AJ Minter optioned to Gwinnett; Braves sign first UDFA

Monday, July 19, 2021

-Clint Manry

Perhaps we knew it was coming, but after spoiling both Friday and Sunday’s lead for the Braves, left-handed reliever AJ Minter was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett following Sunday’s 7-5 loss to the Rays.

With rain showers appearing off and on at Truist Park yesterday, Atlanta entered the seventh inning with a 4-3 lead over Tampa Bay. However, with Minter on the mound to begin the frame, the southpaw surrendered back-to-back hits by both Joey Wendle and Kevin Kiermaier, and just like that, the game was tied. Following a mound visit, Minter then proceeded to allow yet another batted-ball — this time a sac-fly by Austin Meadows which scored yet another run, making it 5-4 Rays. Minter managed to get just one out in the disastrous appearance, to go with two runs from two hits. The Braves ended up losing by two runs.

Sunday’s blown save was Minter’s sixth of the season and came just two days after he pitched a poor relief appearance on Friday against the Rays. In that game, the lefty replaced starter Charlie Morton with Atlanta up 5-3 in the seventh, but by the time Minter was done, Tampa Bay had cut the lead within one, thanks to a triple, a sac-fly, two walks and a balk. Minter managed to get two outs in the frame but had to be replaced by Luke Jackson. 

Minter, a former second-round pick by the Braves, has had some good moments this season, but he’s still far from the reliever he was several years ago. The 27-year-old had a strong shortened 2020 campaign, but he’ll head to the minors with a 4.86 ERA in 33 ⅓ innings in 2021. 

Braves sign Anderson De Los Santos

Back on Friday, the Braves landed its first undrafted free agent of the year when the team signed Rhode Island prep player Anderson De Los Santos.

The bonus wasn’t listed, but UDFA are able to sign for up to $20,000 this year. De Los Santos, who played shortstop at his local Central High School, was signed by Atlanta as a middle-infielder. The Braves newest player was reportedly scheduled to travel to Florida today, where he’ll soon likely join the FCL Braves club. 

Part of a clause requested by De Los Santos, if he were to be released by the Braves, is that the organization pay for four years of college. De Los Santos grew up in the Domincan Republic and arrived in Providence, Rhode Island in July of 2020, where he immediately joined the Providence Sports and Leadership baseball program. Congratulations to the Braves newest member!

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