The Atlanta Braves will extend their look at top prospect Michael Harris II when they go against the visiting Miami Marlins in the rubber game of their three-game series on Sunday.
Miami lost the first game 6-4 on Friday but won 4-1 on Saturday. The teams have divided their eight meetings 4-4 this season.
Harris, a local product who grew up in the south Atlanta suburb of Stockbridge, is ranked as the club’s No. 1 prospect. He went 1-for-3 and got his first major league hit on Saturday against Miami ace Sandy Alcantara.
Harris was recalled from Double-A Mississippi, where he hit .305 with five homers, 33 RBIs, 33 runs and 11 stolen bases. He was the team’s third-round pick in the 2019 draft. At 21 years and 82 days old, Harris is the youngest position player to debut since Acuna, who broke in at 20 years and 128 days in 2018.
“Nothing can really match the moment actually being here,” Harris said. “You can always dream about it, but actually being here, I don’t think anything tops it at all.”
Harris wasn’t called up to sit on the bench. Manager Brian Snitker said Harris will start in center field and Adam Duvall will move to right field. Once Acuna gets a clean bill of health for his right quad strain, he will return to right field and Duvall will move to left.
“We wouldn’t have brought him up if we didn’t think he could come up and help us win games,” Snitker said. “When Ronald starts playing right field and we put Duvall on the other corner and we have Harris roam center field, it’s going to be one of the better defensive outfields in the game.”
Atlanta will send ace left-hander Max Fried (4-2, 3.27 ERA) against Miami right-hander Elieser Hernandez (2-4, 5.45) on Sunday.
Fried threw six strong innings against Philadelphia on Tuesday, allowing two runs and striking out five. But late-inning struggles by the bullpen left Fried with his third straight no-decision.
Fried has made 10 career starts against the Marlins, going 1-3 with a 5.89 ERA. He has not faced Miami this year. He was 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA against the Marlins in 2021.
Hernandez made his last start on May 21 against the Braves and allowed one run in five innings. But he was impressive in a one-inning bullpen appearance against Tampa Bay on Wednesday, when he faced the minimum and fanned two.
Hernandez will make his 13th career appearance and eighth start against Atlanta. In 41 1/3 innings, he is 1-2 with a 3.05 ERA. Twice in his career he has posted nine strikeouts, most recently against the Braves in 2020.
Miami is hoping to get back second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. for the finale. He has been out with a left hamstring issue since May 22.
“Jazz is doing great,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “Just a matter of medical kind of saying OK. Typical Jazz, he thought he could have played Friday, but that’s where we listen to medical and try to keep him safe long term.”
The Marlins also had to scratch Brian Anderson from the lineup on Saturday because of back spasms. He is listed as day-to-day.
–Field Level Media