Julio T. did what aces do last night, settling the jangled nerves of Braves fans with another sublime effort. He has failed to pitch at least 6 innings only once, and he’s tallied at least 7 innings in 8 of his 12 starts. He’s been the most consistent performer on this Braves team.
Ian Thomas has been anything but consistent, and he’s headed to Gwinnett to sharpen his repertoire. His replacement: Shae Simmons, the closer for the Mississippi Braves. The former 22nd round draft pick out of Southeast Missouri State has assembled a Kimbrel-like resume in the minors, striking out 148 and allowing just 62 hits in 101 IP. He’s not a big guy but can touch the upper-90s with his fastball, which he compliments with a hard slider.
Simmons had 14 saves for the M-Braves with a 0.78 ERA and 0.913 WHIP.
Ervin Santana toes the slab today, and he’s neither as good as he was in April or as bad as he’s been his last three starts. With this offense, he’ll need to be closer to the April version if the Braves are to prevail. He faces Jacob Turner, perhaps the weakest link in the Marlins rotation.