The Braves failed to take full advantage of this week’s homestand, only taking 3 of 7 games. It was a week of ups and downs to say the least. There are definitely some positives to take away from the past week. Jace Peterson and Kelly Johnson have stepped up and have started to contribute with the bat. Trevor Cahill got pulled from his Friday start due to being used in the bullpen, and Mike Foltynewicz looked good in his first Major League start. He is penciled in to pitch this upcoming Wednesday as well, and if Folty replaces the struggling Cahill permanently that is a big plus for the team. Julio Teheran pitched shutout ball Sunday afternoon, and appeared to be the pitcher we’re used to seeing after struggled his past couple starts. The negatives? Dan Uggla’s three run homer in the 9th inning Tuesday was just one of those hopeless moments Atlanta fans suffer through. Chris Johnson also hit the DL with bone bruises around a fracture he has in his left hand. He is projected to miss 3-6 weeks due to the injury. It was another mediocre week for an Atlanta team that’s still trying to hit its stride, but they still sit at 2nd in the NL East nonetheless. Let’s take a look at the standings, transactions and results from the past week:
(4/27): Braves 8, Nationals 4: W: Stults (1-1) L: Fister (1-1)
(4/28): Nationals 13, Braves 12: W: Treinen (1-2) L: Grilli (0-1) SV: Storen (5)
(4/29): Nationals 13, Braves 4: W: Zimmermann (2-2) L: Wood (1-1)
(4/30): Reds 5, Braves 1: W: Leake (1-1) L: Miller (3-1)
(5/1): Braves 4, Reds 3: W: Foltynewicz (1-0) L: DeSclafani (2-2) SV: Grilli (8)
(5/2): Reds 8, Braves 4: W: Marquis (3-1) L: Stults (1-2)
(5/3): Braves 5, Reds 0: W: Teheran (3-1) L: Cueto (2-3)
4/30: Braves call up Donnie Veal from AAA Gwinnett, send John Cornely to AAA Gwinnett
5/1: Braves put Chris Johnson on 15-Day DL, call up Michael Foltynewicz from AAA Gwinnett
5/2: Braves transfer Mike Minor from 15-Day DL to 60-Day DL
Braves call up Pedro Ciriaco from AAA Gwinnett, send Ian Thomas to AAA Gwinnett
Kelly Johnson loves being back in Atlanta, where his career started as one of the “Baby Braves” in 2005. KJ has made the most of being brought in as a Non-Roster Invite to Spring Training. He not only made the team, but has been a difference maker for the team lately. This past week, Kelly hit .308 (8-for-26) with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. He now owns a .250 average this season. Kelly has continued to see more and more playing time, and he’s stepped up big time. Also getting consideration this week were A.J. Pierzynski, who finally had his 13-game hitting streak snapped, Freddie Freeman, who is just being Freddie Freeman, and Jace Peterson, who seems to have found his groove with the bat the past week.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Trevor Cahill sucks. The experiment has failed, and it’s time for the Braves to move on. Clearly the organization feels the same way with the calling up of Mike Foltynewicz. While many thought that Folty was likely just called up to make a spot start due to Cahill being used out of the bullpen prior to his start, they have the flamethrower penciled in to pitch in Wednesday’s contest as well. Look, getting the draft pick out of the Cahill deal was great, but this guy just doesn’t have it anymore. Foltynewicz’s service clock is already ticking, and if the team feels he is ready there is really no reason to keep Cahill around. In two innings of work during Wednesday’s contest, Cahill gave up 4 earned runs in two innings. In 14.1 innings pitched, he has given up 15 earned runs. I know this is a small sample size, but when a guy is giving up an earned run per inning he’s simply beyond a liability out there. Cahill has been demoted to the bullpen, and the situation surrounding him is fluid. It may be a temporary move… but it shouldn’t be.
Prospect of the Week:
One prospect that many have slept on is Williams Perez, and I’m as guilty as anyone. Perez did not make my Top 25 Prospect List during my most recent update. If he continues to pitch the way he has this season, then not only will that will change without question, but he could fly up my rankings. He deserves some love. Perez tossed 11 shutout innings (10 K’s, 2 BBs) over two starts this past week, continuing the success he has experienced in AAA Gwinnett all season so far. Perez owns a 1.33 ERA in 27 inning of work so far this season, only yielding 4 earned runs. The 23 year-old also put together a great year for AA Mississippi last season, and is a true sleeper in our farm system that nobody seems to be talking about. He’s in a farm system full of arms, but if Perez can achieve better success against right-handed batters, the Venezuelan could don a Braves uniform in the not so far future. Dustin Peterson also got some consideration this week as well.
Upcoming Week’s Opponents:
Philadelphia Phillies (5/4-5/6)
Washington Nationals (5/8-5/10)