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Braves top prospect Pache 'to be a while'

@mlbbowman
July 17, 2020

ATLANTA -- Braves top prospect Cristian Pache will need to recover from a right ankle sprain before resuming his bid to make his Major League debut this year. When Pache injured his ankle while sliding into second base on Monday night, the initial thought was that he might be available

ATLANTA -- Braves top prospect Cristian Pache will need to recover from a right ankle sprain before resuming his bid to make his Major League debut this year.

When Pache injured his ankle while sliding into second base on Monday night, the initial thought was that he might be available to play in Tuesday night’s intrasquad game. But by Wednesday, manager Brian Snitker was telling reporters the talented center fielder had suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain.

“He’s going to be a while,” Snitker said. “He’s back in Gwinnett.”

When Pache recovers, he will begin working out with the pool of players assigned to Triple-A Gwinnett’s Coolray Park, Atlanta’s alternate training site. The outfielder was initially slated to be with this group, which is primarily made up of players with little chance of being placed on the active roster within the first couple weeks of the season.

But the Braves brought Pache up to play intrasquad games this week to fill the void created by Nick Markakis’ decision to not play this season. They also wanted to get a good look at the 21-year-old, who is ranked as the game’s No. 13 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Pache jammed his ankle when he slid late while attempting to steal second. The club’s medical staff called for a cart to come on the field, but Pache opted to walk to the clubhouse under his own power.

“It’s not bad, but he’s going to need a few days,” Snitker said.

Rained out
Rain forced the Braves to halt play in the third inning of their scrimmage on Wednesday night. To allow many of their relievers to get their scheduled work, they have set another scrimmage for Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb were both scheduled to throw four innings and completed their work by simulating the remaining innings in the indoor cage.

Foltynewicz allowed hits to four of the five batters he faced in the third frame. Dansby Swanson delivered the big blow when he showed his opposite-field power by lining a three-run homer into the right-field seats.

Ronald Acuña Jr. began Monday’s game by bouncing a double over the left-field wall, and he doubled again in the third inning Wednesday when he hustled out of the box and never stopped as center fielder Ender Inciarte went to track down what looked like a routine single.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.