Since I was on recap duty and it was not very fun, I am going to talk about AJ Smith-Shawver today, and he is absolutely shoving in the minors this season. The 20 year old is putting up legitimate Spencer Strider level strikeout numbers in the minors and made his first full double-A start Saturday after his first start was shortened by a rain delay. He was promoted from high-A after only 14.0 innings at the level due to the dominance he was showing and has not given up a run now through 21.0 innings this season across the two levels. Smith-Shawver dominated Saturday in AA over 5.0 innings, throwing 73 pitches, racking up 7 strikeouts, and only walking 1. He has a very good mid-90s fastball with a plus slider that he has commanded better this season and a very promising new curveball. Given how aggressive the Braves were in promoting him to AA and if he continues to dominate, I wouldn’t be stunned if he made a Spencer Strider esque speed-run up the minor league levels into the majors, even if only as a bullpen arm this season.
.@Braves' No. 4 prospect AJ Smith-Shawver struck out 7 for the @mbraves and has yet to give up a run in 21 innings this season: pic.twitter.com/hkRQAJ5VSw— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 14, 2023
Collin McHugh will start Sunday’s game, as the team is having trouble with starting pitching health.
The Atlanta Braves lost another annoying game in Toronto.
Our long national nightmare is over, as Willson Contreras is set to return to catching duties for the Cardinals. What a bizarre week in St. Louis.
Max Kepler is hitting the 10-day IL.
Jazz Chisholm and Jesus Sanchez left Saturday’s game with injuries, although Chisholm appears to have avoided serious injury.
Rockies’ pitcher Ryan Feltner was hit in the head with a Nick Castellanos line drive and is undergoing testing at a nearby hospital.