Braves send Newcomb to Minors camp

No. 2 prospect struggled in two Grapefruit League appearances

Sean Newcomb ranked second in the Minor Leagues last season with 168 strikeouts over 136 innings. (John Raoux/AP)

By Alex Kraft / MiLB.com | March 12, 2016 9:47 PM

Major League clubs continue to trim their rosters by reassigning prospects to Minor League camp as the regular season approaches. Some notable cuts made Saturday:

Braves

Top pitching prospect Sean Newcomb was one of 12 players who were optioned or reassigned to Minor League camp as part of the Braves' initial roster cuts. The 22-year-old left-hander appeared to struggle with his command in a pair of Grapefruit League appearances in which he surrendered six runs on five hits and six walks over 1 2/3 innings.

Newcomb was acquired from the Angels as the key piece in the Andrelton Simmons deal last November. The 2014 first-round pick pitched at three levels last season, going 9-3 with a 2.38 ERA and an organization-leading 168 strikeouts over 136 innings between Class A Burlington, Class A Advanced Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas.

Newcomb is ranked as MLB.com's No. 21 overall prospect and fourth-best left-handed prospect.

"I think he goes back and gets ready for his season and works toward starting ballgames and stretching himself out," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told MLB.com.

Newcomb will be joined in Minor League camp by Braves No. 14 prospect Chris Ellis, another piece from the Simmons deal, as well as infielder Rio Ruiz (No. 16). No. 8 prospect Tyrell Jenkins was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

"We're going to see those guys," Gonzalez said of the pitchers who were reassigned. "Sometime during the course of the year, just the way that pitching is at the big league level, you're going to see them. … That's what I told these guys: Just be ready."

Tigers

Left-hander Kevin Ziomek, the club's No. 6 prospect, was sent to Minor League camp. Selected in the second round of the 2013 Draft, he was named the Tigers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015 after he went 9-11 with a 3.43 ERA and 143 strikeouts over 154 2/3 innings for Class A Advanced Lakeland. The 23-year-old gave up three runs on two hits and two walks while fanning three over three frames in two appearances this spring.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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