Notes: Vogt thrilled in ATL; Minter optioned

July 19th, 2021

ATLANTA -- With their recent acquisition of , the Braves may have finally found somebody capable of bringing value to the catching position until returns.

Vogt was acquired from the D-backs late Friday night. The 36-year-old veteran then made the cross-country trip to Atlanta on Saturday and notched his first three-hit game of the season when he made his Braves debut in Sunday’s loss to the Rays.

“As a kid who grew up in the '90s watching [the Braves] on TBS, getting to put this uniform on is very special for me,” Vogt said. “But more importantly, just to join a team that's trying to win and a team that's making a push right now is really exciting for me.”

Although Vogt enjoyed his time with the D-backs, he has moved from a team on pace for 100-plus losses to one that believes it can win a fourth consecutive division title. He’s now part of a Braves team that has been weakened by numerous ailments, including the left thumb injury that has sidelined d’Arnaud since May 1.

d’Arnaud, Alex Jackson, William Contreras, Jonathan Lucroy, Kevan Smith, Jeff Mathis and Vogt have all caught for the Braves this year. The seven catchers used matches the franchise high set in 1929.

“I feel good and my swing feels good,” Vogt said. “I’m just excited to come in here and contribute any way I can and be part of a winning team.”

Minter optioned to Triple-A
After struggled yet again when asked to face three left-handed hitters in Sunday’s loss to the Rays, it was apparent the Braves had to option him to Triple-A Gwinnett. But after making this move Sunday night, the Braves still had to face the reality that a reliever on the brink of being sent down was asked to protect a late one-run lead just a few hours earlier.

Lack of quality depth in the bullpen has been a long-standing problem for the Braves, who are just hoping to get Minter back to where he was in 2020, when he posted a 0.83 ERA over 22 appearances (21 2/3 innings).

Minter has a 4.86 ERA in 42 appearances (33 1/3 innings) this year. He has a 7.45 ERA (eight earned runs in 9 2/3 innings) and has allowed opponents to hit .415 (17-for-41) over his past 15 appearances.

“The whole gist of making this move is to back him out of this environment,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Hopefully he can relax and get his confidence back and get back to trusting his stuff and being on the attack.”

Inciarte under the weather
did not test positive for COVID-19, but the Braves opted to put the veteran outfielder on the injured list because he has been symptomatic. He has been kept away from the team since All-Star break ended.

With Inciarte on the injured list, the Braves re-called , who will be given another chance to prove he can be a reliable bullpen asset. Newcomb has posted a 5.82 ERA in 23 appearances (21 2/3 innings) this year.

Draft signings
Per’s Jim Callis, the Braves have signed second-round selection Spencer Schwellenbach and 15th-round selection Christian Robinson.

Schwellenbach agreed to a $1 million bonus, despite his slot value being $1.19 million. The willingness to go slightly under slot adds to the value of this high upside selection. The 21-year-old athlete was a standout pitcher and shortstop at Nebraska. The Braves are planning to use him as a pitcher at the start of his career.

Robinson signed for $125,000. The Stanford outfielder showed some power potential by hitting eight homers, after going homerless in his previous two collegiate seasons.