Pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins called up by Atlanta Braves
ATLANTA -- The latest of the Braves' heralded young arms received his call-up, but Tyrell Jenkins' MLB debut will have to wait.
The right-hander remained in the bullpen during Thursday's 7-2 victory over the Reds in the series finale, with his first action an Atlanta uniform expected to come in the team's upcoming three-game series at the Mets.
"Every time the (bullpen) phone (rang), I got antsier," Jenkins said. "It's just waiting to get that call, and hopefully it will be soon."
As for the news of his promotion, credit there goes to an unexpected source: Texas A&M outfielder J.B. Moss, whom the Braves took in the seventh round of last week's draft.
"That boy @TyrellJenkins14 getting the call to the show! Congrats brotha you deserve it! Happy for you! #@ChopOn" Moss tweeted early Thursday morning (Jenkins tweeted out his congratulations when Moss was taken last week with the 199th pick).
"I guess he didn't really know how it worked, and once he tweeted it kind of got leaked out a little bit," Jenkins said of Moss' scoop. "I think he knows now he can't do that anymore."
Jenkins said he received the call from the Braves late-night Wednesday, and immediately phoned his mom, the two sharing a heart-felt moment.
"I told her I was going to Atlanta and then after that we talked for the next five minutes and just balled on the phone, so it's pretty special," Jenkins said.
A 6-foot-4, 210-pound right-handed starter-turned-reliever, Jenkins was moved into the bullpen in early June, and has made five such appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett with a 2.70 ERA and 1.65 WHIP over 13 1/3 innings. He has six strikeouts and five walks with a 0.63 ground ball/fly ball ratio.
Rated as the 12th-best prospect in the system per FOXSportsSouth.com's composite rankings, Jenkins had 92 starts under his belt in the minors, including nine this year for Gwinnett in which he's gone 5-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 51 2/3 innings.
"(It's) just going out and attacking hitters," Jenkins said of the difference in approach. "As a starter you have to pace yourself through seven innings and going into the bullpen, you can go out and just let it rip. I think that was the biggest key to going in there and coming out and letting it rip a little bit."
Possessing a fastball that sits in the 92-94 mph range and plus-curveball, word is Jenkins had his issues with his changeup, and the prevailing logic in moving him to a relief role was to maximize his best pitches.
"Depth and length, hopefully," interim manager Brian Snitker said of Jenkins' expected impact. "He's been stretched out and we put him in the pen and he's done a good job. It's one of the reasons we probably stayed away from him today, give him another day ... I think he'll add to what we've got going on down there."
He has been more pitch-to-contact than a high strikeout arm in the minors, and this season was third on the Gwinnett roster with 45 strikeouts -- 13 off team-leader Lucas Sims -- despite throwing 15 innings more than Sims has.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His book, 'Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,' is out now, and 'The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners' will be released Nov. 1, 2016.