Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Wentz and Gohara pitch well, Cumberland homers

An interesting night down on the farm before several Braves affiliates enter their All-Star breaks

Gwinnett Braves 3, Columbus Clippers Clippers 9

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, 2B: 1-5, 2 RBI, .270/.319/.421
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-4, 2B, BB, .259/.339/.315
  • Patrick Weigel, SP: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 5.27 ERA

Today was not a banner start for Patrick Weigel as Columbus got to him early and often as Gwinnett was routed 9-3. Weigel struggled with his command as well as (if the stadium guns are to be believed), his velocity as he seemed to hitting around 90 MPH or so. Very possible the gun was being wonky, but given how poorly Weigel did in this game, it is worth monitoring going forward. Weigel had been excellent over his last five starts for Gwinnett in not allowing more than two runs in any of them. Akeel Morris is very quickly playing his way into consideration for a promotion with the big league club in the bullpen as he was excellent yet again with 1 23 innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts. He has struck out 38 batters in 31 innings (22 appearances) while posting a 2.03 ERA this season.

On offense, Ozzie Albies had a hit and a pair of RBIs in this game. He has nine hits and seven RBIs since his return from the disabled list on 6/13. Sean Kazmar had a pair of doubles in the game while Carlos Franco drove in Gwinnett’s other run in the game. Dustin Peterson, who has been off to an okay if unspectacular start to his season after a prolonged stint on the disabled list to start 2017, reached base twice in the game with a walk and a double. Power has seemingly eluded Dustin this season. After knocking 52 extra-base hits including 12 home runs in Double-A over 132 games, Dustin has just six extra-base hits in 29 games so far.

Mississippi Braves 6, Montgomery Biscuits 3

Box Score

  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, .317/.367/.450
  • Travis Demeritte, 3B: 1-4, run, .245/.323/.438
  • Luiz Gohara, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 3.48 ERA

Luiz Gohara pitched a gem and the offense backed him up as Mississippi defeated Montgomery 6-3. Gohara seems to be picking up in Double-A right where he left off in High-A with a stint on the disabled list being the only real hiccup. In his 20 23 innings for Mississippi, he has 25 strikeouts and 8 walks with half of those walks coming in one game. His slider was on point in this game and it is very quickly proving to be one of the best pitches in the Braves’ system.

On offense, Joey Meneses was doing work for Mississippi as he reached base three times with two hits including a double and a walk. He also drove in two runs while scoring another himself. Meneses seems to be following a pretty standard pattern for himself as he generally struggles when first being promoted to a level before adjusting and playing well. Ronald Acuna has struggled of late, although if we are being honest with ourselves he was likely due for a bit of bad luck. He has just six hits in his last ten games, although it appears he has been working hard on cutting down his strikeouts over the last week with just two in his past five games.

Rome Braves 3, Greenville Drive 4

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-5, RBI, .300/.354/.360
  • Brett Cumberland, DH: 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, .263/.432/.531
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.30 ERA

Joey Wentz had himself a fine game, but a defensive miscue late in the game allowed Greenville to rally and beat the Braves 4-3. Wentz has pitched very well for Rome this season and has been among their most consistent performers of late. The walk rate has creeped up a bit over his last few starts and he seems to have some awful luck on balls in play at times, but overall he is solidifying his place as one of the better pitching prospects in the Braves’ system. This was also the second straight start that Wentz went six innings for Rome and third time overall this season.

Don’t look now, but Cristian Pache is batting .300 for Rome while ranking among the league leaders in stolen bases. That combined with the elite defense he has been playing in center field should have Braves’ fans excited. With his line drive rates starting to trend upward, with his hand-eye coordination and speed, more extra-base hits should start to fall and his stock will go even higher. Brett Cumberland hit his 10th home run of the season and was also hit for the 25th time this season by a pitch. It is hard to project Cumberland given how much of his production has come from his pathological desire to inflict pain on himself, but the power has been real this season. Of note, all 10 of his homers this season have come off of righties (insert the usual small sample size caveats here).

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