Max Fried was promoted to Atlanta from Mississippi despite a 5.92 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. He’s not the only curious promotion within the Braves system. Austin Riley got the call to Mississippi despite an Adonis-like .718 OPS for High-A Florida. In 22 Double-A games Riley’s OPS is .676. Touki Toussaint made the same jump with a 5.04 ERA last week but did pitch well in his debut with the M-Braves. As for Fried the Braves plan to use him in long relief but maintain they still view him as a starter. This rapid promotion is unorthodox — in the case of Ronald Acuna, it’s worked, as he’s improved his walk rate and lowered his strikeouts at each step up the ladder.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Brian Snitker will be back as manager next year. I’m not a fan of his bullpen management, line-up construction and reliance on the bunt but the players swear by him.
The Braves are going to have to trade one of their corner outfielders to make room for Acuna. Markakis is the most likely to be moved because he has only one year on his contract. Still, he won’t be an easy sell. One possibility: the Orioles, in exchange for reliever Darren O’Day, who has two years and $18 mil remaining on his contract. Despite a 4.54 ERA O’Day’s peripherals are strong — 50 K’s, 28 HA in 39-2/3 IP — and the Braves could sure use the help in the ‘pen.