The Braves have released veteran righty Nick Vincent from their Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett, per the transactions log at MiLB.com. The 35-year-old Vincent inked a minor league deal back on March 20.
Long one of the game’s more underappreciated relievers, Vincent has pitched at least 12 1/3 innings in the Majors every year dating back to his 2012 debut with the Padres. He’s worked to a sub-4.00 ERA in eight of those campaigns and notched identical marks of 4.43 in the other two. Overall, he sports a career 3.30 ERA with an above-average 24.1% strikeout rate and a very strong 6.2% walk rate in 411 2/3 Major League innings.
Despite that track record, Vincent has been outrighted three times in his big league career and has been relegated to minor league deals in free agency in recent years. The soft-tossing righty’s lack of velocity likely hasn’t helped his cause when it comes to appealing to modern front offices; Vincent’s heater has never averaged even 91 mph in a given big league season, and he averaged just 89.3 mph on the pitch in his 12 2/3 frames with the Twins in 2021. He’s typically offset that lack of zip on his fastball via pristine walk rates, a knack for inducing weak contact (career 87.2 mph average exit velocity, 32.2% hard-hit rate) and a better-than-average rate at keeping the ball in the yard.
Vincent’s time in Gwinnett didn’t go particularly smoothly, as he was tagged for 16 runs (albeit only 11 of them earned) in 19 2/3 innings. However, he was also dogged by a sky-high .462 batting average on balls in play, and his 30.7% strikeout rate and 4.5% walk rate were both excellent. Yesterday’s implementation of a maximum 13-man pitching staff likely doesn’t help Vincent’s cause in getting another big league look, but the majority of teams have more pronounced bullpen needs than the Braves currently do, so he ought to latch on elsewhere sooner than later.