In a “wow – didn’t see this coming” move, the Atlanta Braves have made two more roster changes today:
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 19, 2014
First, the roster technicalities: since Pedro Beato and Dan Uggla are no longer on the 40-man roster, there was space to add Shreve. Luis Avilan remains on the 40-man, but is replaced by Shreve on the 25-man.
This is a bit of a shock: the Braves are known to be combing the majors in search of left-handed relief help. It was just a couple of days ago that I mentioned four prominent ones that were high on the wish list. But I also mentioned that Avilan had been scuffling – and more so lately as his ERA for July was 11.57 (4.85 for the season).
Evidently, the management has decided that they could wait no longer for Boston, et al, to get off top-dead-center on trade overtures. They have called up Chasen Shreve to take Avilan’s place, with the latter going to Gwinnett. Happy birthday, Luis.
About Chasen Shreve
He’s so new on the organization’s radar, that I don’t even have a photo that I can directly share with you. Instead, I’ll link this one shot by Braves’ minor-league-watcher C.B. Wilkins.
Chasen Dean Shreve just turned 24 years old and hails from Las Vegas, NV (Greg Maddux grew up there). Baseballamerica.com shows that he was an 11th round pick of the Braves in 2010, signing for a bonus of $125,000 out of the Junior College of Southern Nevada. Some bratty kid named Bryce Harper went there before dropping out for some other gig.
Until this year, you’d think he wasn’t going anywhere – bouncing between Lynchburg and Mississippi since 2012. This year, however, is different. I will give credit where due here: Martin Gandy (gondeee.com) wrote a feature on him just three days ago in which he declared that Shreve has ‘rediscovered his velocity’. You can read that piece to figure out ‘why’, but the upshot is this: he’s now throwing 93-94 mph instead of 86-90.
The best part? He’s done that while maintaining – even improving – his control.
The results are pretty clear: 54 innings, 7 saves (now that others are out of his way), 76 strikeouts and 9 walks. His batting average against is .213 and that yields a WHIP of 0.94 with a 2.48 ERA. That’ll work.
Obviously the Braves have noticed. Welcome to the Big Time, Chasen!