Strider, Lee called up for playoff auditions 

October 2nd, 2021

ATLANTA -- began this season at the Class A level. The hard-throwing prospect has a chance to end it as a member of the Braves’ postseason roster.

Looking to strengthen their bullpen options, the Braves recalled and selected Strider’s contract from Triple-A Gwinnett. Sean Newcomb was optioned to Gwinnett and right-handed pitcher Edgar Santana was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 28, with a strained right intercostal muscle.

Strider and Lee both made their respective Major League debuts in a 4-3 loss to the Mets on Friday night at Truist Park. They will be used again in Sunday’s regular-season finale in what will essentially be auditions for a postseason roster spot.

While Lee surrendered one hit in a scoreless eighth, Strider surrendered a pair of hits, including a Brandon Nimmo solo homer, in the seventh. Strider did impress, as his four-seam fastball averaged 98.5 mph and touched 100 mph during his 16-pitch inning.

Strider and Lee’s candidacy for postseason roster spots will be influenced by their performance and exactly how many pitchers the Braves opt to carry during the best-of-five NLDS.

Strider, the Braves' No. 10 prospect, has fast-tracked his way to the Majors since being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft. With last year’s COVID-19 shutdown, the 22-year-old hurler didn’t even introduce himself to the Minor League scene until this year.

But after short, dominant stints with Low-A Augusta and High-A Rome, he continued to show swing-and-miss stuff for Double-A Mississippi. He was promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett last week and ended up striking out three of the four batters he faced in his lone appearance. Strider produced a 3.64 ERA while recording 153 strikeouts over 94 innings at four different levels this season.

“I’ve read all the reports and heard a lot about him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Everything is really good. We’ll give him a short look here.”

Lee isn’t nearly as overpowering as Strider, but he has impressed with his great control. The lefty issued just six walks while producing a 1.54 ERA over 46 2/3 innings (35 appearances) for Gwinnett this year.