After a four-game losing skid, the Atlanta Braves will be looking for their third consecutive win on Saturday night against the Brewers. Rookie Allan Winans will be taking the mound for Atlanta in his major league debut.
To make room for Winans on the roster, the Braves released outfielder Eli White and optioned pitcher Seth Elledge to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Winans came over to the Braves via the Rule 5 draft after the 2021 season. All he has done in Triple-A this season is post a 7-3 record with a 2.81 ERA. He has also pitched 102.2 innings in just 18 appearances, meaning on average he goes a little over 5 innings per outing.
What To Watch For
1. Allan Winans
Any time someone is making their major league debut, all eyes will be on the rookie. Especially as a starting pitcher. After spending six seasons in the minors, Allan Winans will get to live out every baseball player's dream by taking the mound Saturday on national television.
Managing all the emotions an MLB debut can bring will be key. Knowing that he will have the opportunity for the best offense in baseball to provide him with adequate run support will allow Winans to go be himself and pitch with a little more freedom.
Look for Winans to showcase a four-seam fastball that will sit low-mid 90s, cutter, curveball, and changeup. He may not rack up a ton of strikeouts, but Winans consistently finds the zone and does a great job of mixing speeds/location.
According to Michael Horrell, a college teammate of Winans at Campbell University, what really sets him apart from other pitchers is being able to throw any pitch in any count.
2. Austin Riley (Again)
Austin Riley is on an absolute tear. Over his last 5 games, he is hitting .400 with 5 HRs and 13 RBIs. These are video game numbers. When he is swinging the bat like this, he is one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball.
Normally with a player, this hot, opposition would consider pitching around him. The issue with that tactic is the fact that Matt Olson, who leads the National League in home runs, is right behind him in the order. With Riley having that protection behind him, look for him to continue to get pitches to hit and hit them a long, long way.
3. Braves Bullpen
It was Kirby Yates who closed the door for the Braves in the 9th inning to secure the 6-4 win on Friday night. He did allow two walks, but no hits and most importantly no runs.
Collectively, the bullpen tossed three hitless/scoreless innings a night ago. Ben Heller, Joe Jimenez, and Kirby Yates were the contributors to this effort.
With the bullpen being fairly rested and super effective last night, look for them to have a heavier workload tonight if Allan Winans was to find himself in trouble.
ATL: Allan Winans (MLB Debut) vs. MIL: Adrian Houser (3-2, 3.79 ERA)
Date: July 22, 2023
Location: American Family Field (Milwaukee, WI)
Radio: 680 AM The Fan