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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Fire Frogs Explode, Fried returns to form

The Fire Frogs were very naughty last night in the best possible way

The new Bash Brothers - Alex Jackson and Austin Riley
Jeff Jones

Gwinnett Braves 4, Rochester Red Wings 5

Box Score

  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-4, HR, RBI, .217/.260/.319
  • Ozzie Albies, 2B: 1-4, .280/.309/.427
  • Ryan Howard, DH: 1-4, RBI
  • Sean Newcomb, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K, 4.19 ERA

After not playing for 2 days (sound familiar?) the G-Braves were back in action with Sean Newcomb on the mound and he put up the most Sean Newcomb start possible with flashes of brilliance but still walked 4 men and only threw 57 of his 92 pitches for strikes. Hard to complain about 5 scoreless with 6 strikeouts though. That said, it is hard to argue that his line from this game is pretty much peak Newcomb-ness.

Rio Ruiz popped a solo home run in the 4th inning, hopefully that can kick start him offensively because he has struggled to start the season to put it lightly. Hitting just .221 and .162 over his last 10 games he will need to step it up if he wants to get back to Atlanta. Caleb Dirks struck out one hitter in a scoreless 7th inning and continues to look like a possible option for the Atlanta bullpen at some point this season.

Next Game: 4/26 vs Rochester @ 1:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

Luke Jackson (0-1, 6.23 ERA)

Mississippi Braves 3, Montgomery Biscuits 2

Box Score

  • Jared James, OF: 1-4, 2 run HR, .224/.292/.414
  • Jesse Biddle, RP: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 2.61 ERA
  • Max Fried, SP: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 4.38 ERA

It was the Max Fried show today in Montgomery. He had all 3 pitches working on both sides of the plate and his curveball was looking like the best breaking pitch in the system today. He was dominant for 7 innings only allowing 2 baserunners while striking out 6 and getting a ton of swings and misses. After a couple of rough starts to begin the year, this was vintage Fried and hopefully this is a sign that he has worked through whatever was bothering him to start the year.

Joey Meneses had a 2 out RBI in the 4th to put the Braves up 1-0 and that was the only offense in the game until Jared James smacked a 2 run dinger in the 8th inning. Fried left after just 77 pitches and Danny Reynolds gave up 2 runs on 3 hits while only recording one out in the 8th. Enter Jesse Biddle who struck out 3 in 1.2 scoreless to close it out and earn the save. He has looked pretty good in his conversion to the bullpen after missing last season to Tommy John, when I saw him in Spring Training he was sitting 92-94 with a good looking curveball.

Next Game: 4/26 @ Montgomery Biscuits 8:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

Mike Soroka (2-1, 1.62 ERA)

Florida Fire Frogs 22, Palm Beach Cardinals 2

Box Score

  • Ronald Acuna, RF: 3-5, triple, HR, 5 RBI, .258/.300/.455
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 2-6, HR, 2 RBI, .241/.294/.380
  • Alex Jackson, C: 3-6, HR, 2 RBI, .338/.364/.676
  • Tyler Neslony, OF: 3-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 4 runs, .375/.512/.719
  • Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4.76 ERA

You like offense? Well this is the game for you. The Fire Frogs returned home and fired off ten runs in the first inning with 6 different players knocking in runs including a 3-run Ronald Acuna triple and a 2 run Austin Riley bomb. Tyler Neslony hit a solo shot in the 7th, Acuna added a 2 run shot in the 8th, and Alex Jackson smoked his 7th home run of the season to round out the big flies for the Fire Frogs. Jackson only had 21 in 3 seasons with Seattle so this trade is looking pretty good so far. To sum things up, every lineup regular recorded at least one hit and scored at least one run, 8 players scored multiple runs, and 6 players recorded multiple hits. Also, Ronald Acuna managed to reach base via HBP, error, 1B, 3B, and HR. Best we can tell, if if hit a double he would have had an Ultra Cycle and with a double and a walk he would have pulled off something with an even cooler name. (I was thinking about calling it a ‘Roy Hobbs’ but I’m open to suggestions -Eric).

Ricardo Sanchez continued his good start/bad start pattern putting up 6 solid innings. The single walk is the best sign I see as he had 9 in his first 11 IP this season. He did give up two unearned runs, but the defense was iffy at times in this game and its hard to hang much of that on him. Sean McLaughlin and Josh Graham combined for 3 scoreless innings to close things out to secure the Fire Frogs’ 20-run win.

Next Game: 4/26 @ Palm Beach Cardinals 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

Touki Toussaint (1-2, 7.20 ERA)

Rome Braves 2, Greeneville Drive 1 - Game 1

Box Score

  • Anthony Concepcion, OF: 2-3, .217/.265/.297
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-3, RBI, .266/.309/.328
  • Jeremy Walker, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Juan Yepez hit a sac fly in the first to put the Braves up 1-0 which turned into a double play when Cristian Pache was tagged up at first. He made up for it later recording the game winning hit in the 3rd, Pache started off slow but has hit .279 over his past 10 games and seen his average rise accordingly. He’s still playing an excellent center field and has a ridiculous arm so don’t let the early results worry you too much.

Jeremy Walker had his breaking ball working and pitched 4 scoreless innings. In the early going, Walker hasn’t really shown much in terms of swing-and-miss stuff, but he limits hard contact well and has two straight starts where he has given up zero earned runs. Jon Kennedy came on to pitch three innings where he gave up his first earned run of the year while striking out three batters.

Rome Braves 4, Greeneville Drive 1 - Game 2

Box Score

  • Anfernee Seymour, CF: 3-4, 2 RBI, run, .333/.406/.417
  • Randy Ventura, RF: 2-2, 2 runs, SB, .381/.426/.413
  • Oriel Caicedo, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.37 ERA

Anfernee Seymour continued his hot start going 3 for 4 with a pair of RBI as Rome swept the double-header. Yepez collected 2 more hits, one a double to raise his average to .333. Randy Ventura’s campaign against logic and psychics raged on as he smacked 2 more singles and scored 2 more runs, he’s now hitting .381, has an .839 OPS to start the year, and stole his 9th base of the season.

On the pitching side, Oriel Caicedo continued his excellent work to start the season by pitching 5 innings of 1-run ball. Older for the level (he is 23), he isn’t a prospect per se but once Kyle Muller is able to join the team, it wouldn’t be crazy to see Caicedo promoted to high-A to see how he does against more advanced hitters. Matt Custred lowered his ERA to 0.84 on the year with 2 scoreless innings to close the game out.

Next Game: 4/26 @ Hickory 10:30AM ET

Probable Starters

Ian Anderson (1-1, 1.98 ERA)

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