Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (4-6) vs. Norfolk Tides (3-7)
Mon: Zach Stewart (0-0, 5.40) vs. Mike Wright (0-0, 0.00)
Tues: Cody Martin (0-1, 6.43) vs. Kevin Gausman (0-0, 2.08)
The Gwinnett Braves and Norfolk Tides meet for the fourth time this season on Monday night. Gwinnett took the first series matchup, winning two of three at Norfolk. In the three contests, Gwinnett scored 18 runs.
Pitching: The Tides will feature two star-studded prospects in Gausman and Wright.
Gausman has been dominant in two starts for the Tides. He is 0-0 with a 2.08 ERA with ten strikeouts in 8.2 innings. He pitched against the G-Braves on Thursday, going 4.0 innings, allowing two runs and striking out four in the no-decision. Last season, the hard-throwing right-hander breezed through the minor league ranks, making 13 minor league starts before he was summoned by the Baltimore Orioles to make his Major League debut on May 23. He appeared in 20 games for the Orioles, going 3-5 with a 5.66 ERA and striking out 49 batters in 47.2. Enters the 2014 season the No.2 prospect in the Orioles organization according to Baseball America.
Wright will make his second start of the season on Monday. He has gone 5.0 innings without allowing a run. . The former third rounder in the 2011 draft out of the University of East Carolina features a mid-90’s fastball, slider, curve and change-up. Wright enters the season as the No.8 ranked prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America.
The Braves will counter with Stewart and Martin. Stewart pitched well against the Tides last week, going 5.0 innings, allowing three runs on the three hits, while Martin was hit around for four runs in 4.0 innings. Martin enters the season as the Braves No. 11 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America.
Hitting: Both teams are scuffling at the dish. In the weekend series against the Bulls, the G-Braves scored five runs, while Norfolk holds a team-batting average of .232 (9th in the IL).
Norfolk is led by Caleb Joseph at the plate. The infielder is hitting .367 (11-for-30) with three doubles, one homer and six RBIs. In two games against Gwinnett in 2014, he is 2-for-8 with a homer and two RBIs. Former first round pick Jemile Weeks is off to a solid start for Norfolk. In eight games, the second baseman is batting .333 (9-for-27) with one double, two triples and two RBIs. Last night, he snapped his seven-game hitting streak with a 0-for-2 performance against Charlotte.
Gwinnett has cooled off after scoring 41 runs in their first seven games.
Phil Gosselin is still leading the way with a .481 (13-for-27) batting average with four doubles and three RBIs. He has been solid playing all three positions on the diamond. In two games against the Tides, he hit 6-for-9 with four runs and two doubles. Ernesto Mejia leads the league with six homers and has 12 RBIs in 10 games. In his last two games, he is 4-for-7 with one homer and two RBIs.
Home Win: Last season, the Braves started the season 4-0 at home. This year they are off to an 0-3 start.