B.J. Upton changed things again.
Upton has proven himself to be a tinkerer at the plate. At the beginning of 2012, he was fluid but with huge head-to-toe movement toward the ball. By the end of 2012, he was rigid with little momentum to the ball and had developed the dreadful extended trigger.
His swing was the same at the beginning of 2013, which should have been a warning of bad things to come. He had basically killed momentum to the ball and slowed his swing for the purpose of shortening his actions. The result was a .184 average.
International sign by San Francisco Giants, Dominican Republic, 2011
2014 A: 66.1 IP, 3.93 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 22 K%, 4.6 BB%, .337 BABIP
A-: 19.2 IP, 1.83 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 24.7 K%, 7.4 BB%, .302 BABIP
OFP: 65; No. 2 starter
Realistic: 55; No. 3/4 starter
Risk: High; injury on present report
Fastball: 60 present; 70 future; 90-97, t98
Right-handed relievers Ray Black and Jake Smith have been assigned to Advanced-A San Jose and will report to the Giants on Friday.
The two relievers have been steady contributors for the Augusta GreenJackets this season. Black recorded a 3.73 ERA with 14 walks to 64 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. His 50.8 percent strikeout rate is the best in professional baseball this year.
Smith had a 2.79 ERA with 30 walks to 77 strikeouts in 58 innings. His 48 appearances is second most in the South Atlantic League.
ATLANTA - Braves left-hander Mike Minor experienced a rough patch in the middle of this season, but his past two starts against a couple of solid offenses have shown encouraging signs.
Minor has struck out 14 over his past 13.2 innings spanning two starts against the Dodgers and Athletics. He struck out seven while allowing two runs on four hits against Oakland on Sunday night.
ATLANTA - Although the Oakland Athletics are in an offensive funk that has resulted in six losses in the past seven games, the weekend series against the Atlanta Braves shows how many miles apart these two offenses can be.
The Athletics are hitting .250/.325/.397 with a team .320 wOBA, 106 wRC+ and 22.1 fWAR.
The Braves are hitting .245/.309/.370 with a team .302 wOBA, 91 wRC+ and 14.9 fWAR.
ATLANTA - Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran rode his changeup early and hard Saturday night against a left-handed-heavy Oakland Athletics lineup, showing how effective he can be in different ways.
Teheran seemed to make a point to establish his changeup against Oakland's lefty hitters, resulting in a 17 percent usage over six innings. His high for changeup usage in a game this season is 18 percent.
Thursday, Aug. 7 - 7 p.m.
Savannah Sand Gnats (73-39)
RHP Logan Taylor (2014 A: 23 IP, 3.52 ERA, 5.34 FIP, 22.6 K%, 8.8 BB%, .281 BABIP)
Augusta GreenJackets (54-60)
RHP Chase Johnson (2014 A: 85.2 IP, 4.62 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 18.7 K%, 8.4 BB%, .326 BABIP)
Aside from enjoying my time at a beautiful minor league ballpark and downtown, I found another great aspect of Greenville, S.C.: Sam Travis' hitting ability.
The San Francisco Giants assigned right-handed reliever Daniel Slania to Double-A Richmond from Class-A Augusta on Monday.
As a corresponding move, the Giants assigned 2014 27th-rounder Connor Kaden to Augusta.
Slania, 22, joins recent GreenJacket teammate Carlos Alvarado in the Richmond bullpen. Slania had a 3.99 ERA with 46 strikeouts to 21 walks in 58.2 innings for Augusta this season.
Matt Duffy has been called up to The Show.
Duffy, a 2013 Augusta GreenJacket, will have his contract purchased from Double-A Richmond on Friday, along with outfielder Jarrett Parker. San Jose Mercury News' Alex Pavlovic first reported Thursday night that Duffy and Parker would get the call. I heard confirmation the same night.