May 2012

Scouting The G-Braves Opponent: Jeurys Familia

 

The No. 4 prospect in the New York Mets system is right-hander Jeurys Familia. The Buffalo Bisons starting pitcher is priming himself for a long professional career in the big leagues. In 2012, the righty has recorded 29 strikeouts through 26.2 innings of work alongside surrendering just two home runs. However, Familia’s control has been an issue early this year as he has yielded 25 walks and 15 earned runs en route to his 5.06 ERA. However, he is showing signs of coming out of his early season funk, as most pitchers begin to do at this point in the season.

2012 Stats: 2-1, 5.06 ERA, 6 Games Started, 26.2 Innings Pitched, 29 K’s, 26 Hits, 16 Runs, 15 Earned Runs, 2 Home Runs, 25 BB, 1.91 WHIP

Gwinnett faced the No. 2 prospect in the Mets system in Matt Harvey on Tuesday and will have their hands full once again with Familia. The righty was named the New York Mets Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and also represented the organization at the 2010 Futures Game. He spent most of 2010 in Single-A, then moved up to Double-A in 2011 before getting the call to Triple-A in 2012.

The flamethrower hits 99 mph on the radar gun with regularity and is consistently between 92-96 mph. He has natural cutting action down in the zone according to Baseball America. When the right-hander is on his game, he is very difficult to square up with the barrel of the bat.

Familia is listed at 6-foot, 2-inches tall and 185 pounds out of the Dominican Republic. He is 21 years old and only getting better with his growing maturity. At the rate he is going right now, the hard-throwing righty will be in the Major League’s by next season. As for right now, he is just worrying about getting his command under control for his Triple-A team. Anytime you have a pitcher who throws in the mid to high 90′s, with multiple pitches and command…you’re witnessing something pretty special and Familia is just that.

By: Tony Piraro

Gwinnett Looking To Halt Skid Wednesday

5.9.12 GBraves Game Notes

Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease

Saturday night began an 11-game homestand in 10 days for the Gwinnett Braves. Game No. 5 from Coolray Field is set for Wednesday night and it should be a good one between Gwinnett and Buffalo.

Tuesday the G-Braves were shutout by the Bisons, 3-0. Buffalo scored one run in each of the first three innings of the game and would not look back from there. Add the fact that Matt Harvey, the No. 2 prospect in the New York Mets system, was on the bump and the G-Braves were looking at a near improbable comeback situation.

The G-Braves have lost five of their last six games, but are still resting comfortably in first place of the International League South Division at 19-12. The next closest team in the division is Charlotte at 15-16 who is four games behind your G-Braves. Gwinnett does not own the best record in the league anymore after their latest skid, however they are just one game behind the IL-leading Pawtucket Red Sox (20-13).

Buffalo (19-13) is surging after going 7-3 in their last 10 games and staring up in the standings at the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate, trailing by just a single game. The Bisons are loaded with pitching talent and will have their No. 4 overall prospect on the mound Wednesday, as he follows the No. 2 prospect last night.

Stefan Gartrell was named the International League Batter of the Week as he continues his torrid pace. The slugger is batting over .400 in his last seven games, including four home runs, nine RBI and an .850 slugging percentage. Gartrell rose his batting average from .165 to .216 in a matter of days.

Currently Jose Constanza is on a 9-game hit streak that he will be looking to extend on Wednesday against Jeurys Familia. On the season, the G-Braves left fielder is hitting a team-high .352 with 13 RBI and five stolen bases.

Buffalo Bisons (19-13, 2nd IL North) vs Gwinnett (19-21, 1st IL South) 

One of the top pitching prospects in baseball Jeurys Familia (2-1, 5.06) is set to take the mound Wednesday against G-Braves southpaw Yohan Flande (1-1, 2.96) for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Familia is the New York Mets No. 4 overall prospect according to Baseball America.

Wednesday, May 8 – First Pitch 7:05 p.m. @ Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA

The host of the 2012 IL All-Star Game, Buffalo Bisons, are in town for their first match-up with the G-Braves this season. The two teams will battle in their first of two four-game series’ this season, with the initial meeting in Georgia. The two teams will play one another in another four-game set, the next time from Buffalo following the G-Braves current 11-game homestand. The season-series finale is set to take place from Tuesday May 15 through Friday May 18 in New York.

It is “Winning Wednesday” but be sure to catch to the voice of the G-Braves Tony Schiavone as he broadcasts the game live on 550 AM, WDUN.com or 102.9 FM if you can’t make it out to the ballpark. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Buffalo Bisons Batting Order:

1) Bobby Scales, 2B

2) Fred Lewis, LF

3) Valentino Pascucci, RF

4) Zach Lutz, 1B

5) Matt Tuiasosopo, CF

6) Brad Emaus, 3B

7) Oswaldo Navarro, SS

8) Jean Luc Blaquiere, C

9) Jeurys Familia, P

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Stefan Gartrell, RF

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Drew Sutton, 2B

6) Joey Terdoslavich, 3B

7) Josh Wilson, SS

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Yohan Flande, P

By: Tony Piraro

First Place G-Braves Facing Tough Test Tuesday

5.8.12 GBraves Game Notes

Photo courtesy of Daniel Hamby

Saturday night began an 11-game homestand in 10 days for the Gwinnett Braves. Game No. 4 of from Coolray Field is set for Tuesday night and it should be a good one between Gwinnett and Buffalo. Monday the G-Braves fell to the Bisons, 4-3, in an uncharacteristic game for Gwinnett. For seemingly the first time all season, the G-Braves bullpen let them down. Gwinnett was leading the entire game, 3-0, until the top of the eighth inning when Buffalo struck for four runs to take a 4-3 lead.

Three G-Braves relievers combined to allow the four runs and Jaye Chapman was tagged with the blown save and loss. Regardless, this is why baseball is the best game in the world…The next day, you get to do it again with a chance for redemption.

Stefan Gartrell and company will indeed be looking to redeem themselves, but it won’t be easy against one of the top prospects in the country in Matt Harvey. Gartrell however was named the International League Batter of the Week today as he continues his torrid pace. The slugger is batting over .400 in his last six games, including four home runs, nine RBI and an .850 slugging percentage. Gartrell rose his batting average from .165 to .216 in a matter of days. The big bopper is looking to extend his hit streak to nine games and his RBI streak to seven games on Tuesday night.

Buffalo Bisons (17-14, 3rd in IL North) vs Gwinnett (19-11, 1st in IL South) 

One of the top pitching prospects in baseball Matt Harvey (2-1, 4.80) is set to take the mound Tuesday against G-Braves righty Eric Junge (3-2, 3.10) for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Matt Harvey is the New York Mets No. 2 prospect and the No. 35 overall prospect according to Baseball America. The righty has punched out 27 batters and walked 13 through 30 innings of work so far this season, while allowing just one home run.

Tuesday, May 8 – First Pitch 7:05 p.m. @ Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA

The host of the 2012 IL All-Star Game, Buffalo Bisons, are in town for their first match-up with the G-Braves this season. The two teams will battle in their first of two four-game series’ this season, with the initial meeting in Georgia. The two teams will play one another in a four-game set from Buffalo following the G-Braves current 11-game homestand. The season-series finale is set to take place from Tuesday May 15 through Friday May 18 in New York between Buffalo and Gwinnett.

It is “2 for 1 Tuesday” but be sure to catch to the voice of the G-Braves Tony Schiavone as he broadcasts the game live on 550 AM, WDUN.com or 102.9 FM if you can’t make it out to the ballpark. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Buffalo Bisons Batting Order:

1) Bobby Scales, 2B

2) Fred Lewis, LF

3) Josh Satin, 1B

4) Zach Lutz, 3B

5) Matt Tuiasosopo, RF

6) Dustin Martin, CF

7) Lucas May, C

8) Omar Quintanilla, SS

9) Matt Harvey, P

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Stefan Gartrell, RF

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Drew Sutton, 2B

6) Joey Terdoslavich, 3B

7) Josh Wilson, SS

8) Jose Yepez, C

9) Eric Junge, P

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Julio Teheran Set To Start Monday Night

5.7.12 GBraves Game Notes

Photo courtesy of Daniel Hamby

Saturday night began an 11-game homestand in 10 days for the Gwinnett Braves, but it did not start the way Gwinnett like with a loss to Charlotte. Sunday the G-Braves concluded their two-game series with the Knights with a 6-2 victory, pushing the season series to a 4-4 tie. Jair Jurrjens was stellar, working eight innings of two-run baseball en route to his first win with the G-BRaves in 2012.

The former New York Met 1986 World Series winner, Wally Backman, is managing the Mets Triple-A affiliate as he continues his New York legacy. The skipper will be managing in the National League format tonight as both teams are farm clubs of NL teams. Therefore, for the first time this season from Coolray Field, both pitchers will be batting in this four-game series.

Stefan Gartrell was named the International League Batter of the Week today as he continues his torrid pace. The slugger is batting .400 in his last five games, including three home runs, eight RBI and an .850 slugging percentage. Gartrell rose his batting average from .165 to .211 in a matter of days.

Buffalo Bisons (17-13, 3rd in IL North) vs Gwinnett (19-10, 1st in IL South) 

The top pitching prospect in baseball Julio Teheran (2-1, 3.66) will take the mound for the G-Braves against Buffalo right-hander Chris Schwinden (2-2, 2.05). Teheran’s last start was cut short due to rain, as he continues to seek his third win of the season. The G-Braves ace was originally scheduled to face the New York Mets No. 4 prospect in Matt Harvey, but he has been pushed back to Tuesday.

Monday, May 7 – First Pitch 7:05 p.m. @ Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA

The host of the 2012 IL All-Star Game, Buffalo Bisons, are in town for their first match-up with the G-Braves this season. The two teams will battle in their first of two four-game series’ this season, with the initial meeting in Georgia. The two teams will play one another in a four-game set from Buffalo following the G-Braves current 11-game homestand. The season-series finale is set to take place from Tuesday May 15 through Friday May 18 in New York between Buffalo and Gwinnett.

It is “Kids Eat Free Monday” so be sure to catch to the voice of the G-Braves Tony Schiavone as he broadcasts the game live on 550 AM, WDUN.com or 102.9 FM if you can’t make it out to the ballpark. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Buffalo Bisons Batting Order:

1) Bobby Scales, 2B

2) Dustin Martin, CF

3) Valentino Pascucci, RF

4) Josh Satin, 1B

5) Matt Tuiasosopo

6) Fred Lewis, LF

7) Rob Johnson, C

8) Omar Quintanilla, SS

9) Chris Schwinden, P

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Drew Sutton, 2B

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Joey Terdoslavich, 3B

6) Jordan Parraz, RF

7) Josh Wilson, SS

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Julio Teheran, P

By: Tony Piraro

Stefan Gartrell Named IL Batter of the Week

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The Gwinnett Braves outfielder/designated hitter Stefan Gartrell has been named the International League Batter of the Week for April 30-May 6, 2012. Gartrell is the first G-Braves player to win the IL’s weekly award this season. LeHigh Valley’s Scott Elarton was named the IL Pitcher of the Week.

Stefan Gartrell has been on fire as of late, batting .400 over his last five games, including three home runs and eight RBI. He registered an .850 slugging percentage, as he becomes the first G-Braves hitter to receive the award since Mauro Gomez did so during the week of August 29, 2011. Gartrell was batting .165 as of last week, and has risen his average to .211 in a matter of days.

The last time Gartrell won the Batter of the Week award in minor league baseball was for the week of June 22, 2009. The slugger was then in the Southern League playing for the Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate, Birmingham Barons.

Gartrell and the Gwinnett Braves (19-10) host the Buffalo Bisons (17-13) for the start of a four-game series at Coolray Field on Monday. G-Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (2-1, 3.66) will oppose Buffalo righty Chris Schwinden (2-2, 2.05), first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Monday is “Kids Eat Free Monday” where all kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, bag of chips and a small soda.

Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

By: Tony Piraro

Sunday Fun Day is Bark in the Park at Coolray Field

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Sunday’s have always been entertaining at Coolray Field, but today it’s about to get a lot “friskier” as we welcome all our four legged friends to a G-Braves game. Come one, come all dogs in the surrounding communities to Coolray Field with their owners to have a bark, or play some catch on the field. Either way, Sunday Fun Day is definitely living up to the hype this weekend in Lawrenceville.

Bring your dog to the game for Bark in the Park! Make sure he doesn’t forget his glove to catch foul balls too! But remember it is lawn seating only.

Also, Sunday means playing catch on the field of Coolray Field so bring your ball and glove for a pregame catch in the outfield starting when the gates open for 20 minutes. All kids 12 & under will get to run the bases following the game. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. and the gates will open promptly at 1:00 p.m.

Your first place G-Braves (18-10) are set to host the second place Charlotte Knights (15-14) of the IL South Division. The former Atlanta Brave right-hander Jair Jurrjens will be making the start for Gwinnett on Sunday afternoon against the Knights Terry Doyle.

No matter what, whether you’re an animal lover or a baseball nut, we have something for every fan in the stands at Coolray Field. Be here early to get your chance to play like a big leaguer on the G-Braves playing field.

By: Tony Piraro

Jair Jurrjens Starting for the G-Braves Sunday

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Saturday night started an 11-game homestand in 10 days for the Gwinnett Braves, but unfortunately it did not start the way the G-Braves had envisioned with an 11-2 loss. Sunday afternoon will conclude a quick two-game set between Charlotte and Gwinnett before Buffalo comes to Coolray Field beginning Monday. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens (0-0, 1.29) will make his second start for the G-Braves on Sunday and will be opposing Charlotte righty Terry Doyle (1-2, 4.13) for a 2:05 p.m. first pitch from Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Stefan Gartrell is on fire right now for the G-Braves, as he has raised his batting average from .165 to .211 in a matter of days. The power-hitting righty has blasted a long ball in three of the teams’ last four games and will be seeking his fourth home run in five games today.

Starters: Charlotte Knights (15-14, 2nd) vs Gwinnett (18-10, 1st) Sunday, May 6 @ 2:05 p.m. @ Coolray Field

The Charlotte Knights are leading the season series, 4-3, with the G-Braves in the first seven games the two teams have played this season. This two-game series will mark the third series of seven between Gwinnett and Charlotte during the 2012 season. The next time these two will play one another will be part of a 4-game home-and-home series to start June. On June 1-2 the G-Braves will be playing hosting to the Knights once again for two games from Georgia. Then, June 3-4 the G-Braves will head to Charlotte for another 2-game set with the Knights on the back end of their home-and-home series’.

Be sure to catch to the voice of the G-Braves Tony Schiavone as he broadcasts the game live on 550 AM, WDUN.com or 102.9 FM. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Charlotte Knights Batting Order:

1) Tyler Kuhn, 2B

2) Greg Golson, RF

3) Dan Johnson, DH

4) Hector Gimenez, C

5) Jordan Danks, CF

6) Jim Gallagher, LF

7) Ray Olmedo, 3B

8) Kyle Shelton, LF

9) Ozzie Martinez, SS

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Jose Constanza, RF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Stefan Gartrell, LF

4) Ernesto Mejia, DH

5) Joey Terdoslavich, 3B

6) Christian Marrero, 1B

7) Josh Wilson, 2B

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Greg Paiml, SS

By: Tony Piraro

Atlanta Braves Minor League Report (May 2012)

By: Tony Piraro

Currently, the Atlanta Braves organization is impressing at nearly every level throughout their minor league system. Two leagues are set to get underway in the middle of June, therefore the Danville Braves (Rookie) and Gulf Coast League Braves (Rookie) have yet to begin their respective seasons. As for the rest of the Braves affiliates, life is good, especially after the top prospects got the rare opportunity to play the Atlanta Braves in the April 3 Inaugural Exhibition Game hosted at Coolray Field.

Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease

Atlanta Braves (16-11, 2nd place)

The big club has been playing some outstanding baseball since a rough start to begin the season. Chipper Jones has returned from the DL and is playing at his usual, high-level. Speaking of returning injured players, Tim Hudson has made two starts for Atlanta after spending some time in Rome and Gwinnett. All in all, the former G-Braves stars have begun to take over the Atlanta ballclub, such as: Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Martin Prado, Tyler Pastornicky and Craig Kimbrel. The Braves only trail the upstart Bryce Harper-led Washington Nationals by two games in the NL East standings, but I can see that changing as quickly as the Nats luck has been changing of late.

Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease

Gwinnett Braves (18-9, 1st place)

With the best record in the International League (18-9) the G-Braves are focused on being consistent. Gwinnett currently has the No. 1 ranked pitching staff in the IL with a team ERA of 2.78 and their hitting is starting to heat up, especially Stefan Gartrell (pictured above). The G-Braves outfielder/designated hitter has been a monster as of late, crushing a home run in each of his last three games including six total hits during that span. Gartrell is now batting .209 with four homers and 14 RBI, which is saying a lot considering he was batting .165 before the G-Braves 8-game road trip last week.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Mississippi Braves (10-19, 5th place) 
The leader of the M-Braves team is obviously shortstop Andrelton Simmons who nearly made the Braves out of camp. The top shortstop prospect is currently hitting a team-high .319 for Mississippi and also leads the team in stolen bases (6) as he continues to flash his above-average glove. Ian Gac is the offensive power for the M-Braves as he leads the team in home runs (3) and RBI (15) this year. Four pitchers are tied for the team-lead in wins with two and closer Mark Lamm has three saves. David Hale leads the team in strikeouts with 25 already. The top catching prospect in the system Christian Bethancourt is having a nice season behind the plate, as well as, batting .288 on offense.
Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease
Lynchburg Hillcats (14-12, 1st place)
One of the most talented affiliates of the Atlanta Braves organization is located in Lynchburg. Most of the Braves top ranked prospects throughout the system are stationed with the High-A team in Virginia. Tommy LaStella leads the offensive charge with a .325 batting average and Nick Ahmed is the resident thief with his eight stolen bases already. Four pitchers on the staff are tied for the team-lead with three wins and hard-thrower Cory Martin is leading the team with 35 strikeouts.
Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts
Rome Braves (6-21, 7th place)
The only team in the Braves organization that has been struggling since the start of the season. Currently, Rome is trailing first place by 13.5 games as they battle in the South Atlanta League. Rafael Briceno is leading the team with two wins, while closer Jean Carlos Gil has a team-leading two saves. David Filak leads the Braves organization with 39 strikeouts in 2012, and also commands a dominant 1.88 ERA. Kyle Kubitza is the main power source for Rome with his team-leading four home runs and 13 RBI.
Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Saturday’s Starting Line-up for the G-Braves

5.5.12 GBraves Game Notes

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Saturday night starts an 11-game homestand in 10 days for the Gwinnett Braves and what better way to start their extended stay in Georgia than with Todd Redmond (2-2, 3.04) on the mound? The right hander is seeking his third win, while continuing to role his way through the IL with his league-leading 34 strikeouts. The G-Braves hurler will match-up against the Charlotte Knights southpaw Charlie Leesman (1-3, 3.68) for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Coolray Field.

Stefan Gartrell is on fire right now for the G-Braves, as he has raised his batting average from .165 to .209 in a matter of days. The power-hitting righty has blasted a long ball in each of the teams’ last three games and will be seeking his fourth home run in four games tonight in Lawrenceville.

Starters: Charlotte Knights (14-14, 2nd) vs Gwinnett (18-9, 1st) Saturday, May 5 @ 7:05 p.m. @ Coolray Field

The G-Braves and Knights season series is tied, 3-3, at three wins per team this season. This two-game set will mark the third series of seven between Gwinnett and Charlotte during the 2012 season. The next time these two will play one another will be part of a 4-game home-and-home series to start June. On June 1-2 the G-Braves will be playing hosting to the Knights once again for two games from Georgia. Then, June 3-4 the G-Braves will head to Charlotte for another 2-game set with the Knights on the back end of their home-and-home series’.

Be sure to catch to the voice of the G-Braves Tony Schiavone as he broadcasts the game live on 550 AM, WDUN.com or 102.9 FM. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Charlotte Knights Batting Order:

1) Tyler Kuhn, 2B

2) Greg Golson, RF

3) Dan Johnson, 1B

4) Hector Gimenez, DH

5) Josh Phegley, C

6) Jordan Danks, CF

7) Jim Gallagher, LF

8) Ray Olmedo, 3B

9) Ozzie Martinez, SS

G-Braves Batting Order

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Jose Constanza, LF

3) Stefan Gartrell, RF

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Drew Sutton, 2B

6) Joey Terdoslavich, 3B

7) Jordan Parraz, DH

8) Josh Wilson, SS

9) Jose Yepez, C

By: Tony Piraro

First Place G-Braves Begin 11-Game Homestand Saturday

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

The Gwinnett Braves (18-9) begin an 11-game stretch at home over the next 10 days, starting Saturday from Coolray Field. The first series for the G-Braves will be against the Charlotte Knights who currently reside in second place of the IL South Division directly behind Gwinnett at 14-14. The Chicago White Sox affiliate has slowed as of late, winning just four of their last 10 games.

Following the departure of Charlotte after two games, Buffalo comes to town for four games and then Toledo will conclude the trip with five games against your G-Braves. The May 11 game with the MudHens will be a doubleheader beginning at 5:00 p.m. for Game 1, after the G-Braves and Toledo’s game was postponed due to rain in Ohio last week.

With the best record in the International League (18-9) the G-Braves are focused on being consistent. Gwinnett currently has the No. 1 ranked pitching staff in the IL with a team ERA of 2.78 and their hitting is starting to heat up, especially Stefan Gartrell (pictured above). The G-Braves outfielder/designated hitter has been  a monster as of late, crushing a home run in each of his last three games including six total hits during that timespan. Gartrell is now batting .209 with four homers and 14 RBI, which is saying a lot considering he was batting .165 before the G-Braves 8-game road trip last week.

Todd Redmond takes the hill for Gwinnett on Saturday night, seeking his third win of the young season. After his last start, the right-hander was leading the IL in strikeouts (34) amidst 27 innings of work. Redmond will look to add to that total tonight in the first of 11 games from Coolray Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from Lawrenceville, Georgia.

By: Tony Piraro

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