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Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeBaseballBraves Signal Andrew Velazquez, Ben Bowden To Minors Contracts

Braves Signal Andrew Velazquez, Ben Bowden To Minors Contracts


The Braves have signed infielder Andrew Velazquez, and left-hander Ben Bowden to minor league contracts, as per each gamers’ MLB.com profile pages.  For Velazquez, it’s a return to the group, as he elected free company after being outrighted off the Braves’ 40-man roster initially of November.

His journey by means of the market will now take him again to Atlanta, as Velazquez continues to be looking for his first large league look in a Braves uniform.  The Braves claimed Velazquez off waivers from the Angels in early September however he performed solely at Triple-A Gwinnett, as Atlanta by no means had an damage state of affairs develop that will’ve gotten Velasquez a glance on the Main League roster.

This similar kind of depth position in all probability awaits Velazquez in 2024, although for the reason that Braves dealt Nicky Lopez to the White Sox, Velazquez might need a greater shot at claiming a bench spot.  Each glove-first gamers, Lopez is projected for a $3.9MM arbitration wage and Velazquez $740K, although because of the non-tender, Velazquez isn’t on any type of assured wage as a minor league signing.

The 29-year-old Velazquez has appeared in every of the final six Main League seasons, hitting .189/.244/.293 over 624 plate appearances.  Most of that motion (349 PA) got here with the Angels in 2022, when Velazquez ended up assuming largely on a regular basis shortstop duties when David Fletcher fell out of favor with the workforce.  Whereas he didn’t produce something on the plate, Velasquez was an enormous assistance on protection, with +11 Defensive Runs Saved, +3 Outs Above Common, and a +3.0 UZR/150 in 906 innings at shortstop.

Nonetheless, his defensive numbers have been all deep into the minuses over 233 1/3 innings final 12 months, as Velazquez appeared in solely 54 video games and spent most of 2023 in Triple-A.  It may very well be only a small pattern measurement problem, although given Velazquez’s lackluster offense, he must be no less than an above-average glove to get him any probability of sticking as an enormous league backup.  By way of versatility, Velasquez has performed largely shortstop, with a while at second base and middle discipline, and a handful of appearances at third base and left discipline earlier in his profession.

Bowden’s MLB resume consists of 35 2/3 reduction innings over 39 appearances with the Rockies in 2021.  A second-round choose for Colorado within the 2016 draft, Bowden has posted lots of strikeouts throughout his minor league profession, but additionally lots of walks and residential runs.  Spending most of his minor league time within the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League hasn’t helped in that regard, although Bowden additionally gave up eight homers in 52 1/3 innings pitching with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate in 2023 (with a 4.64 ERA, 32.2% strikeout fee, and 13.6% stroll fee).

The Phillies, Giants, and Rays have all gotten appears at Bowden after Tampa first claimed him off waivers from the Rockies in April 2022, so the southpaw’s capability to overlook bats continues to be a focal point for golf equipment.  Atlanta now turns into the newest workforce to see if Bowden can harness his management sufficient to grow to be a viable possibility for the Main League bullpen.

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