The Braves are turning to right-hander Allan Winans to start Saturday’s game in Milwaukee, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). He’s not on the 40-man roster, so Atlanta will need to formally select his contract within the next 48 hours.
Winans entered the professional ranks as a 17th-round senior sign by the Mets five years ago. He topped out at Double-A in the New York farm system in 2021. After that season, Atlanta nabbed him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Winans spent the bulk of last year with Double-A Mississippi and has played at Triple-A Gwinnett for all of 2023.
The Campbell product has worked 102 2/3 innings over 18 appearances for the Stripers. He’s carrying a 2.81 ERA with decent underlying marks. Winans’ 22.3% strikeout percentage is nearly average, while he’s inducing grounders at a strong 49.6% clip and pounding the strike zone. His 6.3% walk rate is fifth-lowest among the 38 International League pitchers with 60+ innings.
At the start of the season, Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin of FanGraphs noted that Winans relies on a sinking fastball and an above-average changeup. As a near 28-year-old rookie, he’s certainly not a top prospect, but his strong upper level performance was enough to overcome the very modest draft profile and get to the big leagues. Now that he’s securing a 40-man roster spot, he’s in the mix as a depth starter.
Atlanta’s 40-man roster is full. Unless the Braves anticipate Jesse Chavez missing another month, they don’t have an obvious candidate for a 60-day injured list transfer. They’ll likely have to designate someone for assignment when they bring Winans up.