Braves option Thomas to Triple-A
In a move that comes as a bit of a surprise, former York Revolution pitcher Ian Thomas has been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett of the International League by the Atlanta Braves, just a week after earning his first Major League win. Thomas appeared in 10 games out of Atlanta’s bullpen in making his MLB debut and certainly burst onto the scene, and then was part of Revolution history when he pitched against Scott Rice in Atlanta marking the first time two Revolution alums competed in the same MLB game.
The encouraging thing about it is, the roster move doesn’t appear to be based on performance. The Braves, who have been beset by injuries to starting pitchers, moved Thomas down to make room on their roster for right-hander Gavin Floyd who is coming off the DL, a veteran of 10 MLB seasons mostly with the White Sox. This move seems more to suggest fine-tuning Thomas’s arsenal for an eventual, and perhaps permanent return to the Majors.
York Dispatch Revolution beat reporter John Walk has good stuff on this subject in an entry on his blog, Revolution Rumblings. Thomas, whom the Braves made a starter at the tail end of last year at Double-A Mississippi, where he made 13 regular season starts and started and won a playoff game, will go back to starting at Triple-A Gwinnett in order to throw more pitches and work on his slider, according this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With Thomas skipping Triple-A and making the Braves MLB roster out of spring training as a non-roster invitee, this will be his first experience in Triple-A. He is slated to start against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto) on Tuesday night (May 6) for Gwinnett.