Wisler makes his Braves debut

Matt Wisler wins his first game of the season in his new Braves uniform. Bill Shanks has a report on the performance

Matt Wisler’s line for his first game in a Braves uniform was excellent. He pitched five scoreless innings and allowed four hits. Wisler walked two and struck out five in 80 pitches (52 strikes).

You can’t get much better than that. And forget the numbers. Wisler was impressive, regardless of the stats. He’s a big kid, and when you see him he just looks like a pitcher. You wouldn’t look at Wisler and think he was a first baseman or an outfielder. He’s just a big kid that looks like a pitcher, and that’s a compliment.

Wisler has a very easy delivery. The ball comes out very freely. He topped out at 94 mph, but he sat 90-92 for the most part. It was easy to not expect much from Wisler, with this being his first start of the season and to think that a week earlier he had no clue he would be pitching in a game in north Georgia.

But Wisler did very well. There is one thing that stands out. In the second inning, Wisler hit a batter, Durham’s Taylor Motter, in the front tip of the batting helmet. It just about knocked Motter out. So I wondered how Wisler would pitch after hitting Motter. Sometimes even the best pitchers get rattled by hitting someone near the head.

Wisler didn’t see bothered at all. While Motter stole a base on the second pitch Wisler threw to the next batter, Wisler then got the next two batters on a ground out and a strikeout to get out of the inning.

Then in the third inning, Wisler gave up a two-out triple. But he got the next batter to pop up to end the inning. In the fourth inning, Wisler gave up a leadoff single to Corey Brown, but then he retired the next three hitters. In his final frame, the fifth inning, Wisler gave up another leadoff single. Then he got the next two batters before giving up another single. Then Wisler struck out Jake Elmore for his fifth strikeout.

This kid is not far away. He needs to spend time in Triple-A, as there is still much to work on. But it will be interesting to see how long it is before Wisler tries to make a case for a big league rotation spot. It is obvious in watching him why many believed he could have broken camp with several big league teams out of spring training. He’s got good stuff and he’s polished for his age. There is a bright future for this young man.


is my interview with Wisler after the game, and below several videos of Wisler’s delivery and throwing motion.

Video of Matt Wisler - 1..

Video of Matt Wisler - 2..

Video of Matt Wisler - 3..

Video of Matt Wisler - 4..

Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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