Ogando, 32, currently has a respectable 3.94 ERA through 32 innings of work out of the Atlanta bullpen, but he’s registered that mark in spite of averaging a whopping 6.5 walks per nine innings. He’s been particularly ineffective over his past 10 outings, yielding nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and nine walks across just seven innings. The 8.2 K/9 rate he’s posted this season is his best since 2012, and he’s still averaging 94 mph on his fastball, but ERA estimators such as FIP (4.38), xFIP (5.45) and SIERA (5.13) all feel that there’s some significant regression in store for the former Rangers and Red Sox hurler.
Ogando has been the subject of some trade chatter over the past month, so perhaps Atlanta will be able to find a taker for him. However, if the team ultimately outrights him, Ogando has enough service time to reject the assignment in favor of free agency without forfeiting the remainder of his $2MM salary. He’s still owed about $1.06MM of that sum through season’s end, and the Braves will be on the hook for the majority of that unless they can find a trade partner. If he does become a free agent and latch on with another Major League club, he’ll earn the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for any time spent on a new team’s Major League roster, and that money will be subtracted from the sum still owed to him by Atlanta. In parts of seven big league seasons, Ogando has a career 3.47 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 38.8 percent ground-ball rate across 503 1/3 innings.
As for Cabrera, the 22-year-old will be making his Major League debut when he first takes the hill. He’s worked to a 3.21 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings at Double-A this season, though he’s endured similar control problems to the ones displayed by Ogando in the Majors; Cabrera has walked 22 batters (two intentional) and hit three men during that brief stint at Double-A. Both Baseball America and MLB.com rated Cabrera 27th in a very deep Braves farm system. The Dominican-born flamethrower averages 100 mph on his heater and has topped out at 103 mph, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, though he struggles to command the pitch. Cabrera also features a ridiculous-sounding 92 mph changeup, though BA notes that it needs work. The two scouting reports are split on whether his change or his slider is Cabrera’s best secondary offering, indicating that he’s not especially consistent with either pitch.