The Braves rebounded this past week, and finished off on a strong note with a sweep of the Fish in Miami. Overall they went 4-2, and had some great takeaways from their series against the Reds and Marlins. Todd Cunningham has been on fire since being called up, hitting 8-for-12. Shelby Miller was a single out away from being the first Braves pitcher in over 20 years to throw a no-hitter. The Braves are really starting to turn things around as their starting pitching is finally clicking. The bats have been churning all season long, and everyone knows the Braves’ pitching staff is capable of so much more. With struggling Trevor Cahill and Eric Stults removed from the rotation, the Braves now have a better chance to win games any given night. They sit just 3.5 games out of 1st in the East, and the division is still wide open. The guys need to take away some confidence from this past series and they can at least compete for a Wild Card Spot. Let’s take a look at the standings, transactions and results from the past week:
(5/11): Braves 2, Reds 1: W: Avilan (1-0) L: Chapman (1-2) SV: J. Johnson (2)
(5/12): Reds 4, Braves 3: W: Chapman (2-2) L: Grilli (0-2)
(5/13): Reds 5, Braves 1: W: Iglesias (1-0) L: Stults (1-4)
(5/15): Braves 5, Marlins 3: W: Martin (2-2) L: Dunn (0-2) SV: Grilli (10)
(5/16): Braves 5, Marlins 3: W: Wood (2-2) L: Latos (1-4) SV: Grilli (11)
(5/17): Braves 6, Marlins 0: W: Miller (5-1) L: Alvarez (0-3)
5/12: Signed Catcher Wil Nieves to a Minor League Contract
5/14: Kelly Johnson put on the 15-Day DL; Call up Todd Cunningham
Shelby Miller has been nothing short of an ace for Atlanta, and there are no signs of him stopping anytime soon. This past week, Miller only gave up 1 earned run and 5 hits across 16 innings. He was a single out away from being the first Atlanta Brave to throw a no-hitter since Kent Mercker on April 8, 1994. Miller’s stats in May: 2-0 record, a 0.36 ERA, 20 K’s, 4 BB, and hitters are only hitting .099 off him. He has thrown two shutouts. True aces have become such a hot commodity in recent years to be able to go out and win playoff games, and the Braves have found their ace in Miller. He has the lowest ERA in baseball at 1.33. Jason who? The Braves have stolen Shelby Miller.
Coming out of Spring Training, the Braves chose to go with Eric Stults instead of Wandy Rodriguez for a rotation spot. It’s clear that they made the wrong choice. Stults’ struggles continued Wednesday against the Reds, giving up 5 earned runs in 5 innings in the Braves’ 5-1 loss. Stults has now been replaced by Williams Perez in the rotation, and has been moved to the bullpen. Stults’ time as a Brave could soon be coming to an end. He has a 5.36 ERA in 7 starts, and the Braves have seen enough.
Prospect of the Week:
Shelby Miller has gotten a ton of love, but don’t sleep on Tyrell Jenkins. Jenkins has two great starts this week, giving up only a single earned run and 10 hits in 14 innings pitched. Tyrell has great stuff, but the one facet of his game he needs to work on is preventing walking batters. He has almost as many walks (19) as he does strikeouts (26) on the season. However, he does own a 3.00 ERA and batters are hitting .237 off him. His first season in AA has been successful so far, and Jenkins could see himself in Atlanta’s rotation as soon as next season.
- Tampa Bay Rays (5/19-5/20)
- Milwaukee Brewers (5/21-5/24)