Series Preview: Braves (4-0) at Bulls (3-1)
Probable Pitching Matchups:
Monday: RHP Omar Poveda (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 0.00)
Tuesday: LHP Sean Gilmartin (1-0, 1.80) vs. LHP Alex Torres (0-0, 0.00)
Wednesday: RHP David Hale (1-0, 3.60) vs. RHP Chris Archer (1-0, 1.80)
About the G-Braves:
The Gwinnett Braves are off to their best start in franchise history after sweeping the Charlotte Knights this weekend. The G-Braves came out of the gates hot, utilizing strong pitching and timely hitting to fend off the Knights. The staff allowed nine earned runs through 36 innings, while the hitters combined to hit .277 (31-for-112) with four home runs and 17 RBI.
Hitters: Tyler Pastornicky is 11th in the IL in hitting (.429) and is tied for ninth in hits (9). Last season, he hit .268 (41-for-153) with one home run and 20 RBI in 38 Triple-A Games. The infielder hit his only Triple-A home run against the Durham Bulls last year…. Jordan Parraz and Ernesto Mejia enter the weekday series tied for fourth in home runs (2). In 2012, Mejia hit 24 home runs… Catcher Jose Yepez led all returning G-Braves with a .340 (16-for-47) batting average against Durham in 2012…
Pitchers: The bullpen has been spot on in the early season, locking down four saves in four opportunities. The braves remain without a consistent closer, so four different players have tallied a save… Last season, Yohan Flande led all returning G-Braves with a 2-1 record and 1.78 ERA against the Bulls. He struck out 19 in five appearances (25.1 IP) against Durham.
Cheat Sheet: The G-Braves won the season series in 2012, 11-10 and lead the all-time series 44-41… The G-Braves roster carries four top prospects in the Atlanta Braves organization according to Baseball America, Sean Gilmartin (No.4), Todd Cunningham (No. 12), David Hale (No. 16) and Joe Terdoslavich (No. 19)… 2012 IL Champion Jose Constanza is off to slow start, hitting .100 (1-for-10) with four punch outs…
About the Bulls:
Durham is off to a solid start as well, winning three of their first four. The Bulls have done with strong pitching. Through four games, they lead the league in ERA (2.16) and runs allowed (8).
Hitters: Heralded prospect Wil Myers is off to a solid start, hitting .333 (4-for-12) with two doubles and three RBI… However, he is second on the team in strikeouts (4)… Former No.1 overall draft pick, Tim Beckham returns for another season with the Bulls. He is off to slow start, hitting .143 (2-for-14) with a team-high six strikeouts… The Bulls have been limited to one home run in four games, Brandon Guyer is the only player that has gone deep.
Pitchers: Chris Archer dazzled in his season debut, tossing five innings of one-run ball and striking out five. He is scheduled to throw game two of the series. Last year, he went 2-1 with a 5.74 ERA against the G-Braves… Jake Odorizzi makes his season debut on Monday night. Last season, he went 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA for the Omaha Storm Chasers. He was one of the prospects traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Tampa Rays for Wade Davis and James Shields.
Bull Clips: The Bulls feature a prospect-heavy roster according to Baseball America. Seven of the top 30 Tampa Bay prospects wear a Bulls jersey, Myers (No.1), Archer (No.2), Hak-Ju Lee (No.4), Odorizzi (No.5), Alex Colome (No.6), Beckham (No. 10) and Mike Montgomery (No.15)…
Did You Know: The G-Braves went the whole 2012 season without a multi-homer game at Coolray Field. However, in the opening series, the G-Braves have had two players accomplish the feat, Mejia on Saturday and Parraz on Sunday.