Braves News: Braves shock everyone and promote AJ Smith-Shawver to the majors

Missouri v Georgia
Missouri v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Well, things have definitely escalated quickly. The Atlanta Braves have certainly had their fair share of difficulties in their rotation (and bullpen) of late thanks to both injuries and ineffectiveness. Michael Soroka making his return to the big leagues certainly helps the cause, but it has been difficult to cover innings in the early portion of the 2023 season.

So far, the plan has consisted of bullpen games, utilizing Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd where possible, and hoping that guys like Max Fried and Kyle Wright can get healthy. The bullpen games have been a disaster, Dodd and Shuster have had their ups and downs, and while it looks like Fried is on the mend, we couldn't expect either of them to be back any time soon.

Well, the Braves shocked us all with the move they made this evening.

Braves promote AJ Smith-Shawver in a shocking twist

Just to be clear, AJ Smith-Shawver is an awesome pitching prospect. The Braves selected him in the seventh round of the 2021 out of Colleyville Heritage High School and had to give him an overslot bonus to get him. He features a high octane fastball with nice run, a slider that he throws hard and misses bats with, and an improving changeup. Again, we love all of those things.

However, he was in high school just a couple years ago and was relatively new to pitching when the Braves drafted him, so his ascent to the big leagues is nothing short of wild. No one denies the stuff, but the Braves are continuing to be VERY aggressive with AJ here. Many thought that his promotion to Triple-A earlier this season was wild enough. Seven starts into the 2023 season, Smith-Shawver has gone from high-A Rome to the big leagues. Just insane.

In seven starts across three levels of the minor leagues this season, Smith-Shawver has posted a 1.09 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 33 innings of work.