Snitker: 'You're not guaranteed anything'

Braves' message is to not ease up with division crown in play

August 29th, 2019

TORONTO -- Even with a 5 1/2-game lead in the National League East and the second-best record in the NL entering play on Wednesday in Toronto, Braves manager Brian Snitker isn’t interested in easing off the gas any time soon.

There will be time to revisit this and evaluate rest days later in the season when the division is clinched, but the message remains the same for now.

“I’m looking to win the game. Nobody’s guaranteed, nobody’s told me we’re in the playoffs yet,” Snitker said, “so I’m not doing anything but trying to win that night, because until we clinch the division, you’re not guaranteed anything. Our lead is not insurmountable by any stretch, so every game is really important right now to win.”

In doing this, the Braves are also looking to break out of their recent slump at the plate, which has seen them score just four runs over their last three games.

The Braves have managed to make it work, with a handful of 2-1 and 3-2 wins thanks to some strong pitching from their starting rotation. But eventually, this talented lineup will need to carry the load again. Snitker doesn’t think it has anything to do with being tired or worn down from the season, but he’s optimistic that better days are ahead.

"It’s kind of a collective team thing right now all at once, and eventually you just weather that storm,” Snitker said. “You keep grinding, you keep playing, and you’ll come out of it.”

AFL rosters unveiled

The Braves are sending eight players to the Arizona Fall League, where they’ll play for the Scottsdale Scorpions beginning on Sept. 18. The developmental circuit has seen over 2,900 former players advance to the Major Leagues. This year, the schedule has been bumped up from 2018’s Oct. 9 start date.

Outfielder Greyson Jenista, Atlanta’s top-ranked prospect heading to the AFL at No. 11 in its system, will play some first base in the Fall League, but that’s with at-bats in mind, not a long-term position change. Jenista, the 2018 second-round Draft pick, has hit .229 with nine home runs and a .662 OPS between Class A Advanced Florida and Double-A Mississippi this season. He’ll be joined, positionally, by outfielders Trey Harris (No. 18), Justin Dean (No. 23) and Garrison Schwartz.

On the mound, the Braves will be sending one arm from their Top 30 prospects list in right-hander Daysbel Hernandez (No. 20). The Cuban reliever is having an excellent season at the Class A Advanced level, where he has posted a 1.72 ERA and 69 strikeouts over 52 1/3 innings.

Hernandez will be joined by right-handers Connor Johnstone, Brad Roney and Brandon White. Their Scottsdale team will also feature players from the Mets, Phillies, Giants and Blue Jays organizations.

Waters makes history

Braves No. 2 prospect Drew Waters, who ranks as the No. 25 overall prospect, has been named the MVP of the Double-A Southern League. Waters, 20, is the youngest player to win the award since Delmon Young in 2005.

Waters hit .319 with 35 doubles, nine triples, five home runs and an .847 OPS with Double-A Mississippi before earning a promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett.