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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Patrick Weigel shines on an otherwise rough day

There was a lengthy slate of games down in the minors on Saturday with mostly less than positive results.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Braves 2, Durham Bulls 11 - Game One

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-2, BB, .609 OPS
  • Alex Jackson, C: 1-3, .421 OPS
  • Adam Duvall, OF: 1-3, HR, RBI, .891 OPS
  • Kolby Allard, SP: 4 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 4.05 ERA

Gwinnett Braves 2, Durham Bulls 3 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Andres Blanco, 3B: 2-3, 2 2B, 1.073 OPS
  • Austin Riley, 1B: 1-3, .609 OPS
  • Elian Leyva, SP: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA

The Stripers had themselves a rough day on Saturday as they were swept in their doubleheader with Durham by the scores of 11-2 and 3-2. Kolby Allard’s day started innocuously enough as he had given up just one run in the first three innings of his start. However, the fourth inning was not kind as the first six batters of the inning went single, single, double, pop out, three run home run, and single. The Gwinnett bullpen would not do any better as Jason Creasy gave up six runs in the next inning and the rout was officially one. Gwinnett went with a bullpen game for game two and Corbin Clouse struggled with some command issues and gave up the game-winning, bases-clearing double in the sixth inning.

Offensively, there is not much to write home about. Rafael Ortega connected for his sixth home run of the year as he continues his unlikely power surge while Adam Duvall connected for his first homer of the season for Gwinnett. Pedro Florimon, the spring training legend himself, connected for his first home run of the season as well. Austin Riley reached base in both halves of the doubleheader, but is really struggling to start the season. In his last 10 games, Austin is batting just .171 with just four RBI and three walks against 10 strikeouts.

4/21 Probable Starter for Gwinnett: TBD

Mississippi Braves 0, Montgomery Biscuits 5

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, RF: 1-4, 2B, .790 OPS
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-3, BB, .979 OPS
  • Patrick Weigel, SP: 2 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Jeremy Walker, SP: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2.87 ERA

Another tough night for a Braves affiliate as Mississippi could not get anything going offensively and made four errors in route to a 5-0 loss to Montgomery. Patrick Weigel got the start for Mississippi and threw two strong innings with only an unearned run (thanks to an error, a balk, and a wild pitch) as blemishes on his line. The Braves are being very cautious with Weigel’s workload to start the season and have been handcuffing Weigel and Jeremy Walker’s appearances. Walker pitched fairly well in giving up three runs in 5.1 innings, but unfortunately the offense never got anything going.

In addition to errors from Daniel Lockhart, Andy Wilkins (2), and Drew Waters, the Mississippi lineup only managed five hits on the evening. Three of them WERE doubles to be fair including one from Drew Waters who has held his own against Double-A pitching to start the season with nearly a .790 OPS. Cristian Pache continued his strong start to the season with a hit and another walk (which makes five walks in his last six games). We are dealing with a very small sample size here, but his 10 extra-base hits so far on the season and the fact that we are starting to see him actually draw some free passes is very encouraging news.

4/21 Probable Starter for Mississippi: Joey Wentz

Florida Fire Frogs 5, Daytona Tortugas 7 - Game One

Box Score

  • Riley Unroe, SS: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, .763 OPS
  • Riley Delgado, 3B: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, .841 OPS
  • Isranel Wilson, CF: 1-1, 2 BB, 2 R, .571 OPS
  • Troy Bacon, SP: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 4.22 ERA

Florida Fire Frogs 2, Daytona Tortugas 3 - Game Two

Box Score

  • William Contreras, C: 2-3, .731 OPS
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-3, R, .686 OPS
  • Nolan Kingham, SP: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 6.23 ERA

In the second doubleheader for a Braves affiliate on the day, the Fire Frogs were also swept as they went down to Daytona by the scores of 7-5 and 3-2. Nolan Kingham, the Braves’ 12th round pick in the 2018 draft out of Texas, made his high-A debut after a strong early showing for Rome and gave up three runs on nine hits and a walk. Given the quick promotion and strong early season performance in low-A, the 22 year old righty is going to be worth monitoring. The Fire Frogs went with a bullpen game for the other half of the doubleheader. Troy Bacon struck out five batters while giving up two runs in his 2.2 innings of work and now has 16 strikeouts in his 10.2 innings of work this season against just two walks. Unfortunately, Walter Borkovich and Sean McLaughlin combined to give up five runs (four earned) and that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, Riley Delgado just keeps hitting. After his three total hits in the doubleheader, he is batting .368 over his last 10 games and currently ranks third in the Florida State League in batting average. Riley Unroe had a nice game that saw him connect for his first home run of the season and score three runs out of the leadoff spot. William Contreras had a multi-hit game, but was also removed from the other half of the doubleheader in the third inning (while playing DH) which is a situation worth monitoring. Izzy Wilson did reach base three times in one half of the doubleheader, but both he and Greyson Jenista have had rough starts to the season as both outfielders have been hitting around .200 since the season begin.

4/21: OFF

Rome Braves 5, Greenville Drive 4

Box Score

  • Trey Harris, DH: 2-3, BB, R, 1.008 OPS
  • Logan Brown, C: 1-3, BB, 2 R, .971 OPS
  • Darlington Florentino, 3B: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, .564 OPS
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.54 ERA

Rome rallied with a three run 8th inning to secure the only win for a Braves affiliate on the day with a 5-4 victory over Greenville. Alan Rangel, in Rome for the third straight season, did not have a great start as he gave up four runs on five hits while striking out six batters as Rome found themselves in a hole early. However, Claudio Custudio, Lukas Young, and Kurt Hoekstra combined for four shutout innings of relief with five strikeouts to keep Rome in the game. Keep an eye on Young in particular as the former 21st round pick has given up just two unearned runs in his six appearances so far this season.

The Rome offense kept giving themselves chances to get back into the game thanks to performances from some usual suspects. Trey Harris had yet another strong game as he recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the young season to go along with one from Brendan Venter as well. The Braves were finally able to cash in on those chances in a big way thanks to Darlington Florentino’s first home run of the season and the three run shot in the eighth inning proved to be the game winner.

4/21: OFF

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