Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Welcome to 2018? Braves call up Albies, joins Sims vs. Dodgers


The online odds service Bovada put out updated postseason odds Tuesday, with the Braves listed as 200-1 long shots to win the World Series.

Meanwhile, back on earth, the team has accepted reality: It’s over.

With the Braves logically out of any postseason race -- 11 games out of a National League wild card spot with the league’s third-worst pitching staff -- they have shifted into full tryout mode. Rookie Lucas Sims was set to make his first major league start against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night at SunTrust Park. And now this: infielder Ozzie Albies was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he will make his major league debut.

UPDATE: Albies will start at second base and bat seventh. Matt Adams will start in left field. The lineup: Ender Inciarte (CF), Danny Santana (3B), Freddie Freeman (1B), Matt Adams (LF), Tyler Flowers (C), Nick Markakis (RF), Ozzie Albies (2B), Johan Camargo (SS), Lucas Sims (P).

It’s only August 1. Or it’s 2018. It depends how you look at it.

Sims and Albies are interesting for different reasons. Sims has been in the organization since 2012 but tumbled down the team’s prospect rankings as the Braves strengthened their farm system and Sims didn't wow anybody. But he has been solid this season at Gwinnett, going 7-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts).

Albies was expected up at some point this season but he surprisingly was passed in prospect rankings in the view of many by Ronald Acuna. The Braves developed a logjam with infielders with the rise of Johan Camargo, the addition of Matt Adams and the return of Freddie Freeman from an injury, along with Brandon Phillips and Dansby Swanson. But Swanson struggled and was demoted to Gwinnett recently. Phillips, an impending unrestricted free agent, surprisingly was not moved at the trade deadline. But management apparently felt it’s time to get a look at the potential future.

Albies’ performance could dictate a new pecking order with Swanson and whether one of the two will move to second base. (Albies came up as a shortstop but was moved to second base this season; Swanson came up as a shortstop but is expected to see time at second base in the minors.)

I’ll have more on Albies and Sims later, as the Braves move to a potential two months of tryouts.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.