Braves News: Michael Harris went to IL, Spencer Schwellenbach and more

To say the 2024 season didn’t go the way the Atlanta Braves planned would probably be an understatement. The team lost Spencer Strider to a season-ending injury after just two starts and reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. from another torn ACL in May. The offense has underperformed across the lineup and the Braves have been a sub-.500 team since May 1.

No matter how bleak the situation has been, the worst thing they can do is panic. Mark Bowman of pointed out some similarities between this year’s team and the 2004 club in this week’s newsletter. As of June 23, 2004, Atlanta was 32-38 and had lost 10 of its past 13 games. Bowman talks about how Bobby Cox said patience was important. That Braves team ended up winning 96 games.

Brian Snitker is now in a similar situation.

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Michael Harris left Friday’s win over the Rays with a hamstring injury in the first inning. Harris suffered the injury when he went first to third base on an Ozzie Albies double. Brian Snitker told reporters after the game that Harris will be placed on the injured list ahead of Saturday’s game.

Austin Riley closed the cycle three times and Chris Sale had another great performance, helping the Braves to a 7-3 win over the Rays on Friday night.

Part 1 of this week’s mailbox discusses why the Braves will be buyers and not sellers at the deadline, the zero percent chance they trade Max Fried and much more.

Robert Orr of Baseball Prospectus takes a deep dive into the Braves’ offensive struggles, especially against fastballs.

Athletic’s Eno Sarris took a closer look at some of the young starters and shared what he likes about Spencer Schwellenbach and what worries him about Hurston Waldrep.

MLB Pipeline projected Kentucky outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt to the Braves in their latest mock draft.

FanGraphs released their list of the Braves’ top 36 prospects on Friday. The trio of AJ Smith-Shawver, Spencer Schwellenbach and Hurston Waldrep top the list.

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The Houston Astros released veteran first baseman Jose Abreu on Friday. Abreu was in the second year of a $58.5 million contract. The team still owes him about half of the remaining money on the deal. He produced just a .625 OPS and 20 home runs in 176 games with Houston.

The Yankees, Dodgers and Orioles are among the teams reportedly interested in Marlins closer Tanner Scott. Scott is one of the most prominent relievers to be moved at the deadline.

White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech reportedly has interest from several teams. Kopech is in his first season as a full-time reliever.

Cubs right-hander Ben Brown has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his neck. Brown was placed on the 15-day injured list on June 11 due to what was initially diagnosed as a neck injury.

More bad news for the Cubs pitching staff. Left-hander Jordan Wicks left his start Friday in the second inning with discomfort in his right oblique. Friday was Wick’s first start since April 23 and only his second appearance since returning from the injured list on June 7, where he was sidelined with a forearm strain.

The White Sox took outfielder Tommy Pham off the 10-day injured list on Friday. Pham is hitting .280 with three home runs over 33 games and is expected to draw some interest at the trade deadline.

The Giants bring back infielder Nick Ahmed from the injured list on Friday. He has been sidelined since May 9 when he was hit in the wrist by a line drive in Colorado. The Giants also acquired catcher Logan Porter from the Royals in exchange for cash on Friday.

The MLB Draft Combine is coming up next week and MLB Pipeline has a list of players who will be participating.

The Red Sox released first baseman Garrett Cooper on Friday. Cooper was designated for assignment earlier this week and granted waivers without takers. He hit just .171/.227/.229 with the Red Sox.

Ahead of Friday’s series opener in Atlanta, the Rays released DH/outfielder Harold Ramirez. Ramirez was DFA’d by the Rays last week.

The Blue Jays designated Daniel Vogelbach for assignment on Friday. He hit just .186/.278/.300 in 79 plate appearances.

The Pirates traded outright reliever Ben Heller to Triple A Indianapolis on Friday. It is not yet known whether he will accept the assignment or opt for free agency. Heller spent part of the 2023 season with the Braves.