Optioned RHP Matt Wisler to AAA Gwinnett.
Recalled RHP Aaron Blair from AAA Gwinnett.
Promoted C Kade Scivicque from AA Mississippi to AAA Gwinnett.
Demoted C Joe Odom from AAA Gwinnett to AA Mississippi.
Promoted RHP Raymar Navarro from R-Danville to A+ Florida.
Optioned RHP Matt Wisler to AAA Gwinnett
Wisler knew all along his stay in Atlanta would be short, and Monday’s appearance (2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 R) did nothing to suggest Atlanta should change their plans.
Figuring out what to do with Wisler is going to have to be part of the team’s offseason goals. Once a promising prospect, Wisler has mostly been a very bad major league pitcher. He has flashed brilliance, but the flashes have been far too infrequent. He’s still 24, so there’s a reasonable chance he still figures this out and turns into a useful starter. Scanning his PECOTA comps, Clay Buchholz jumps out as another pitcher who was pretty useless at 24 (6.75 ERA over 76 innings his rookie year). It’s unlikely that Wisler turns out as nicely as Buchholz, but it’s still in the realm of possibility. Some guys just take longer. However, if the team wants to get anything out of Wisler, they’re going to need to let him get work in at AAA instead of bringing him up sporadically to serve as a mop-up guy at the MLB level. He’s thrown just 98.2 IP this year.
Recalled RHP Aaron Blair from AAA Gwinnett
Blair was really bad in 2016, at least in an overall sense, but he got better as the year went on because he started throwing more and more sliders. The slider wasn’t a heavily featured pitch during his early struggles, but he used it more and more as the year went on, throwing the sinker less. It worked well, especially in AAA, and when he got his September return to Atlanta, he had 2 good starts in his 3 appearances, including a brilliant game against Detroit to end the season. In that game against the Tigers, where he struck out 10 in 6 innings, he used the slider nearly as much as his four seam fastball.
Blair hasn’t been particularly good in ’17 at AAA, so it will be interesting to watch, in his MLB return, to see what his pitch selection looks like.
Promoted C Kade Scivicque from AA Mississippi to AAA Gwinnett
After a half-season, where Scivicque neither embarrassed himself at the plate nor stood out (.269/.319/.363), the man acquired for Erick Aybar heads to Gwinnett. It may have more to do with Joe Odom being sent down than it does with Scivicque being ready for a next step, but anyone’s AAA debut is a big moment.
Demoted C Joe Odom from AAA Gwinnett to AA Mississippi
I’m not sure if any player in the organization has had a more emotionally trying season, at least on the field. First, he was shelved for a lengthy amount of time with injury. When he returned, he batted 10 times in AA for Mississippi, gathering 10 hits, including 2 doubles. At that point, Odom was hurt again. When he got off the DL, he was promoted to Gwinnett, where he has also batted 10 times but has yet to collect a hit (though walks have earned him a .300 OBP). Neither sample size is large enough to get a feel for Odom, which is why it is likely better to just plant him on a roster somewhere and let him play. That may be the plan going forward, as with just 153 career plate appearances in AA, he could probably use more time at the level.
Promoted RHP Raymar Navarro from R-Danville to A+ Florida
In 2017, Navarro has been moved from Florida to Rome to Danville to Rome to Danville to Rome to the DL to Danville, and now to Florida. If you’re wondering if the constant shuffling has affected his performance? Well, if he otherwise would have been any good at all, then yes, it has affected his performance.