Interview: G-Braves 2012 All-Star Candidates

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

The Gwinnett Braves have been one of the best team’s in the International League this season, as the pitching staff has led the way. At one point in the season, the G-Braves staff was ranked No. 1 in the IL. The bats have come a long way as well, with Ernesto Mejia and Stefan Gartrell doing a great deal of the heavy lifting. However, with just over two months left in the regular season, the G-Braves find themselves in second place of the IL South and primed in a perfect position to make a run at the league title.

The 2012 All-Star voting concludes on Friday, June 22 so vote early and often for your favorite G-Braves players. Visit today or simply click this link to get your ballot started:

I had a chance to sit down with a bunch of G-Braves players prior to their 10-game road trip last week to hear their thoughts and opinions on who is having an all-star type season. Respectfully, a majority of the G-Braves are worthy of consideration, however only a handful will make the team. That is why you, the fans, need to get over to and make your opinions known. Voting for the 2012 All-Star Game in Buffalo, New York concludes Friday, June 22. Click here to vote now.

Ernesto Mejia:

“We’re having a great season this year as a team. Julio Teheran is doing well, very well just like last year. He has more experience this year and I think he should be one of those players (all-stars),” said Mejia. “Jordan Parraz was having a good year, but he is hurt right now, so he may have to wait a little more. He was doing really good. Gartrell has a lot of RBI and home runs and has been helping the team a lot. Durango has a lot of stolen bases, he is leading the league so he deserves it too. We have a lot of good players. I’m doing really good right now too and I’m just working hard. It’s every players dream to go to the all-star game and I hope I can make it. I would go of course. I’m excited because it’s my first year in Triple-A. It would be awesome. This year I feel like I have more experience. Last year in Double-A I had a good season and back in winter ball too. In winter ball, the league is very tough. Sometimes its harder there because we have a lot of big league guys. That has helped me a lot and I’ve been working a lot more this year. Last year, I didn’t workout a lot during the season because it made me tired. But this year, I’m working with Matt (Parvis) in the gym and I think that is what’s keeping me healthy and stronger.”

Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease

Julio Teheran:

“The pitchers. I think everyone here can make it. I want to, but I know I’m not having my best season,” said Teheran. “I’m not trying to complain (about this season) and I continue working. I’ll try to make it (the all-star team) if I can. I made it last year, but I couldn’t go because I was in the Future Stars Game, which was a good experience for me. The Future’s (Game) was good. It was exciting for me. I want to go (2012 ASG in Buffalo). That would make me feel good.”

Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease

Luis Durango:

“I think this is a very good team. I like all the pitching and position players (for the All-Star Game). I like the team,” Durango said. “Nesto is having a good year. I like him, he’s a good player. I’d like that for him (making the team). What’s working for me is the stolen bases (23, 1st) and the little at-bats which has been good for me.”

Photo courtesy of Daniel Hamby

Dave Brundage:

“Gartrell’s had a heck of a month. Mejia has been absolutely on fire. Looking around, Durango leads the league in stolen bases,” said Brundage. “From an offensive standpoint, obviously Constanza was worthy of consideration when he was here. He did a great job in the leadoff spot and the No. 2 hole. What a tandem those two are and what a force they are in our line-up. We’ve been up there in the league leaders for pitching throughout. Cory Gearrin has solidified the front end of the bullpen and a lot of pitchers are deserving. You look at Redmond and how consistent he is, you hope he gets considered along the way. Just from a pitching standpoint, pitching is why we are where we are today. Yet, we don’t have tremendous numbers when they’re sizing up numbers, but you can look up and down our staff. Flande goes back-to-back shutouts and now he’s in the bullpen. It just goes to show you the strength of our ballclub lies with our pitching. Playing the game the right way with our speed, a little power, a lot of our guys our worthy of making an all-star team. At the same time, we do things as a team that’s where we are today.”

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Jaime Dismuke:

“Mejia. Constanza, but he’s not here. He’s doing bigger and better things right now,” Dismuke said. “Gartrell and Durango. This was my first year seeing Ernie (Mejia) and he’s solid, both offensively and defensively. He’s big and he moves well, that’s the surprising thing. Gartrell has done it in the past. He’s hit 20+ home runs the last three years in this league. At the end of the season, you’re going to look up (at the scoreboard) and he’s going to have the same numbers he had in the past. He started out slow, but he’s picked it up. Durango, you know speed kills. Speed never slumps and he does a good job from both sides of the plate. So, those are my choices right there.”

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Christian Marrero:

“I would say Mejia. Since the beginning of the year to now, he looks a lot better hitting wise. He’s making adjustments and helping the team out a lot. He’s having great at-bats and almost every at-bat is unbelievable,” said Marrero. “He gets the job done and I would say the same for Gartrell. He started off slow, but what he’s doing now is great for the team. Hitting balls hard and having great at-bats, him (Gartrell) and Mejia have put the team on their backs. Louis too, he nearly has 30 stolen bases already. He’s the one that sets the tone for us. Without him, those guys (Gartrell/Mejia) wouldn’t be able to have as many RBI. I just try to be ready if they put me in the line-up. If I’m out there, I’m going to give it 100-percent. If I’m not in the line-up, when it’s my time to pinch-hit, I make sure I’m ready and try to help the team out as much as I can. I’m comfortable everywhere. I’m feeling great in the outfield and at first base too. As long as I’m in the line-up, I’m happy. Redmond is getting hot right now. He’s doing really well. For relievers, I’d say the whole bullpen. Anybody could go from the bullpen. Cory (Gearrin) has been unbelievable, lights out. Buddy (Carlyle) too and Russell. And Chappy (Jaye Chapman), that’s why I say the whole bullpen (laughing).”

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Marty Reed:

“I think Redmond belongs on it. I’d say Julio (Teheran) belongs on it. He’s had some dominating games,” Reed said. “Cory Gearrin, without a doubt. Chappy (Jaye Chapman) should get in. If Varvaro had been here for awhile, he’d be a guy. I don’t know where we rank in pitching, third or fourth, there’s got to be a reason why our guys should have a good opportunity to get on that team. He (Flande) has put together some good starts too. There are going to be a lot of guys that are a coin flip because you’re also talking about how many other teams? If each team has two, then you’ve got too many pitchers. I think we’ve got probably five or six guys that deserve it and it could be any one of them. For me, Redmond is a lock in terms of consistency. Julio, in terms of a starter. There may be some guys who have had a better year, but his track record and he has had some dominating starts. Five guys would be pretty good.”

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

By: Tony Piraro

1 Comment

Great job to all the AAA guys, congrats! Can’t wait for Teheran to be a fixture in the rotation for years to come.

Not trying to spam, but please feel free check out my wordpress blog, Brave Decisions. The feedback so far has been great so far

Thanks, Go G-Braves!

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