Hurston Waldrep made his AAA debut on Saturday, leaving the door cracked for him to get a shot at the majors and potentially a spot on the playoff roster out of the bullpen. Waldrep had a good outing, striking out 5 over 4.1 innings, walking 3, and needing 75 pitches. He struck out 4 over his first two innings. He has walked a few more than is comfortable in the minors, which was a concern in college, but a good number of those walks were in AA, with the experimental tacky ball. He has struck out a ton in the minors, just as he did in college, and he does seem to have some very high end stuff that should play at any level, which is what leaves the door open for him to be used as a bullpen option.
It is interesting that they are keeping him fairly stretched out as a starter, as he would presumably be way down in the pecking order for a playoff start. He could conceivably get a start down the home stretch of the regular season, especially as Max Fried won’t start again until the playoffs and Charlie Morton has a mystery finger injury that seems likely to go down the same road as Fried’s at least. Ironically, these same factors that might put Waldrep in a place to appear before the end of the regular season might make it less likely that he makes the playoff roster, as the Braves may want a safer option to cover innings if the injured pitchers are good enough to be on the roster but at risk of reinjury.
Hurtson Waldrep was set to make his Gwinnett debut, so we took a look at his brief professional career.
AJ Smith-Shawver had an up and down outing in Gwinnett, Friday.