ATLANTA -- The Braves swapped tall, right-handed relievers Monday, designating Alexi Ogando for assignment and promoting fireballer Mauricio Cabrera from the Double-A Mississippi Braves.
Cabrera, 22, is the Braves' No. 27-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. He possesses a fastball that routinely hits triple digits and can get as high as 103 mph, yet has trouble missing bats. MLB Pipeline calls Cabrera "the most enigmatic arm in the Braves system." Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager, Cabrera owns a career 4.24 ERA in 138 career Minor League appearances over six seasons.
The right-hander made his Major League debut during Monday's 8-3 loss to the Indians at Turner Field. Cabrera entered the game in the seventh inning with runners at first and third, and after Carlos Santana singled to bring in a run and Rajai Davis reached on an error to load the bases, he induced a flyout and an inning-ending double play.
Cabrera has spent the last two years exclusively as a reliever. This season, he's pitched to a 3.21 ERA in 25 games in Double-A, with four saves.
"It was pretty surreal," Cabrera said through a translator. "... I just feel excited to be here with the team."
Signed to a one-year, $2 million contract in the offseason, Ogando pitched to a 3.94 ERA in 36 appearances in his only season in Atlanta. That ERA increased by a full run in June, which he finished by allowing two runs in two-thirds of an inning Sunday in Atlanta's 5-2 win over the Mets. Ogando is 33-18 with a 3.47 career ERA in 283 games between the Rangers, Red Sox and Braves.
"I just think Alexi has done a really good job here," Braves manager Brian Snitker said before Monday's game. "I mean, he's always available to take the ball. And it's just a situation where I think you have an opportunity to promote one of your young guys that's hopefully going to be part of the team. So with that in mind, we designated Alexi. He'll catch on somewhere."
Aimee Sachs is a contributor to MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.