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Braves minor league recap: David McCabe has a perfect day at the plate

Credit: Garrett Spain - Battery Power

The Atlanta Braves minor league system showed two offensive extremes. In three of their games they scored seven or more runs, in their other three games they scored three or fewer runs. Multiple top prospects including David McCabe and Vaughn Grissom had massive offensive days for the organization in addition to one of their top pitching prospects throwing a shutout.

(43-53) Gwinnett Stripers 9, (43-53) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3

  • Vaughn Grissom 2-5, 2 2B, 1 K
  • Hoy Park 2-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 3 K
  • Jared Shuster, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 6 BB, 3 K

The bats showed up for the Stripers as every batter except for Chadwick Ttomp reached base with six of them reaching safely multiple times. Vaughn Grissom continued his dominant play as his average is now up to .322 and his two doubles got him up to 26 on the minor league season. Jesus Aguilar also showed up going 2-4 for his second multi hit game of the month. Strikeouts have not been much of a problem for him as

I thought they would as he has 12 in 47 at bats in July. God forbid someone was to go down for the Braves major league team, Aguilar is proving to be a viable replacement candidate. Justin Dean also had a big day reaching base safely in all four of plate appearances in addition to two RBI’s.

Shuster had a weird outing against the Jumbo Shrimp as he gave up six walks and three hits, only struck out three, threw 45 balls to 46 strikes and somehow escaped allowing zero runs. He worked into trouble in the third inning where he walked three straight batters to load the bases with one out, but he was then able to retire the next two batters. The fourth was more of the same as he walked the first two batters in the frame but he got a ground ball double play to the next batter. The poor quality of his stuff showed in the fact that he forced just six swinging strikes tonight. The Stripers bullpen combined to allow three runs over their three innings whilst striking out four batters.

(54-36) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3, (41-48) Mississippi Braves 2

  • Cal Conley 0-2, 2 BB
  • Tyler Tolve 0-4, 1 RBI
  • Domingo Robles, SP, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K

There is almost nothing to say about the Braves offense as they combined for two hits. Sure they forced seven walks but they were wasted as the Braves went 0-7 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base. Drew Lugbauer, Jesse Franklin V, Cade Bunnell and Drew Campbell all struck out twice, but Campbell did account for one of the two Braves hits.

Robles was relatively average against the Blue Wahoos as his stuff didn’t shine but he also worked around a lot of trouble for just three runs against. This is now the third game in his last four starts in which Robles gave up three or more runs but it is the deepest he has gone in a start since June 23rd. Additionally, the two strikeouts he picked up was the lowest amount he’s had in a game this season. Scott Blewtt and Ty Tice combined to pitch the final three innings where they struck out three and didn’t allow a run.

(42-49) Rome Braves 7, (36-50) Asheville Tourists 13

  • David McCabe 4-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB
  • Ignacio Alvarez 2-4, 3 R, 1 BB
  • Jorge Bautista, SP, 1 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

The Braves were more than solid offensively picking up nine hits and ten walks against the Tourists. They scored their runs across four different innings and had at least one batter reach in all but one inning. McCabe got his average up to .306 through his first four hit day of the season and he has now picked up a hit in eight of his last nine games. In addition to McCabe, Alvarez, Drake Baldwin and Adam Zebrowski all reached base multiple times, with Zebrowski and Baldwin combining for five walks. Despite scoring seven, the Braves did leave a lot on the table though as they left twelve runners on base and went 4-12 with runners in scoring position.

After a six pitch 1,2,3 inning for Bautista, things went really south really quickly. He retired the first batter in the second inning via a strikeout but he then allowed the next seven batters to reach before being pulled from the game. To make matters worse for Bautista, the two runners he left on base when he was pulled both scored which straddled him with two more runs (one of which was earned). This was Bautista’s second start with the Rome Braves and he was also roughed up in his other outing allowing four runs, three earned across 4 ⅔ innings. After Bautista, J.J. Niekro, Miguel Pena and Rob Griswold combined for the final 6 ⅔ innings where they allowed six runs, five being earned but struck out 11 batters. Griswold was the only Braves pitcher to not allow a run or three or more base runners as he struck out five and just gave up one hit in his two innings of work.

(42-48) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (44-47) Charleston RiverDogs 6

  • Ambioris Tavarez 1-3, 1 HR, 1 K
  • Jeremy Celedonio, 0-1, 1 K, 3 BB, 1 R1 R
  • Luis Vargas, SP, 5 ⅔ IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 K

Offensively, the GreenJackets struggled badly picking up just three hits and forcing four walks. Their offensive production was largely split between Candelario, Tavares, Nick Clarno and Cory Acton with the latter three picking up RBI’s and Candelario reaching base thrice. The GreenJackets had just four at bats with runners in scoring position and they went 0-4 in those plate appearances.

Vargas struggled badly as shown by his box score line. It wasn’t the type of outing where he was dominant in all but one inning either as he gave up two runs in three of the six innings he pitched in. In his two and ⅔ innings that he allowed six combined runs he faced 16 combined batters in those frames. In the three innings where he didn’t allow runs he faced just 11 combined batters. Prior to this one Vargas had six consecutive starts where he allowed two or fewer runs so this is likely just a blip on the radar. Ronaldo Alesandro came in in relief of Vargas and pitched 2 ⅓ shutout innings where he struck out two.

(13-22) DSL Guardians Blue 9, (10-25) DSL Braves 8 F/10

Mario Baez has been the best hitter on the DSL Braves this season hitting .325 with two homers and that success continued into today. The shortstop went 1-3 with two walks which was his first multi walk game of the year. John Gil and Luis Parababire each picked up two hits with the duo also combining for six RBI’s between the two and Parababire hit his first homer this season. Starting pitcher Luis Arestigueta got roughed up allowing four runs, three of which were earned as well as two strikeouts and a pair of walks. In his last two starts now he has allowed eight earned runs in just 3 ⅔ innings pitched.

(16-19) FCL Braves 3, (16-19) FCL Twins 2 F/10

The Braves somehow picked up only three hits and two walks but were still able to do enough offensively to get the win. They oddly almost treated this as a Spring Training game as they had 16 different batters get at bats with just three of them getting more three plus ABs. Maximo Maria and Drew Compton were the two Braves hitters to pick up RBI’s as they each picked up one with the other run being scored via a wild pitch. Starting pitcher Rolando Gutierrez threw five innings of two run ball with eight strikeouts and one walk.

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