Atlanta Braves: Mauricio Cabrera joins the bullpen


Monday, June 27, the Atlanta Braves designated right-handed pitcher Alexi Ogando for assignment and recalled Mauricio Cabrera from Double-A Mississippi.

The Atlanta Braves are continuing to add more youth to the bullpen to replace veterans on the decline, and the addition of Mauricio Cabrera is no different.

Though the Braves had a good run overall against the New York Mets this past week, 32-year-old veteran reliever Alexi Ogando experienced more of a struggle, giving up two runs in just two-thirds of an inning against the Mets on Sunday.

Though he has had a decent season, the struggle began earlier in June for Ogando. He posted a 3.94 ERA in 32 innings, but it’s his average 6.5 walks per nine innings that’s hurting him. In short, his walk rate became higher than his strikeout rate.

Then, there’s Cabrera. According to FOX Sports South, he’s “one of minor-league baseball’s liveliest arms.” Why is that? Cabrera is capable of throwing a 100-plus mph fastball.

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VIA FOX Sports South:

"Once considered one of the team’s top pitching prospects, he transitioned to a full-time relief role in 2014. His strikeout rate reached double digits in rookie ball and last season at Double-A Mississippi, but an extremely elevated walk rate caused his ERA to spike at 5.71 through 17 1/3 innings pitched. Similar issues plagued him in the Arizona Fall League.He’s flashed more consistency in his second season at Mississippi. Cabrera’s 3.41 fielding-independent pitching is the best of his career, and though the command remains his No. 1 concern, his pure stuff — assuming he can continue to develop his breaking ball and changeup — remains closer quality at the major-league level. The 6-foot-3 righty out of the Dominican Republic has touched 103 miles per hour this season."

With an improved walk rate in addition to that 100-plus mph fastball, why wouldn’t the Atlanta Braves give him a shot in the bullpen? The 22-year old’s triple digit fastball definitely gives him a good shot at being a successful reliever for the Atlanta Braves.

Keep in mind, Cabrera is heading straight to Atlanta from Double-A Mississippi, having never made an appearance with Triple-A Gwinnett. Cabrera‘s first appearance will be his major league debut.

Next: Atlanta Braves sign former UCA pitcher Connor Gilmore

As for Ogando, there have been rumors circulating in the past month that he could be the next Atlanta Braves player to be traded, and this move allows him an opportunity with another major league club. For now it appears the Atlanta Braves are continuing on their quest for more youth.