The Braves have selected the contract of right-hander Bryse Wilson from Triple-A Gwinnett, tweets David O’Brien of The Athletic. The Braves have since announced that he’ll start tonight’s game in place of Kevin Gausman, who, along with the rest of the Atlanta rotation, has had his start pushed back a day (Twitter link via O’Brien).
While the Braves only needed to make a 25-man roster move to accommodate Wilson’s promotion, they announced pair of corresponding 40-man moves: infielder Ryan Flaherty has been designated for assignment, while left-hander Chad Bell has been outrighted off the 40-man roster.
Wilson, 20, opened the 2018 season at Class-A Advanced but has skyrocketed through Atlanta’s system, topping out in Triple-A recently. The hard-throwing righty was the organization’s fourth-round pick in 2016 and currently ranks 13th in a deep Braves farm system, per the midseason prospect update from Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.
Wilson’s meteoric rise to the Majors began with 26 2/3 innings of 0.34 ERA ball in High-A to open the season. Those five starts earned him a promotion to Double-A Mississippi, where he posted a 3.97 ERA through 77 innings but turned in a much more impressive 2.77 FIP / 3.33 xFIP on the strength of 10.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.35 HR/9 and a 44 percent ground-ball rate. He’s only made three starts in Triple-A so far, and while he had mixed results in his first two outings, his dominance against the Reds’ top affiliate last week landed him second on Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet this week. BA’s J.J. Cooper noted that Wilson threw eight innings of one-hit ball without issuing a walk, facing the minimum number of hitters and racking up 13 strikeouts.
Remarkably, Wilson will join Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard and Ronald Acuna as prospects to debut in Atlanta before their 20th birthday this season. He draws praise for a fastball that sits 93-95 mph and can touch 97 mph with plenty of sink, as well as a slider and changeup that each have average or better potential.
Flaherty, 32, opened the season on a blistering hot streak for the Braves, but that was clearly unlikely to be sustained. The longtime Orioles utilityman managed a .315/.411/.435 slash through his first 107 plate appearance, but that production was buoyed by a .397 BABIP that was inevitably bound to regress. That has indeed been the case, as Flaherty has stumbled to catastrophic levels, going just 5-for-61 since mid-May while seeing his playing time evaporate.
Bell, meanwhile, has a 5.44 ERA In 41 1/3 innings for the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate after being claimed off waivers back in mid-May. Bell hasn’t had any issues missing bats (9.4 K/9), nor has he been especially generous in terms of yielding walks (2.6 BB/9) or home runs (0.65 HR/9). He has, however, been plagued by a .385 BABIP and a 64.7 percent strand rate. While fielding-independent pitching metrics are generally bullish on his work in Gwinnett, he went unclaimed on waivers and will remain with the Braves without occupying a 40-man spot.