Gearrin Promoted, Constanza Back to Gwinnett
Photo courtesy of Karl Moore
Gwinnett Braves closer Cory Gearrin has once again been promoted to the Atlanta Braves amidst mass injuries to the pitching staff. Meanwhile, the Gwinnett franchise record holder with his 22-game hit streak, Jose Constanza is back and ready to provide the G-Braves offense with a spark.
However, the Gwinnett offense doesn’t need much of anything lately, as Stefan Gartrell and Ernesto Mejia have carried the team on their collective back. Gartrell is one of the hottest hitters in the International League for July, hitting .395 with six home runs and 14 RBI. For the season, the steady Mejia is leading the team in most offensive categories, including home runs (22) and RBI (75). Felix Pie is coming off the most impressive game by a G-Brave hitter in 2012, bashing the first grand slam of the season for a Gwinnett player, as he registered a team-high six RBI in one game against Durham.
For as explosive as the Gwinnett offense is becoming, in the same respect the G-Braves bullpen is not as deep as it once was in 2012. Jaye Chapman was just dealt to the Chicago Cubs, alongside the promotion of Gearrin to Atlanta, two of the most consistent arms in the G-Braves bullpen are now history. Anthony Varvaro takes over as the best arm in the Gwinnett bullpen, aside from his left-handed counterpart Dusty Hughes. Both will have expanded roles moving forward into the final month of the IL regular season.
Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden
With injuries to Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens, who were both placed on the DL this week for the Braves, Atlanta is presently deprived of pitching depth. Thus the move of Chapman and Arodys Vizcaino to Chicago (NL) for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson, as Atlanta needed a left-hander with rotation and bullpen versatility.
After recording the best record in the IL in the first month of the season, then falling into an IL-worst 15-game losing skid, the G-Braves have kept their heads up as the worst seems to be over. The offense, defense and pitching is getting better and they have only become more consistent in the second half of the season. Regardless of record, Gwinnett is making strides in many departments, namely developing their youngsters as Sean Gilmartin made his Triple-A debut this past week. The future is bright with the Atlanta Braves organization, however they have a chance at winning now, so they will take every precaution along the way to make sure they do just that.
By: Tony Piraro