The Braves announced several roster moves Saturday, including the promotion of right-handed pitching prospect Kyle Wright, whom they selected from Triple-A Gwinnett. The club also transferred closer Arodys Vizcaino to the 60-day disabled list and selected outfielder Lane Adams’ contract from Triple-A. Meanwhile, injured righty Brandon McCarthy re-aggravated his right knee during a rehab assignment and did not come off the 60-day DL, Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
There’s a lot to unpack here, though the most exciting news for Atlanta is the addition of Wright. The ex-Vanderbilt standout entered the 2017 draft as a potential No. 1 pick, but he fell to No. 5, leading the Braves to scoop Wright up and sign him to a then-record bonus worth $7MM. Wright has made good on that pick by emerging as one of the majors’ elite pitching prospects, evidenced in part by MLB.com ranking him as the game’s 24th-best farmhand. The 22-year-old is set to become the latest highly promising Braves hurler to debut in 2018, joining the now-injured Mike Soroka, Touki Toussaint and Kolby Allard.
While Wright has a chance to eventually emerge as a high-end starter, he’ll work out of the playoff-contending Braves’ bullpen down the stretch, per Burns. Wright did make three relief appearances out of seven at the Triple-A level this year, but he has primarily served as a starter in 2018. Across 27 appearances and 24 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this season, Wright pitched to a 3.46 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
Elsewhere in the Braves’ bullpen, Vizcaino’s move to the 60-day DL looks discouraging on the surface, but he’s still likely to make it back in 2018, manager Brian Snitker told Burns and other reporters on Saturday. Vizcaino had been on the 10-day DL since July 14 with right shoulder troubles, so he’s now ineligible to return until mid-September. His absence has paved the way for lefty A.J. Minter to close for the Braves, and the latter has converted 11 of 13 saves while notching a 3.12 ERA with 10.21 K/9 against 2.94 BB/9 in 52 innings this season.
While the the latest development regarding Vizcaino isn’t ideal, McCarthy’s setback is downright discouraging, as it’s now possible he has thrown his last major league pitch. McCarthy, who hasn’t taken a major league mound since June 24, announced earlier this month that he plans to retire at the end of the season. The 35-year-old has started in all 15 of his appearances this season, but he was set to finish the year as a reliever upon his return.
Adams, whom the Braves signed to a minors pact in mid-July, saw action with them earlier season and last year, totaling 143 plate appearances and batting a respectable .270/.345/.460. The 28-year-old was out of the Atlanta organization for a brief period in 2018, though, as he elected free agency in late April and then latched on with the Cubs. But Adams struggled with Chicago’s top minor league affiliate before rejoining Gwinnett, with which he hit an unappealing .191/.238/.266 with no home runs in 101 PAs this season.