Thursday Braves Notes

Matt Wisler lasted five innings Wednesday night in Atlanta's game against Tampa Bay. Here are some notes from around the Braves organization.

Should Fredi Gonzalez have left Matt Wisler in one inning longer Wednesday night? The rookie right-hander certainly didn't have his great stuff, as he threw 96 pitches through five innings. But pulling the starter that early almost guaranteed the Braves would go through the bullpen, and that's exactly what happened.

Wisler allowed two runs on seven hits in his five innings, with two walks and five strikeouts. But the pitch count obviously bothered Gonzalez. Okay, there's no reason to push it with a rookie, but considering how the bullpen is and then what happened, it is logical to wonder if Wisler could have given Gonzalez one more inning.

Matt Marksberry obviously messed up and had a brain cramp in the 7th inning when he failed on a fundamental. The rookie lefty had done fairly well in his six games prior to giving up five runs on Wednesday night.

Ryan Kelly, who allowed another run in the 7th inning coming in for Marksberry, was reportedly optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett following the game. The Braves did not make a corresponding move, and with Thursday's off day may wait until Friday to do so. You have to wonder if we could soon see Peter Moylan, who has an ERA of 3.00 in his 26 games with Gwinnett.

Arodys Vizcaino continued his good work Wednesday with a 1-2-3 perfect 9th inning. He struck out the side and now has 15 strikeouts in 14.2 innings. Even though he pitched with the Braves down by three runs late in the game Wednesday, Vizcaino is the closer on the team for the rest of the season.

Cameron Maybin had two hits Wednesday and is hopefully coming around. He now has seven hits in his last 20 at bats. He has struggled since the All-Star Break.

* On the farm Mallex Smith was 2-4 with two stolen bases (22) and two runs scored as Gwinnett beat Charlotte 11-1. Smith is now at .250 in Triple-A and is hitting .314 in August. Christian Bethancourt was 3-4 with a RBI (23) and is now hitting .329 with Gwinnett. In his 10 games in August, Bethancourt is now hitting .372.

* In Mississippi, the performance of lefty reliever Kyle Kinman stands out. He struck out three in 1.1 innings of work for the Braves as they beat Mobile 2-1. Overall this season in 36 games between Rome, Carolina and Mississippi, Kinman has struck out 58 batters in 45 innings. His ERA is 1.60. Expect the soon-to-be 25-year-old Kinman to get a strong look in spring training next March.

* Two more hits for Austin Riley in Danville Wednesday, as the Braves beat the Rays 5-4. Riley is now hitting .277 overall this season with nine home runs and 28 RBI in 141 at bats.

* Back to the Atlanta Braves. With the three-game losing streak now the team is 51-63 on the season, 11 games out of first place in the NL East and 14 back in the wildcard. The Braves welcome Arizona to Turner Field Friday with Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.57) on the mound in his favorite locale.

The Braves are 10-3 against the Marlins this season, so they are 41-60 against all other teams.

With the loss Wednesday, the Braves now have a winning percentage of .447, which is sixth-worst in the NL and ninth-worst in baseball. If the Braves have one of the ten-worst records in the game the draft pick for 2016 is locked in for the first round.

By the way, if the Braves were in the NL Central they would be 22.5 games back of the Cardinals. If they were in the NL West they would be 13 games back of the Dodgers.

Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at

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