The Atlanta Braves added a pair of relievers to the Gwinnett Stripers over the last week. RHP Mike Morin signed a minor league deal with the team on July 19th and has already made appearances for Gwinnett.
According to the Braves transactions log, Kodi Whitley was also signed to a minor league contract for the Stripers.
Morin spent some time in the Mexican league this year and pitched to a 2.89 ERA through 18.2 innings. He struck out 26 batters and walked just 5 over that time frame. That must have caught the attention of the Braves and earned him an opportunity.
Morin appeared in the majors from 2014-2020 and posted a 2.90 ERA over 54 outings as a rookie for the Angels before posting a 6.37 ERA in his sophomore season. He was with the Angels for around four seasons before bouncing around to the Twins, Mariners, Royals, Phillies, and, most recently, the Marlins in 2020.
Kodi Whitley also spent some time in the big leagues with the Cardinals organization. From 2020-2022, he earned a 3.38 ERA. The Cards outrighted him this offseason to Triple-A Memphis and posted a 5.19 ERA before being released last week. The Braves are his second team and he'll look to improve and work his way back to the bigs if things go well.
These are clearly just depth moves for the team but do offer some upside since both pitchers have shown some promise early in their careers. There isn't a single team in baseball that doesn't value having as much pitching depth as possible.
The front office for the Braves has shown as much in the last few days as they acquired Yonny Chirinos from Tampa off of waivers. Pierce Johnson was acquired in a trade with the Rockies and Taylor Hearn was traded to Atlanta from Texas for cash considerations.
The Atlanta Braves carry a very good track record as it pertains to developing pitchers. No matter if it is a prospect or a player who is struggling to have success at the biggest level of baseball. The Braves front office has always done a great job identifying diamonds in the rough and one of these two signings could easily turn into the next one.