Braves Transactions: 7/31/17 – A Tradeless Afternoon

No Trades, Just Moves

Sent RHP Jason Motte to Gwinnett on a rehab assignment.

Promoted LHP Philip Pfeifer from AA Mississippi to AAA Gwinnett.

Demoted RHP Junior Rincon from AAA Gwinnett to AA Mississippi.

Promoted RHP Touki Toussaint from A+ Florida to AA Mississippi.

Activated A+ Florida LHP Chase Johnson-Mullins from the 7-day DL.

Demoted C Sal Giardina from AA Mississippi to A+ Florida.

Demoted C Alan Crowley from A- Rome to R- Danville.

Demoted 1B Austin Bush from A- Rome to R- Danville.

Promoted OF Leudys Baez from R- Danville to A- Rome.

Promoted C Drew Lugbauer from R- Danville to A- Rome.

Fire Frogs RHP Touki Toussaint. (Photo: MLBPipeline.com via Twitter)

Sent RHP Jason Motte to Gwinnett on a rehab assignment

Just a change of venue for Motte’s rehabilitation, nothing more.

Promoted LHP Philip Pfeifer from AA Mississippi to AAA Gwinnett

A former 3rd round pick out of Vanderbilt, Pfeifer is your typical volatile-but-talented relief prospect. In 44.1 innings in Mississippi this year, he struck out 68 batters and posted a 3.45 ERA. He also walked 33. Command issues may always plague him (due, apparently, to poor repeatability in his mechanics), but as a lefty reliever, they may not prevent him from reaching the majors, especially if the K-rate sticks and he remains difficult to hit. A southpaw who touches 95 is a legitimate prospect in any system, even if his ceiling suggests middle relief. Gwinnett is an aggressive assignment, but he’s 25, and they’re going to have to see if he can get high level hitters out sooner or later.

Demoted RHP Junior Rincon from AAA Gwinnett to AA Mississippi

Per the Junior Rincon Transactions Act of 2014 [12 U.S.C. § 93], Junior Rincon must be promoted or demoted weekly, lest the organization really find out what he’s like once he gets settle in at home.

Promoted RHP Touki Toussaint from A+ Florida to AA Mississippi

Just when you think the organization may not pay enough attention to advanced stats, they do something like this. If all you saw were Toussaint’s scoreboard stats, you likely wouldn’t think him ready for the high minors. He was 3-9 with a 5.04 ERA, after all. However, advanced stats like FIP (3.34) and DRA (2.47) indicated that Toussaint was performing quite well against his peers. He struck out 10.5 per nine, kept walks (3.6) and homers (0.7) generally in check, and looked like he belonged, regardless of what poor luck with BABIP and hit sequencing did to his ERA. The team has to be pleased with the development of the 21 year old, development that has taken a big step forward in 2017. There’s still a decent chance Toussaint becomes the best non-Inciarte player Atlanta acquired from Arizona in 2015.

He rewarded the team’s faith with 6 innings of 2-run, 4-hit, 2-walk, 4-strikeout ball in his first AA start.

Activated A+ Florida LHP Chase Johnson-Mullins from the 7-day DL

The big lefty, if you remember, was having a nice season out of the pen for Florida when he hit the DL, so after roughly 5 weeks on the shelf, he’ll hopefully resume it. If Johnson-Mullins, one of the few professional baseball players that might make Aaron Judge nervous,  manages to keep dominating hitters, his prospect status might match his stature.

Demoted C Sal Giardina from AA Mississippi to A+ Florida

Are people named Sal allowed to play any position other than catcher? Giardina (.248/.319/.348) is organizational depth, and depth goes where depth is needed. Right, Junior Rincon?

Demoted C Alan Crowley from A- Rome to R- Danville

Mr. Crowley, what went on in your head?
Mr. Crowley, how come your bat is so dead?

Atlanta, please sign Crowley to baseball’s first lifetime contract so that I may continue to do this in perpetuity.

Demoted 1B Austin Bush from A- Rome to R- Danville

Slashing just .216/.292/.333 in limited play in Rome, the large 1st baseman heads back to Appalachia for some seasoning.

Promoted OF Leudys Baez from R- Danville to A- Rome

We’ve done this dance before, and it has yet to work out. Baez tantalizes us with his raw tools in rookie ball, this time slashing .340/.415/.585, but every promotion to A-ball has gone poorly. It’s not at all too late for a 20 year old to click and turn into a prospect of note, but fans should have a show-me attitude for now.

Promoted C Drew Lugbauer from R- Danville to A- Rome

The former Michigan catcher displayed impressive power in rookie ball, slashing .243/.366/.573 with 10 home runs in just 124 plate appearances. The 20-year old did go from the Big Ten to rookie ball, which might explain why he was able to tee off so quickly; it might well have been his easiest competition of the year. The BA was held back by an unlucky BABIP (.238), so perhaps the Braves found an interesting prospect in the 11th round of this year’s draft.

About Brent Blackwell 172 Articles

Brent Blackwell also writes for College Football By The Numbers at www.cfbtn.com.

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