The Braves have selected the contract of young lefty Luiz Gohara and scheduled him for his MLB debut tonight, as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported. Atlanta will push back Julio Teheran, who had been scheduled to start.
Gohara, who only recently turned 21, came to the Atlanta organization in an offseason swap that also netted the Braves interesting relief prospect Thomas Burrows. The Mariners originally signed Gohara out of his native Brazil in time for him to join the organization briefly in 2013; due to a rules quirk, he was not eligible for the Rule 5 draft last year but would have been this coming winter.
With the Braves set to add Gohara to the 40-man roster anyway, then, the club decided to give him a taste of the majors before ending his whirlwind campaign. He has already thrown far more innings (123 2/3) than ever before, spread across three levels of the minors.
Gohara opened the season at High-A, marking his first experience there. But it wasn’t long before he moved up to Double-A, where he threw well enough to merit another bump to the highest level of the minors. All told, Gohara carries a 2.62 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 on the year.
As he has swiftly ascended the ladder, Gohara has climbed prospect ranking charts. ESPN.com’s Keith Law (#39), Baseball America (#77), and MLB.com (#91) have all moved him into their rankings of the game’s top prospects. While conditioning and durability remain long-term concerns for the talented southpaw, he has certainly shown this year that he is capable of converting his big-time raw stuff into productivity over the course of a full season.
It’s not yet known whether Gohara will have a shot at earning a rotation spot out of camp next year, but he could force the club’s hand with a big showing to end the season. For now, Atlanta will be content watching another interesting young arm rise to the majors. The team has already called up Sean Newcomb, Max Fried, and Lucas Sims for their first MLB action this year.