It’s finally time. We’ve been wondering when the Braves would give Austin Riley another shot at the majors after he partially tore his LCL, and Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports today is the day they will call him up to face LHP Patrick Corbin.
The Braves had Austin Riley play RF for Gwinnett last night to prepare him to return tonight and be part of the right-handed heavy lineup used against Corbin, who has allowed a .523 OPS vs. LHH and a .668 OPS vs. RHH
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) September 6, 2019
Riley’s been practicing in right field for the last two games in Gwinnett, preparing him for whatever might come over this playoff stretch. He went 1-4 last night and hit his first homer since his return the night before. Prior to that, he had collected eight hits in the final seven regular-season games for the Stripers.
When Riley first came up, he lit the world on fire as few rookies can. In his first month and a half (42 games), he slashed .280/.333/.596, blasting 14 home runs with 37 RBIs. Riley had the Braves offense looking like the best in all of baseball, and the team took control of the NL East because of it.
Then the slump came.
From June 30th to August 4th (24 games), Riley slashed .160/.210/.307, had only three home runs, and struck out 34 times. Major league pitchers found the book on him as they fed him breaking balls out of the strike zone that he could not lay off of. Hopefully, the time off and his stint in Gwinnett cleared his mind a bit, and he can return to form as the season wanes because the Braves reach another level when he is cooking.