Two top Braves prospects are inching closer to the Majors, as MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets. The team has promoted Ozzie Albies from Double-A Mississippi to Triple-A Gwinnett and fellow shortstop Dansby Swanson from Class A+ Carolina to Mississippi. Albies was already a highly-regarded prospect heading into the season, but he’s surpassed expectations by skipping over Class A+ and batting .369/.442/.512 at Mississippi at the ridiculously young age of 19. Swanson, meanwhile, has hit brilliantly in his first full pro season, batting .333/.441/.526. The former Vanderbilt infielder and top overall 2015 draft pick appears to be on the fast track to the big leagues, where he could eventually pair with Albies in the Braves middle infield, likely with one of them moving from shortstop to second. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Pirates have announced that righty Jared Hughes has been reinstated from the 15-day DL, and that they’ve cleared space for him on the active roster by optioning fellow Rob Scahill to Triple-A Indianapolis. Hughes had missed the entire season to this point with a lat strain. The return of the ground-ball specialist should provide a boost to a Bucs bullpen that has struggled to this point, posting a 4.48 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and an ugly 4.5 BB/9 thus far and ranking as below replacement level as a unit.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who had thumb surgery in March, could be set to begin a rehab assignment in about three weeks, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. That timetable means Peralta might return to the team early in June. Mozeliak notes, though, that the team will still find ways to use rookie Aledmys Diaz, who’s batting a remarkable .420/.452/.739 while playing mostly shortstop so far this season.
- Reds first baseman Joey Votto is in the midst of the worst offensive month of his career, as FanGraphs’ Owen Watson notes. Votto is batting just .238/.330/.325, with an unusually high strikeout rate (23.4%) and low walk rate (11.7%). He’s also been very pull-happy at the plate, an approach Watson suggests might not work for him. He’s been pulling the ball so much in part because opposing pitchers are throwing inside against him, trying to get him to hit into defensive shifts. Votto likely needs to adjust to that strategy, and Watson seems confident that he will.