Jason Hursh had a big-time fastball when he was drafted out of Oklahoma State with a first round pick in 2013. He still has that fastball. But after a couple of years floundering in the starting rotation, Hursh seems to be finding his way as a reliever in the Braves’ farm system.
Hursh pitched two more scoreless innings Saturday night as Mississippi lost to the Jackson Generals. He now has an ERA of 2.62 in his 27 games this season. Hursh has allowed 36 hits in 44.2 innings, with 13 earned runs allowed, 19 walks and 31 strikeouts.
Since May 1, in his last 19 games, Hursh has allowed eight earned runs on 26 hits in 34.2 innings, with 13 walks and 26 strikeouts. His ERA in that span is 2.08. In fact, after Hursh allowed four earned runs in his first two appearances of the season, his ERA is 1.90 for the season.
Last season Hursh had an ERA of 5.00 in 33 games (14 starts). As a reliever, however, Hursh had a lower ERA (4.00) than as a starter (5.63). So there’s little doubt Hursh has had more success in his minor league career as a relief pitcher.
Hursh’s fastball is consistently in the mid-upper 90s, making him a good candidate to remain in the bullpen. He has succeeded so far in his return to Double-A, making it intriguing for the Braves to wonder what the now-24-year-old may do if he advances to Triple-A or even to Atlanta.
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