Bryse Wilson goes back to Triple-A, but he’s impressed

Credit: Atlanta Braves

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Braves manager Brian Snitker and pitcher Bryse Wilson comment on the necessary growth needed to accept the majors-to-minor merry-go-round this season.

Credit: Atlanta Braves

Bryse Wilson emerged from Triple-A Gwinnett and delivered another solid start Saturday for the Braves, helping them defeat the Pirates 6-1.

Wilson, 23, allowed one run on five hits over 6-2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked two. It was Wilson’s second consecutive promising outing after he’d held a potent Blue Jays lineup to two runs over six innings in his previous start.

Despite Wilson’s recent success, he was optioned back to Gwinnett following the game, as expected. That’s the reality of being an unestablished starter for these Braves. It isn’t a rebuilding situation where the team is focused solely on development. Pitchers like Wilson, Tucker Davidson and Kyle Wright won’t receive consistent opportunities under the current circumstances.

“You have to be mentally strong to do that, it’s not a ‘woe is me’ or ‘I’m getting screwed’ thing,” manager Brian Snitker said. “You just keep fighting the fight, going out there and working. It’s like I tell all these guys, until you’re out of options, that’s just the way it is. I think they get, too, that looking at this year, we’re going to need a lot of these guys. Tucker came up and did a great job. Bryse has come up more than once and done a really solid job for us. We need those guys. There’s not room to carry them here all the time, so they have to go back and pitch. We’re going to need them again.”

Bryse Wilson stats

The Braves didn’t need to carry a fifth starter right now, given the two off days in the upcoming week. They filled Wilson’s spot with Jay Flaa, a right-hander acquired off waivers from Baltimore earlier this month who becomes the latest individual to get a trial run in the bullpen.

Wilson will continue his preparations in Gwinnett, hoping to make the most of his next major-league chance whenever it arrives. He’s used to it at this point, spending parts of the last four seasons between the majors and minors.

Wilson debuted in 2018 with an excellent start in Pittsburgh. It was his only major-league start that season and the first of three appearances. He appeared in six games each over the next two seasons, though he capped his 2020 campaign with a remarkable postseason start in which he outdueled Clayton Kershaw on the grand stage, creating the most intrigue around his prospects since 2018.

He’s already made five appearances, each of them starts, this season. If he continues pitching as he has lately, there will come a day in the nearer future he won’t have so many trips on I-285.

“Used to, the immaturity in me, I’d get sent down, and it’d just be like, ‘OK. I’m upset, obviously,’ ” Wilson said. “And we wouldn’t go down there and try to improve on anything. The big thing for me now is I get to go down there, it’s a bunch of great guys down there, great staff, and I can actually take that time and that start and work on things. Get better and figure out what I need to do to be the best pitcher I can be.”