As we reported first on 'The Bill Shanks Show' 105.5 the Fan in Macon and 'Buck and Kincaid' on 680 the Fan in Atlanta, the Braves will promote left-hander Jo Jo Reyes to start against the San Diego Padres on Saturday afternoon.
Braves' ace John Smoltz will be examined by doctors Friday in Atlanta. It's likely he'll go on the disabled list to rest his ailing shoulder. He was originally scheduled to start Saturday.
The Braves have also promoted reliever Joey Devine from AA Mississippi and sent infielder Pete Orr to AAA Richmond. The Braves bullpen has been used a lot in the last ten days and they need another arm until the All-Star Break. Devine has been up twice before this season for short stints in the big leagues.
Reyes has emerged as the Braves' top pitching prospect with a solid year split between Mississippi and Richmond. In 13 starts in Double-A, Reyes was 8-1 with a 3.56 ERA, 63 hits allowed in 73.1 innings, 29 earned runs, 35 walks, and 71 strikeouts.
Reyes has pitched four games in Richmond and was 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA. He allowed 21 hits in 23 innings, with 10 walks, and 27 strikeouts.
The Braves drafted Reyes in the second round of the 2003 draft out of West Covina, California. Even as an 18-year-old in his first year Reyes was a very polished pitcher. But injuries jumped in the way as Reyes had Tommy John surgery in 2004 and then a torn ACL in 2005.
Reyes bounced back last year and split the season between Rome and Myrtle Beach. He was 12-5 overall with a 3.51 ERA in 27 starts. Reyes also had 142 strikeouts last season. In his minor league career, Reyes has 399 strikeouts in 406 innings pitched.
The six-foot-two Reyes has a fastball in the 91-94 range, a changeup, curve, and slider. He should have a lot of friends and family on hand Saturday as San Diego is about an hour and a half from his home in Riverside.
Devine is tied for the Southern League lead with 16 saves. He's got a 2.04 ERA in 33 games and 51 strikeouts in 35 innings.
Orr has been the Braves' 25th man on the roster for the last two and a half seasons. He's hitting .179 this season in 59 at bats and 43 games played.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.