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Braves Minor League Recap: Kyle Muller strikes out 11

An up and down night down on the farm was highlighted by an excellent start from Kyle Muller.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves’ had a pretty decent night down in the minors as they compiled a 2-2 record on the evening. Kyle Muller was mowing batters down all night, Rome got beat up, and Darius Vines had another rough start. Lets get into the games.

Gwinnett Stripers 8, Indianapolis Indians 2

Box Score

  • Ryan Goins, SS: 3-4, 2B, 4 RBI, .381 OPS
  • Chadwick Tromp, C: 1-4, 2 RBI, .783 OPS
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 11 K, 2.89 ERA

Kyle Muller was excellent on Tuesday evening as Gwinnett rolled to an 8-2 victory over Indianapolis. Muller often gets forgotten as a pitching prospect these days and while his own struggles in the majors are likely to blame for that, he is still an incredibly talented arm and just 24 years old. He has gone at least six innings in his last three starts and has given up a total of two earned runs during that span with 28 strikeouts and just four walks (20 IP). Seth Elledge and Michael Tonkin combined for two scoreless innings of relief to close the game out.

The Gwinnett offense jumped out to an early lead and used a four-run seventh inning to put the game away. The offensive hero of the evening was an unlikely one in Ryan Goins as he drove in four of Gwinnett’s eight runs including a bases-clearing double in that big seventh inning. Chadwick Tromp continues to be a surprising offensive cog for Gwinnett as he drove in two runs as well. While he has cooled off considerably from when he looked like Babe Ruth down there, he is producing down in Triple-A although his six walks in over 140 plate appearances leaves something to be desired. Drew Waters had an 0-5 night and now has just two hits in his last five games which is far from ideal.

Mississippi Braves 4, Birmingham Barons 9

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 2-4, 3B, 2 R, .661 OPS
  • Yadiel Gonzalez, SS: 1-3, RBI, BB, .661 OPS
  • Darius Vines, SP: 4 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 6.02 ERA

Darius Vines got rocked in his second straight start as Mississippi fell to the Barons by the score of 9-4. Vines has some things to figure out and he needs to do it quickly. He is leaving too many pitches fat over the plate and his secondaries have not had the same bite that allowed him to miss bats last year and even earlier this year. He has always been a bit homer prone which was okay when he didn’t allow many baserunners and they were solo shots, but is significant less okay when the homers are more frequent and when he is allowing a lot more guys to get on base. A hat tip to Troy Bacon who threw three innings of scoreless relief to try and stop the bleeding, but unfortunately the damage had already been done.

It was a fairly blah offensive night as Mississippi had just two extra-base hits on the evening. One of those was a triple off the bat of Justin Dean who is showing some signs of life at the plate with better at-bats after a rough start to 2022 that ultimately saw him demoted from Triple-A. CJ Alexander didn’t have a hit in the game, but did manage to drive in a pair of runs thanks to a pair of RBI groundouts. This offense is in a pretty poor state these days with Michael Harris getting promoted to the big leagues, Jesse Franklin out for the season with Tommy John surgery, and Luke Waddell being presumably hurt given that he hasn’t played since the end of May.

Rome Braves 7, Asheville Tourists 19

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, CF: 3-5, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, .856 OPS
  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R, .777 OPS
  • Roddery Munoz, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 7 R (6 ER), 3 BB, 7 K, 5.29 ERA

We won’t linger here long as Rome got blown right off the field with Asheville scoring early and often with the Braves ultimately losing by the score of 19-7. We love the arm talent that Roddery Munoz possesses including a fastball that can be an upper-90’s offering with good spin, but his struggles in putting hitters away have bit him in his last two starts now where he has given up 12 runs in his last 10.1 IP. In short, not great. Things did not improve for the bullpen as Dylan Spain, Alec Barger, and Davis Schwab gave up a total of 12 runs and, well, that was that.

There was a bit of offense from Rome at least with the top of the order doing a ton of work. Cody Milligan, Vaughn Grissom, and Justyn-Henry Malloy all had multi-hit games with Milligan and Grissom each driving in a pair of runs. Milligan’s three double night is another reminder that he really deserves a promotion to Double-A and, at the very least, that should happen after the draft. Vaughn Grissom’s night was one of the better ones he has had in the last couple of weeks and he has hit safely in four of his last five games.

Augusta GreenJackets 6, Charleston RiverDogs 3

Box Score

  • Brandon Parker, DH: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, .858 OPS
  • Cal Conley, SS: 1-4, 3B, RBI, 2 R, .676 OPS
  • Luis Vargas, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 4.18 ERA

Augusta continues to roll along down in low-A as they took down Charleston by the score of 6-3. Luis Vargas isn’t a big name pitching prospect per se, but he has been a nice source of quality innings for Augusta as he is generally good for 5-6 innings without a ton of walks and he will miss some bats. We do wish he missed a few more bats and he will certainly lay the occasional dud, but overall he has been very decent for Augusta. Sam Strickland recently returned from an IL stint and put together three innings of relief for the GreenJackets where he gave up just one run.

The GreenJackets didn’t need to employ their “draw a bunch of walks” strategy in this one as they were able to get some key extra-base hits to pull ahead. Brandon Parker connected for a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning followed by Cal Conley hitting an RBI triple in the third to make it a 3-0 lead. Conley also had a little league homer in this one as a pair of throwing errors allowed him to circle the bases on a chopper of a groundball. Never change, low-A baseball....never change.