If the back of the Atlanta Braves' rotation continues to struggle, Jo-Jo Reyes may be the next pitcher to get a look.
The left-hander has had a breakout season, impressing at Class AAA Richmond after a strong first half at Class AA Mississippi.
Reyes, 22, was 8-1 with a 3.56 ERA in 13 Southern League starts and is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in three International League outings.
The 2003 second-round draft choice was named to the South Division team for the Southern League All-Star Game, but is no longer around to play in it.
Reyes is on the fast track after being hampered by injuries previously.
He had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2004 and then tore his ACL the next year.
The Californian was finally healthy last season and was a combined 12-5 in Class A at Rome and Myrtle Beach, striking out 142 in 141 innings.
Reyes has continued to rack up the strikeouts this season. He had 71 in 731⁄3 innings with Mississippi and has 18 in 18 innings with Richmond.
The stocky Reyes has a fastball in that is in the low 90s, an overhand curve and a changeup with movement. His control is not perfect, but he more than willing to attack
Reyes went into the season rated the Braves' No. 8 prospect by Baseball America, but he is even more highly thought of now.
Despite being in first place in the Southern Division, Richmond had only one player named to the International League team for the AAA All-Star Game on July 11 in Albuquerque. Reliever Manny Accosta was 6-2 with nine saves and a 1.61 ERA in 29 games. He had struck out 39 in 442⁄3 innings. ... Blaine Boyer, sent back to AAA by Atlanta to work as a starter, pitched five shutout innings to get his first victory in that role. He allowed three hits, walked three and struck out three. ... Brayan Pena raised his average to .324. ... Over an 18-game stretch, Richmond committed just two errors.
Because of Mississippi's first-half title, Phillip Wellman will manage the South in the Southern League All-Star Game in Pearl, Miss., on July 9 and he will have seven of his players to call on even with the absence of Reyes. The M-Braves' entire outfield - Brandon Jones, Carl Loadenthal and Matt Esquivel - was named, as well as shortstop Diory Hernandez. The pitchers Wellman will have are starter Matt Harrison and relievers Joey Devine and Jose Ascanio.
Myrtle Beach (A)
Third baseman Eric Campbell, who was named player of the week in the Carolina League, started the second half 17-for-34 with two homers and nine RBIs. Campbell missed more than a month with a thumb injury and hit just .198 in the first half. His average was up to .245 and he had nine homers. ... Jonathan Venters, coming back from reconstructive elbow surgery, pitched eight innings and picked up his first victory after three defeats. He has a 2.95 ERA after allowing one run and four hits while striking out eight.
Former Parkview and Georgia Tech standout Tim Gustafson fell to 2-6 and his ERA is 4.76. In 16 starts, he had 71 strikeouts and 27 walks in 811⁄3 innings. ... South Atlantic League strikeout leader Tommy Hanson returned after missing a couple starts because of a sore back and also dropped to 2-6. He lasted just 31⁄3 innings, but did strike out five. He had 89 strikeouts and a 2.63 ERA in 72 innings.
Second baseman Cole Miles had a six-RBI game that featured a homer a triple and was batting .444. ... Shortstop Michael Fischer of Georgia Tech was hitting .412. ... Outfielder Cody Johnson, the Braves' first-round pick in 2006, had a .333 average, a homer and six RBIs.