The Atlanta Braves released relief pitcher Mauricio Cabrera on Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien reported. Cabrera’s release ends an eight-year stretch in the Braves’ organization that peaked in 2016, when he reached the major leagues.
Cabrera made his MLB debut with the Braves in June 2016. Sporting a fastball that reached 102 mph, Cabrera quickly drew comparisons to New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. The stats tied the two together as well, as Cabrera and Chapman threw all of the 50 fastest pitches in MLB by Aug. 1 of that season.
“I’m proud to get the comparison to Aroldis, but to me I never focus on the velocity of the fastball,” Cabrera said via an interpreter at the time. “I’m not trying to throw it as hard as I can. I’m always focusing on location. I’ll leave the comparisons up to the fans.”
Cabrera ended the 2016 season in Atlanta with a 5-1 record along with 32 strikeouts and a 2.82 ERA. Despite the projection that he could be the Braves’ closer of the future, the season proved to be Cabrera’s last at the highest level.
Cabrera battled elbow soreness during spring training in 2017. He spent the 2017 season with four different Braves’ minor-league teams, ultimately ending the year with a 3-2 record, a 6.20 ERA, 46 walks and 39 strikeouts.
Cabrera’s lack of command did not go away in 2018. While pitching for the Class A-Advanced Florida Fire Frogs, the 24-year-old Cabrera was 0-3 with an 11.03 ERA, 41 walks and 27 strikeouts.