Braves Claim Andrew McKirahan from Marlins


In a move that definitely sums up the frustration that Atlanta has felt with their lefty reliever corps this Spring, the Braves have apparently won a waiver claim that entitles them to the services of one Andrew McKirahan.

Who, Exactly?

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In 2014, 25-year-old McKirahan was quietly minding his own business as a AA reliever in the Cubs organization when, this Fall, he was left exposed to the Rule 5 draft. The Marlins picked him up at that point.

The rules of the Rule 5 draft are fairly stringent: all players selected in this manner must be placed on the major league roster – the 25-man list, not just the 40 – for the entire regular season or else the player must be offered back to his original club for a token compensation.

The Marlins, with no space for McKirahan, had placed him on waivers for the purposes of sending him to the minors – a move that would have triggered that “offered back to his original club” clause.

Except the Braves have now interrupted that sequence of events… effectively drafting him once again.

Aside from the mugshot above, Andrew McKirahan was selected by the Cubs in the 21st round of the 2011 Amateur draft. He is 6-2/195 and was 21 at the time his pro career began. He hails from Georgetown, TX, and was at the University of Texas when the Cubs came knocking.

He had not progressed very quickly with the Cubs – his stats suggest injury issues in 2012-13 (just 10 innings pitched; 27 in 2013), and indeed, he is a Tommy John surgery survivor (from July 2012).  He bounced between high- and low-A ball into 2014. In 2014, he completed 65 innings from A+ to AA leagues… averaging roughly 8 K/9 and under 2 BB/9 with a 3.45 ERA in AA.

That inexperience aside, he has kind of pulled a mini-‘Brady Feigl‘ this Spring with a 3.00 ERA in 9 innings with the Marlins. He has walked 3 and K’d 6 with a 1.44 WHIP.  That’s not as good as Feigl’s stellar numbers, but better than virtually every Southepaw that Atlanta has run out to the mound in March.

Will He Make the Team?

Still yet to be determined, though if he out-performs Josh Outman, I expect that Outman will become the odd-man out (no pun intended)… and that might not take much to accomplish, given Outman’s ugly 8.10 Spring ERA.  In fact, I will be very surprised if the Braves end up retaining Outman.

I do think McKirahan will get a very serious look over the next couple of days… and he very well could end up modeling his third uniform over the past six months – and his first major league gig.

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