28 Jun

a clean start (sorta)

The do-over starts tonight for the Mississippi Braves, who play Biloxi at MGM Park. With the start of the second half of the Southern League season, the team’s record is wiped clean. Considering that the M-Braves finished last in the South Division at 33-35, that’s a good thing. The Shuckers went 34-35, so the do-over is welcome there, too. Unfortunately for many of the M-Braves players, their individual numbers will follow them into the second half. But perhaps they’ll feel like they’re getting a fresh start, a feeling Alan Rangel — tonight’s starting pitcher — would welcome. The right-hander is 1-7 with a 4.91 ERA. He’s better than those numbers. The Mexico native, 25, is on his third tour with the Double-A M-Braves. He was the winning pitcher in the deciding game of the 2021 Double-A South championship series. He made it to Triple-A in 2022 and, for a brief time last September, was in the big leagues, though he never got into a game. He’ll make his 13th start of 2023 tonight against Biloxi, hoping to notch his first win since May 14. He’ll also be hoping that the M-Braves’ bats perk up against the Shuckers’ Carlos F. Rodriguez, 4-2, 3.02. After making a long climb to get over .500, the M-Braves finished the first half with a whimper, losing their last three and scoring a total of four runs. They’ve had two days off to recharge. Drew Lugbauer, batting .271 with 12 homers, is expected back in the lineup after a stint on the injured list. Landon Stephens, despite a .220 average, has emerged as a power threat with 13 homers. But the top Atlanta prospects on the roster have scuffled: Jesse Franklin V is at .214, Cal Conley at .221 and Tyler Tolve at .247. The M-Braves are next-to-last in the league in runs, first in ERA. In the first half, that was not a winning formula. As of right now, they are 0-0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: