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Braves Minor League Recap: Drew Lugbauer makes his Triple A debut

Lugbauer homered in his first game for Gwinnett

Mesa Solar Sox v Peoria Javelinas Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Overall it was a terrible day for the Atlanta Braves minor league system. They won one of six games as a whole, got shut out in one and had multiple starting pitchers across the organization get rocked in extremely short starts. But, there were a few prospects/former big league players who did have strong showings.

(54-59) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (64-51) Durham Bulls 8

  • Drew Lugbauer 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • Jesus Aguilar 4-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • A.J Smith Shawver, SP, 5 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K

The Stripers offense had their moments as they racked up 11 hits, three of which were of the extra base variety. But, it unfortunately was not enough as they left seven runners on base, went 1-4 with runners in scoring position and hit into a double play. Jesus Aguilar who is in the midst of a 18 for 37 August where he has also walked 11 times in comparison to five strikeouts. There is not an obvious spot for him on the Braves roster as things currently stand, but if he continues hitting like this he is going to force the Braves into finding him a spot. In other news, 2017 11th round pick Drew Lugbauer appeared in his first career AAA game and more then held his own as he hit his 24th home run of the season.

Starting pitcher A.J. Smith Shawver had his third consecutive start in which he gave up three runs. He has struggled as of late with his command as this was his fourth start over his last six in which he walked three or more batters. It is nice to see his strikeout capabilities return though as he has struck out six or more batters in three of his last four starts. Besides Smith Lucas Leutge also came on to pitch a scoreless inning which dropped his ERA to 2.63 which gives Atlanta another depth arm.

(49-58) Mississippi Braves 0, (56-53) Biloxi Shuckers 3

  • Cal Conley 0-4, 2 K
  • Jesse Franklin V 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Alan Rangel, SP, 5 IP, 4 H. 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Tuesday’s game had to go down as one of the worst offensive Braves games of the season. They collected just two hits and three walks in comparison to 17 total strikeouts. To make matters worse they got shut down by three pitchers who entered the game with ERA’s north of 5.50. The Braves only had two at bats in which a runner was in scoring position and they left six men on base.

Adam Rangel had another encouraging outing as this was his third straight outing of five or more innings pitched whilst allowing two or fewer runs after a brutal June and July stretch where he allowed 34 runs across 38 ⅔ innings. The bullpen was okay as Peyton Williams and Jake McSteen pitched the final four innings with Williams allowing two earned runs to extend the Shuckers lead to three.

(50-59) Rome Braves 3, (57-46) Hickory Crawdads 9

  • David McCabe 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Patrick Halligan, SP, 1 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

The Braves really struggled to get anything going as they picked up just five hits and struck out thirteen times. No hitter in their lineup had more than one hit and only two batters reached base multiple times. Ignacio Alvarez continued his very strong season as his batting average now sits at .298 after a 1-4 showing. In the month of August he is currently 17-49, but just one of those base knocks has gone for extra bases.

Halligan has shown flashes this season as highlighted by his 3.00 ERA after his July 3rd start. Since then though his ERA has risen to a 4.60 with last night’s clunker almost raising it a full run from the 3.81 it was after his previous start. After Halligan came J.J. Nierko who also saw his struggles continue as the 25 year old gave up three runs, which now gives him three consecutive appearances in which he’s allowed three or more runs.

(51-57) Augusta GreenJackets 5, (50-55) Fredericksburg Nationals 13

  • Ambioris Tavarez 2-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • Tyler Collins 0-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB
  • Luis Vargas, SP, ⅔ IP, 2 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

Ambioris Tavarez continues to be a mystery to myself and probably just about every Braves fan. Yes the talent is tantalizing, but his two strikeouts last night bring his total up to 169 on the season. I do understand he is just 19 years old and will be throughout the remainder of the season, but a number like that is a massive red flag. But, on the flip side his two hits and RBI did account for a large portion of the GreenJackets offense. The night as a whole could’ve been much better for the GreenJackets but they left nine runners on base and went just 1-8 with RISP.

I don’t think there is a nice thing that can be said about Vargas’ start today so I am going to refrain from saying anything. Overall Vargas has had an up and down stretch of late. In his last six starts he has three games in which he has allowed a combined 15 runs across 11 ⅓ IP, in his other three games he’s allowed three earned runs in 15 ⅓ IP. Vargas aside, the Braves bullpen didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory either as they gave up an additional five runs across the other 7 ⅓ innings.

(14-34) DSL Braves 3, (20-29) DSL Brewers 6

Carlos Monteverde and Luis Parababire each picked up three hits and scored three runs combined between the two. Besides them though the Braves offense largely did not show as they struck out 11 times and four of their hitters didn’t pick up hits. Starting pitcher Lewis Sifontes struggled badly, throwing just two thirds of an inning and giving up two hits and four earned runs.

(28-22) FCL Braves 11, (21-28) FCL Twins 7

Diego Benitez had the best game amongst Braves hitters going 2-5 with a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored. Douglas Glod extended his small hitting streak to four consecutive games and he has now reached base safely in seven of his last eight games. Glod did not strikeout against the Twins and since a brutal five strikeout game on August 10th, he has only struck out twice. The Braves used seven pitchers with only one pitcher, Adel Dilone, going three innings which led to him picking up the victory.

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