September 27, 2012 at 11:38 am by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Game 3 vs. Marlins
The Braves made sure of at least a series win against the Marlins with a 3-0 win on Wednesday. Paul Maholm pitched 6.2 scoreless innings for a 70 game score, while Martin Prado went deep and drove in two. The Braves reached 90 wins with the victory but remain four back of the Nationals with seven to play.
Tommy Hanson will face Jacob Turner in the series finale. Turner was listed as the Tigers’ No. 1 prospect this year before being traded in the Anibal Sanchez deal. He’s had a rough go of it in 41.1 major league innings, recording a 5.23 ERA and 5.43 FIP. But he has flashed the talent that made him a No. 1 prospect, such as seven shutout innings against the NL Central-winning Reds on Sept. 14.
Turner’s biggest strength is variations of a very good fastball that runs 90-95, showing the ability to cut, sink and run arm-side. He also has a plus power curve in the high-70s that he goes to for strikeouts, as well as a good changeup.
After a few good-enough outings from Hanson, he went back to being a pumpkin last time out, allowing five runs in 5.1 innings to the Phillies. While his control has been better lately, his command remains weak, and he lacks the stuff to overcome it. Whether his shoulder is dead or his stuff and command have simply dropped off with fatigue, only he knows. But each five-plus-inning start means one fewer as a Brave, in my opinion.
Appy League Ranking
Baseball America rolled out its top 20 prospects in the Appalachian League. Braves prospects are Mauricio Cabrera (5th), Lucas Sims (6th) and Jose Peraza (18th).
Cabrera had a 2.97 ERA in 57.2 innings at Danville this season, including 48 strikeouts to 23 walks. He was ranked 21st on our midseason list, and Ethan said at the time: “Mauricio Cabrera is one of the most exciting arms in the system. Equipped with three potential above-average offerings, the 18-year-old Dominican right-hander has pitched exceptionally well in the Appalachian League, which is loaded with older college hitters. … Mauricio could be a top-5 prospect within the next year or so. Follow this kid.”
Many will remember Sims as the Braves’ first-round pick this year out of Brookwood High School in the Atlanta area. After three good starts in the GCL, he had a 4.33 ERA in 27 innings for Danville to end the season. The best part of his stint there was the 29 strikeouts to 12 walks, which is a good start for a kid fresh out of high school in the rookie league. Ethan: “All in all, Sims is definitely a special talent and garners close attention over the next couple of years. His ceiling resides near the top of the rotation thanks to a projectable three-pitch mix.”
Peraza put up a solid .281/.351/.339 line in 136 plate appearances at Danville as an 18-year-old. He hit our midseason list at 22nd. Ethan: “Jose offers a combination of defense, speed, and contact ability, and this is a nice package on which to build for an 18-year-old physically undeveloped shortstop that is knocking on the door to full-season ball.”
Braves.com recap for Wednesday’s win.
AJC quotes following Wednesday’s win. Paul Maholm: “Going out there the first few innings were trying to find the rhythm and get back into it. And going out for the third I felt like I found my rhythm and was able to pretty much throw every pitch for a strike.”
Per notes, another mention of Craig Kimbrel striking out four in one inning last night, and more details of the Braves honoring Chipper Jones on Friday. Also, Brian McCann played his 1,000th career game yesterday, making him the fourth catcher to reach that mark for the Braves; Joe Torre, Javy Lopez and Del Crandall are the other three.
In Maholm’s start Wednesday, according to ESPN Stats & Info, the Marlins swung at 15 two-strike pitches out of the zone from the left-hander (ESPN Insider).
Yahoo’s Tim Brown talks on Kris Medlen’s season.
Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors looks at Medlen as an extension candidate.
Grant Brisbee of SB Nation writes on the wild card berth for the Braves.
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes on the Braves staying patient after last year.
Rob Neyer does the same.