The Braves announced a host of roster moves this morning. Pitching prospect Freddy Tarnok has been recalled, while the club selected the contract of infielder Ryan Goins. Catcher Chadwick Tromp has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left quad strain, while reliever Danny Young was designated for assignment.
Tarnok, 23, is headed to the big leagues for the first time. A third-round pick out of a Florida high school in 2017, the 6’3″ hurler has spent the past few seasons as one of the organization’s more interesting pitching prospects. He’s split the 2022 campaign between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett, starting all 20 of his appearances. Between the two levels, he owns a 3.63 ERA over 89 1/3 innings, striking out an impressive 27% of batters faced against a slightly elevated but manageable 9.1% walk rate.
Baseball America recently slotted Tarnok as the #8 prospect in the Atlanta farm system. The outlet praised his 95-98 MPH heater and a downer curveball that could be a plus offering. He also mixes in a slider and changeup and has solid control, giving him an opportunity to carve out a role in the starting rotation. Tarnok, who was added to the 40-man roster last winter to keep him out of the Rule 5 draft, is in his first of three minor league option years and could bounce on and off the active roster.
That’s not the case for Goins, who is back in the big leagues for the first time in two years. The 34-year-old utilityman signed a minor league contract with the Braves over the offseason. He’s only hitting .221/.250/.272 over 250 plate appearances with Gwinnett, but he’s a quality defender who can cover all around the infield. Atlanta placed Ehire Adrianza on the 10-day injured due to a non-COVID viral infection earlier this week, so Goins will step into the utility role.
A left-handed hitter, Goins has appeared in eight previous big league seasons. The bulk of that time came with the Blue Jays, where current Atlanta president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos served as general manager for a while. He’s a .228/.278/.333 career hitter, but he’s rated as a plus defensive second baseman throughout his time in the majors.
The Braves just nabbed Young off waivers from the Mariners last week. The 28-year-old made his only appearance in an Atlanta uniform last night, tossing 2 2/3 innings of mop-up work in a blowout win over the Mets. He’s up to 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball between Seattle and Atlanta, striking out six with a couple of walks but averaging only 88.7 MPH on his sinker. The lack of velocity hasn’t stopped the University of Florida product from posting strong numbers in Triple-A this year. He’s combined for 29 2/3 innings of 3.64 ERA ball, striking out a stellar 35.2% of opponents against an 8% walk rate.
Young will find himself back on waivers over the next couple days. Between his Triple-A production and all three remaining minor league option years, he could draw some interest from teams seeking left-handed relief depth.