PHOENIX — Braves pitching prospect Shae Simmons was named to the East Division team for the Arizona Fall League all-star game that will be played Saturday.
The right-handed reliever pitched a hitless inning Tuesday to lower his ERA to 1.80 in five appearances for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Simmons has allowed two hits and five walks with five strikeouts in five innings in the AFL season, which runs through mid-November.
Simmons, 23, had a 1.69 ERA and 24 saves in 50 total appearances in 2013 with Class-A Rome and Double-A Mississippi, allowing just 31 hits (no home runs) and 22 walks with 82 strikeouts in 53-1/3 innings.
Many scouts and other AFL observers were surprised that Simmons was the only Braves prospect selected to play in Saturday’s all-star game, as hot-hitting second-base prospect Tommy La Stella has been one of the big stories of the fall league.
La Stella entered Monday ranked among AFL leaders with a .364 batting average and was second in the league in on-base percentage (.523) and fourth in slugging percentage (.636).
La Stella’s double was one of three Scottsdale hits in Monday’s 4-0 loss to the Peoria Javelinas. He also flied out to the warning track in front of the 430 (feet) sign in center field at Scottsdale Stadium, and struck out for the first time in 37 at-bats this spring.
The AFL leader with 11 walks before Monday, La Stella struck out looking after falling behind 0-2, then working the count full and taking a pitch that appeared to be a bit outside.
The all-star game Saturday starts at 8 p.m. EDT and will be shown live on MLB Network.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.