Some intriguing names are leaving Florida today, including a star prospect and some dark horse candidates for the bullpen:
The #Braves today optioned LHP Tucker Davidson, LHP Philip Pfeifer, C William Contreras and OF Cristian Pache to Triple-A Gwinnett. The club now has 48 players on the spring training roster.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 11, 2020
Friend of the podcast Tucker Davidson was having a pretty darn good spring. His 1.42 ERA over 6.1 IP was noteworthy, but he’ll begin 2020 in Gwinnett as expected. You can listen to our interview with Tucker, here. Super catching prospect William Contreras only saw 4 at-bats this spring and took a bit of a backseat to 9th overall pick Shea Langeliers, who remains in camp and has been very impressive so far. I think that is the most significant takeaway from this move; Langeliers has undoubtedly become “the guy” on the farm in regards to the future of the catcher’s spot in Atlanta.
The two headline names moving down are Philip Pfeifer and Cristian Pache (for two different reasons). The Knoxville lefty Pfeifer looked to have a real shot at making the Opening Day bullpen after Cole Hamels’ injury and Sean Newcomb sliding into a rotation spot (for now). Newcomb has been excellent as a starter so far this spring, posting a 2.00 ERA over 9 IP with 11 strikeouts compared to just 2 walks. Pfeifer himself has been electric, only giving up 1 run and 5 hits over 7.1 IP while striking out 10 men. I figured that Atlanta would want to get a more extended look at him, but he’ll be returning to Gwinnett today.
Cristian Pache was always going to start 2020 in Gwinnett, but after stroking a long home run yesterday and hitting .269 in 26 at-bats — we’ve seen the last of him until AAA Opening Day. I thought Pache would receive a little more time in the bigs to take a couple more ABs, but like the rest of these guys, he’s headed to minor league camp. It’s been fun watching all of them, and I think we’ll see all of these players (besides Contreras) in Atlanta very soon.
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