Atlanta Braves 'appear poised' to give LHP Mike Minor a look

First, the bad news: Atlanta starter Kris Medlen(notes) left Wednesday's outing after 4.1 innings due to a strained ulnar collateral ligament, and an MRI is scheduled for Thursday.

Now, the actionable news: In the wake of the Medlen injury, 22-year-old pitching prospect Mike Minor could be in line for a promotion.

This via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Braves have Kenshin Kawakami(notes) in the bullpen whom they could put back in the rotation. But he has pitched just once in the past six weeks – in relief against the Brewers on July 16 – since losing his starting job to Medlen. And Kawakami is 1-9 with a 4.48 ERA in 15 starts this season.

“I don’t know,” Cox said when asked if he’d turn to Kawakami. “He hasn’t pitched in so long.”

The Braves appear poised to turn to minor league prospect Mike Minor. The left-hander and last year’s first-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt, is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Gwinnett.

Fantasy owners obviously don't care so much about Minor's win-loss record. Instead, we're interested in the lefty's strikeout rate … and it's zesty. Minor has punched out 144 batters in 118.2 innings this year across two minor league levels. His fantasy ratios haven't really been eye-popping (3.49 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), but the K/9 of 10.92 makes him a prospect to target. Minor was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft (just ahead of Mike Leake(notes)), so this is a player who was already on the radar for dynasty league owners.

In his most recent start at Triple-A, Minor thoroughly dominated Rochester. He pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while striking out eight. If he gets the call, Minor could emerge as a useful option in the closing weeks. Claim as needed.


Photo via AP Images

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