to the numbers game, but he did little to earn more opportunities with the G-Braves. Of particular concern was the 11 walks in 7 innings.
Demoted: Madison Younginer…Signed this offseason on a minor league deal out of the BoSox organization, Younginer has not had the kind of start a player likes to have with a new team. He maintained a nearly 2 WHIP with Gwinnett before being demoted and got roughed up for three runs with Mississippi in his debut there.
Activated: Bryton Trepagnier…A 41st rounder by the Pirates in 2010, Trepagnier signed with the Braves last year and appeared in 42 forgetful games for Mississippi last year in which he walked 44 and struck out 30. He must have a believer or two because statistically, the results simply have never really been there.
DL’d: Raymar Navarro…Signed this offseason after defecting from Cuba, Navarro’s early-season numbers haven’t been much to write home about (6.2 ING, 6 K, 3 BB, 4 ER).
Demoted and Promoted: Sean McLaughlin…A 19th rounder out of Georgia last June, McLaughlin briefly was taken off the roster last week. The undersized righty has had a pretty good start to his professional career with 52 K’s in 49 innings to go with his 2.39 ERA. That includes stops last year with Danville and Rome and this season with the Mudcats.
Promoted: Oriel Caicedo…Caicedo has been up-and-down a few times between Rome and “Danville” since the season began. He’s struck out 8 in 8.1 innings for Rome when he’s been around to pick up game action. Included in his four appearances was his first professional save.
Promoted and Demoted: Michael O’Neal…Signed out of the independent leagues after he was undrafted coming out of Auburn, O’Neal briefly was on the Carolina roster last week. He appeared in two games and gave up a homerun over three innings. He walked two and struck out a pair. O’Neal throws in the low-90’s with a two-seam fastball according to this article.
Demoted: Victor Mateo…A repeat name on this list, Mateo was just activated and had appeared in four games before being moved down to Danville as a procedural move. He probably is still with the Mississippi Braves, but is simply not “active.”
Demoted: Joe Kennedy…I mentioned him last week as well. Kennedy spent three seasons in Australia getting very little work before an eight start run with Melbourne last year. The lefty appeared in four games with Rome with pretty poor results.
Demoted: Rob Wooten…Yep, Danville’s pretty much a place the Braves stash arms until they need them. Wooten is a veteran of 71 major league games before this season and had appeared in five games with Gwinnett before being “demoted.”