Today has been a bit of an eventful day when it comes to news surrounding Braves pitchers — both at the major league level and in the minor leagues as well.
We’re going to start with the latest news from the farm, which is that Mauricio Cabrera has been released from the organization, with the news being confirmed by Dave O’Brien of the AJC.
For Cabrera, today marks the end of a time that was filled with plenty of promise and potential for the right-hander. Even in this era of big arms and eye-popping velocity, there aren’t too many pitchers throughout the entire sport who throw harder than Mauricio Cabrera. This was on full display in 2016 when he joined Atlanta’s bullpen and was seen as a weapon due to being able to push flames past opposing batters with his big-time velocity.
Unfortunately, he had some injury issues going into the 2017 season and that forced him to start that season in the minor leagues. Sure enough, that’s where he would stay until the Braves released him as he never made it back to the bigs. It didn’t help that he couldn’t figure out a way to consistently locate that fastball of his. I’ve always maintained that he could have been dangerous if he knew where his fastball was going. As this stat from friend-of-the-site Carlos Carlozzo points out, he never really figured out where it was going.
So you're saying 41 walks in 31 innings is not good? https://t.co/k1ohroWl75— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) July 11, 2018
Yeah, a walk rate in the 20 percent range is not going to fly and that’s a big reason why Cabrera is now a free agent. With his velocity, it won’t be a huge shock to see another team bring him in order to see if he can figure it out. For now, that team won’t be the Braves.
In other news, we got a couple of updates from Mark Bowman when it came to a couple of pitchers who are dealing with injury issues. We’ll start with the “good news” first, which is that Mike Soroka will be back this season. Unfortunately, it’ll still be a while since the Braves apparently don’t expect him to return until September. While it’s still tough to see the dynamic 20-year-old pitcher lose a huge chunk of this season, he could end up playing a big role in a potential late push for the Postseason if he can indeed make it back for September.
Meanwhile, Jose Ramirez appears to be done for the year. Bowman talked to Brian Snitker about both Soroka and Ramirez and Snitker apparently was not optimistic about seeing Ramirez return to action this season. Ramirez hasn’t been seen on the mound since April 17 and he was recently moved to the 60-day DL back in June. He’s only thrown 6.1 innings all season and he hasn’t been really effective or reliable for a while now. While it would have been nice to have an extra arm in the bullpen, Ramirez wouldn’t exactly be one of the guys who you’d be clamoring to return to the mound as a source of internal help for Atlanta’s bullpen.
The basic gist of this recent news is that a once-promising and now very flawed reliever has been cut loose, we won’t be seeing another reliever for the rest of this season and one of the team’s most exciting young players won’t be seen until September. It might be a little bit of a bleak outlook for now but I suppose that’s what happens when you’re fully entrenched into the true dog days of summer during a long baseball season.