We are almost within the final stretch of the regular season for the Atlanta Braves, and they have been on a bit of a slide since the start of the second half. They just split a series with the Pirates and are 5-5 in their last ten games. They are still sitting solidly in first place in the NL East, with the second-place Phillies trailing by 9.5 games as of this writing, however, the Braves could pick up some momentum before the postseason begins.
The biggest problem the Braves have had this season was with their bullpen, which has been riddled with injuries and has cost the team some games in the past. While there are some players that could come back from injury soon. The Braves might have to call up some players in their minor league system to address the bullpen woes. With that being said, here are a few players the Braves should at least take a look at and consider calling up before the end of the regular season.
Smith-Shawver has been called up before this season but he could see some action in the majors again at some point if the Braves need pitching help down the line.
While Smith-Shawver hasn't been amazing in the majors, posting a 4.57 ERA, he does have a 1.24 WHIP, and the Braves are very optimistic about his ceiling. Perhaps some more time in the Braves Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinett Stripers, could help develop his arm a bit more before the Braves decide to call him back up before the end of the season in the event that they have to.
Luis De Avila
While still a bit far from making it to the majors, Luis De Avila has looked impressive with the Braves Double-A affiliate, the Mississippi Braves. If the bullpen continues to struggle, there is a slight chance he could hear his name get called up, assuming that other notable players such as AJ Smith-Shawver or Dylan Dodd don't get called up beforehand.
The Braves No. 14 overall prospect according to MLB.com, De Avila has posted a 2.95 ERA across 91.2 innings pitched with Mississippi, recording 93 strikeouts and 1.24 WHIP, holding his opponents to a .214 batting average. Obviously, there are other players the Braves could call up beforehand, but De Avila is a solid arm in case the Braves decide to go deeper into their farm system.
Owens is still a bit off in his journey up to the majors, but as mentioned before, if the Braves bullpen issues continue to haunt the team, they made need to make some additions to the major league roster.
The Braves No. 27 overall prospect according to MLB .com, Owens is quietly improving since being promoted to the Braves' High-A affiliate, the Rome Braves. With Rome, he has posted a 2.22 ERA across 39.2 innings pitched, recording 42 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP. Of course, there is still room for improvement, but the Braves could reach into their farm system if the bullpen continues to drop games.