Still no Braves baseball, Major League Braves baseball that is. One more day. Breathe.
In the hunt: Did you feel inadequate watching Aroldis Chapman throw 104mph when the Reds were in town? Whether you had 104-envy or not, everyone wants a pitcher like that on their team. A report from MLB’s Jesse Sanchez indicates that the next big Cuban pitcher is almost ready to sign with a Major League team, and our Atlanta Braves are in the hunt. Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Gonzalez has a fastball in the mid-90s, a changeup, forkball, and curveball. There are at least six other teams interested, and he won’t come cheap, but he’s apparently almost Major League ready, and would need only a few minor league starts. You know, the Braves do have a manager who was born in Cuba. Maybe that will give them an edge.
Unknown Hinson: Hillcats lost. New pitcher Ryan Hinson had an interesting line: 6IP, 10H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 3SO, and he also had 4 double-plays turned behind him. The Cats turned 6 double-plays in the game. Levi Hyams hit his first Carolina League home run, the only run the Cats scored. The Braves just signed Hinson, who spent the last two and a half seasons pitching for the Wichita Wingnuts, an independent professional team in the American Association. He posted a league-best 1.53 ERA through 10 starts with the Wingnuts. He was originally a 10th-round pick by the Padres in 2009 out of Clemson.
A Hursh fell over the crowd: Rome lost. This year’s first round pick Jason Hursh continued the scoreless streak to begin his career with his third solid start for Rome: 2.2IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 3SO. He’s been terrific as a pro, though he’s only faced lineups one time through, so we’ll have to see how he fares once he starts going 5-6 innings. Eric Pfisterer also pitched well: 2.2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2SO.
Minor movement: LHP Matt Chaffee was demoted from Lynchburg to Rome. RHP Zach Jadofsky (high scrabble score) was promoted from Rome to Lynchburg. OF Blake Brown was demoted again from Rome to Danville. The Braves signed OF Daniel Carroll from the Lincoln Saltdogs of the independent league American Association. He was originally a 3rd round pick by the Mariners in 2007 out of high school. He made it as high as double-A in their system. Carroll has tons of speed, which will give the R-Braves some of the best team speed in the minor leagues.
Appy League Pithcer of the Week: LHP Michael Flores of the Danville Braves was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week. His only start last week was enough to earn the honors: 6.1IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 7SO. Flores was a top international signing a few years ago, and has progressed steadily through the Braves system. He currently ranks fourth in the league with 28 strikeouts. Meanwhile, a Danville double-header was rained out. Lot’s of rain-outs this year all over the minors.
Doh!-minican: I don’t usually talk about the Braves Dominican Summer League rookie ball team, but in yesterday’s game the five pitchers they used managed to put up a truly ugly, but noteworthy line: 9IP, 20H, 22R, 17ER, 14BB, 12SO, 2WP, 2HBP. This is one reason why I don’t usually talk about the rookie ball teams in the daily lines — it can turn into a beer-league game pretty quick.