Losers of eight of their last nine, heading into a three-game set with the best team in baseball and owners of a 20-3 record in July, things have taken a turn for the worse since the Braves approached the .500 mark. The biggest thing for the organization to look forward to is their development of young players down the stretch of the season, and two of their best prospects made their MLB debuts last night.
Lucas Sims finally got the call to start his first game for the major league club. The Braves have an open rotation spot with the departure of Jaime Garcia, and Sims certainly made a case to retain that spot for at least a few more starts.
Facing off against one of the best lineups in all of baseball, Sims was very composed for a pitcher making his MLB debut. Control issues have been his main concern as he has risen through the ranks of the minors, but that was not a problem on Tuesday. Sims did not walk a batter. Although, he will definitely like to have some of his two strike pitches back. He allowed six hits on the night and all came with two strikes, including a long home-run to Cody Bellinger.
If he can turn some of those two-strike hits into strikeouts, like he did throughout the minors, Sims should be just fine. This was a more than respectable outing for a major league debut, as Sims finished six innings allowing six hits and three earned runs while striking out three in a losing effort.
Sims might have felt a little more comfortable out there knowing a fellow teammate would also be making his MLB debut alongside him. In a somewhat surprising announcement, Ozzie Albies was called up prior to Tuesday’s game and started at second base.
Albies is the number two ranked prospect in the Braves system according to MLB.com and the best contact bat. It is just a matter of time before this 20-year old is playing everyday for the Braves. He went 0-2 with a walk in his third at bat and later scored on a Johan Camargo home run.
Nothing sexy about the performance, but manager Brian Snitker said after the game that Albies will be the starting second baseman going forward. The team has been actively trying to trade Brandon Phillips and still may before the August deadline. With Matt Kemp currently on the DL, Matt Adams will be getting a shot at left field, Freddie Freeman will return to his primary first base position and Brandon Phillips will serve as the temporary third baseman.
It has been a rough patch for Braves fans, but the worst is past us. As a team out of contention, the final two months can still be the most enjoyable. The organization will give a multitude of talented prospects opportunities at the big league level. Fans may not have the playoffs to look forward to, but these prospects are the future, and the future is bright.