Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Transaction Tuesday: Allard, Shae, Kinman, Pache

These moves happened between May 31 and June 6. Check out the previous week's recap.

Gwinnett Braves
Promoted (from MIS): Brad Roney...A righty out of Southern Miss in 2014, Roney is another of those exciting arms who has off-the-charts stuff, but doesn't always know where it's going. In fact, he rarely does. Last year, he struck out 70 in 48.1 innings, but also walked 35, hit six batters, and uncorked six wild pitches. More of the same this year, but the Braves are still progressing him through the system in a hurry. While no one should be compared to Craig Kimbrel, it's worth remembering Kimbrel had serious control concerns in the minors. The year before he hit the majors, Kimbrel walked 6.8 per nine. With any luck, Roney will make that leap as well.

Activated: Sean Kazmar...The veteran Gwinnett fixture had been on the paternity list for a little over a week. I had wondered if he was considering retirement, but he got back in action over the last four days. He's hitting .302 this season.

Optioned: John Gant...One of the trio of pitchers holding down the long relief role for the Braves, Gant got into a pair of games against the Dodgers last week, including a two inning stint. It was his fourth stint in the majors just this year. Gant has looked good in 43 innings with Gwinnett.

Optioned: Ryan Weber...Another part of the trio with Gant and Casey Kelly, Weber has not been able to find the magic from last year that made him a competent fifth starter toward the end of the year for the Braves.

By Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA
[CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Rehab: Erick Aybar...Nobody needed to get away for awhile more than Aybar, who suffered a foot contusion a few weeks ago. He'll look to jumpstart his season once he is activated, though the results in Gwinnett have hardly been awe-inspiring (2-for-12, 2 SB, 2 BB, K).

Rehab: Shae Simmons...After some forearm tightness halted his rehab stint over a week ago, Simmons was able to get back in the saddle during the weekend. He opened a game with a hitless inning where he walked one batter and struck out two. So far in four rehab games, he's pitched four innings, allowed two hits, walked four, and struck out nine. The control needs to be cleaned up, but with another good rehab outing or two, he might rejoin the Braves.

Mississippi Braves
Acquired: Jed Bradley...A former first rounder out of Georgia Tech, Bradley was acquired from the Brewers for future considerations last week. In his first game, he allowed all three batters he faced to reach and each would score, giving him an ERA of infinity with Mississippi. The lefty was a Top 100 prospect heading into 2012, but that was a long time ago.

Activated: Kyle Kinman...A pair of DL trips have limited Kinman, who briefly became a potential option for the major league team toward the end of spring training. Lefties can't hit him, but can he progress against righties? With a wide-open bullpen situation in Atlanta, Kinman could get a look sooner rather than later.

Promoted (from MIS), Demoted: Steve Janas...After just a game in Gwinnett where he retired all six batters he faced, Janas returned to Mississippi. He's had a surprisingly good season after being moved from the starting rotation to the pen this year. He doesn't get K's, but also doesn't walk batters. It's difficult to see him as a prospect for the future, but he might have a chance to surprise.

Released: Danny Burawa...Things have gone from bad-to-worse-to-cut for Burawa this season. After a dozen games in the bigs last year for the Braves, Burawa entered spring with a chance to win a spot in the bullpen. He struggled early and was one of the first players crossed off. He went down to Gwinnett, but couldn't find the strikezone. A trip to Mississippi did little to help and after the Braves acquired Bradley, Burawa was cut to open up a spot.

Carolina Mudcats
Demoted (from GWI): Stephen Gaylor...Wherever you need him, Gaylor is there. Whether it's one game in Rome or another game in Gwinnett, Gaylor will be ready. For the most part, though, he's played in Carolina for 36 games where he's slashing .232/.347/.263 with 10 steals.

Demoted (from GWI): David Peterson...A righty out of the 2012 draft, Peterson was struggling very badly for Gwinnett to open the year. In 17.2 innings, he had been charged 18 earned runs, surrendered three homers, and walked 14. In his defense, four were intentional. A far cry from his 2015, where he had a 2.28 ERA in 51.1 innings as he climbed from Carolina to Gwinnett. A move to Carolina could help take the pressure off and get him jumpstarted.

Rome Braves
Promoted (from GCL): Kolby Allard...The expectation was that we wouldn't see Allard until later this month with Danville, but the 18 year-old first-rounder started his first game of the year yesterday with Rome. The results weren't so good, but it was great to see Allard get his season going with a game in Rome either way. The Braves will be very cautious with Allard and it wouldn't surprise me to see him head to Danville when their season begins.

Danville Braves
Demoted (from ROM): Adam McCreery...Early results were not overwhelming for McCreery, who gave up six runs (three earned) in 3.1 ING. He was moved down the ladder to make room for Allard.

Demoted (from CAR): A.J. Minter...I've yet to see an explanation for this move. Minter had thrown 10 innings over 7 games with Rome and Carolina before not appearing in a game for a week and getting reassigned to Danville. Theoretically, if it were an injury, Minter would have been DL'd. Maybe it was an innings deal?

GCL Braves
Promoted (from DSL): Anthony Concepcion...The following several moves were DSL guys from last year who were promoted to GCL to begin the year. Concepcion was a good bat last year, though he was a bit old for the league. He slashed .308/.410/.451 with 5 HR and 12 SB while splitting time between 1B and LF. I would have liked a more aggressive move to Danville.

Promoted (from DSL): William Contreras...A catcher, Contreras hit well last year in the DSL at just 17 years-old. He was part of the group of free agents the Braves added in the winter after changing general managers and scouting directors.

Promoted (from DSL): Luis Mejia...An infielder who turned 19 a few months ago, Mejia on-based .376 with the help of a 29 BB/25 K rate over 60 games. A little undersized, it's difficult to foresee the switch-hitter developing much power.

Promoted (from DSL): Luis Mora...Good to see Mora get a promotion after two years in the DSL. He had zero control in 2014, but turned it around in a big way in 2015 as one of the Braves' more dependable starters. A right-hander, he went form more walks than strikeouts to a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk rate in the span of a season. He turns 21 in a little more than a week.

Promoted (from DSL): Christian Pache...One of two big international pickups (Derian Cruz is the other), it's good to see that the Braves think enough of Pache to skip him past the DSL. Pache was ranked 11th by Fangraphs among the 2015 International Class. He's expected to have the skills to stick in center with a chance to hit for a high average with good power.

Promoted (from DSL): Ramon Taveras...Like Mora, Taveres pitched two seasons in the DSL before earning a trip state-side. A full-time reliever, Taveras's control improved tremendously a year after walking 11 in 14 innings as Taveras walked just six in 34.1 innings last year. He doesn't have gaudy K numbers, but the righty's improvement will keep him around for a third season.

Promoted (from DSL): Randy Ventura...No Brave had a bigger year in the DSL than Ventura, who swiped 55 bases in just 58 games last year with 35 walks to 27 strikeouts. A car accident ended his year prematurely, but if back, he'll get a chance to show that he has an encore in him. I ranked him 25th in my Top 50 before the season. His production early will go a long way toward keeping that spot.

Promoted (from DSL): Bredio Vega...A tall righty out of Panama, Vega struggled in the DSL last year especially early, but started to turn the corner over his last eight games. He K'd 13 in 13.2 innings while walking six. A reliever with good velocity, Vega could be a fun name to watch when the Gulf Coast League season opens.

DSL Braves
Too many moves to list as the Dominican Summer League rosters were set for the beginning of the season.

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