Results tagged ‘ 2012 Spring Training ’

Spring Training Interview: Craig Kimbrel

As mentioned in my earlier post today, I had the pleasure of catching up with former Gwinnett Braves closer and reigning National League Rookie of the Year, Braves’ right-hander Craig Kimbrel today at Champion Stadium.

In the audio interview, Craig talks about what Spring Training is like for him this time around, how the 2010 season in Gwinnett prepared him for MLB success, finishing 1-2 in R.O.Y. voting with fellow former G-Brave Freddie Freeman, the tremendous set-up work of Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters, his thoughts on 2011 International League Rookie of the Year Julio Teheran, coming back to Coolray Field for April 3′s “Braves All-Stars vs. Future Stars Game” and more.

Listen Here:  Craig Kimbrel Interview 3.10.12

You can see Craig and the rest of the Atlanta Braves as they take on the future stars of the organization at Coolray Field on Tuesday, April 3 at 7:05 PM.  For tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at 678-277-0340.

-DL

Braves Spring Training, Day 2

I’m back in press row for today’s Braves vs. New York Yankees game, scheduled for 1:05 PM.  It’s set to be one of the busiest days of the Spring here at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex with not only a huge crowd expected here at Champion Stadium but also a major Cheerleading/Dance competition going on next door.

The Braves fell to 1-7 on the Grapefruit League season with losses in each of their split-squad games yesterday, including a 5-3 loss to the New York Mets.  Randall Delgado was tagged for three runs, two earned over 3.0 innings in his second outing of the Spring, while Rule 5 selection Robert Fish surrendered two runs in relief in the eighth to take the loss.  Martin Prado went 3-for-4 with a pair of ground-rule doubles.  Julio Teheran fared better than Delgado against the Yankees in Tampa, allowing an earned run over 3.0 innings in what was still the losing cause.

I’ve been out at Champion Stadium since 7:45 today, checking things off my Spring Training “to-do” list.  I was able to meet the Gwinnett coaching staff for the first time today and sat down with manager Dave Brundage for an interview previewing the season.  I’m planning on saving that interview for my 2012 Preview in the first edition of our gameday program, “Tomahawk Talk”.  Look for that at Coolray Field in April.

I also caught up with the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, former G-Brave and current Braves closer, Craig Kimbrel.  I’ll post that audio interview with Craig once I get a chance to listen to it in quieter conditions.

It’s getting fairly noisy here now as the starting lineups for the Yankees and Braves are introduced.  Both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are in the lineup for New York, but no sign of Derek Jeter.

As for the Braves, here’s the lineup:  Michael Bourn (CF), Martin Prado (LF), Brian McCann (DH), Dan Uggla (2B), Chipper Jones (3B), Freddie Freeman (1B), Tyler Pastornicky (SS), J.C. Boscan (C), Jose Constanza (RF), Jair Jurrjens (SP).

And, in closing, some pictures from today:

Prado, Jones, McCann and Hinske around the cage this morning.

Braves' manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman converse in the dugout.

2011 G-Brave Cory Gearrin and fellow pitchers Dusty Hughes and Zeke Spruill.

Ernesto Mejia has been a popular target for interviews these last two days.

Yankees' manager Joe Girardi and the legendary Dale Murphy.

Speaking of legends, Andy Pettitte threw a round of Yankees' BP today.

As hopefully you did yesterday, follow along with my game tweets at @DaveLezotte and re-tweets at @GwinnettBraves.  It’s back home to Lawrenceville, GA tomorrow!

-DL

Greetings from Champion Stadium

It’s the first-ever “G-Blog On Location” if you will, as I write to you from the slightly damp Champion Stadium pressbox at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.  I’m taking in my first Atlanta Braves Spring Training game today, a split-squad tilt vs. the New York Mets that’s scheduled for 1:05 PM.

Scheduled is the key word.  We had a sudden rain storm pass through that seemed to catch everyone off-guard, including myself as I rushed to move out of the first row of press seating.  The grounds crew is currently working on fixing up a large puddle on the left side of the diamond, where Chipper Jones and Andrelton Simmons are slated to be this afternoon.

Here’s a few photos I’ve taken already today:

A view of Champion Stadium from the press box.

Checking out the first BP group from the Braves' dugout.

2011 G-Braves outfielder Stefan Gartrell signs autographs.

Ernesto Mejia...an imposing figure. Love the way the ball came off his bat today in BP. Might we see him in Gwinnett?

Here’s a look at the Braves’ lineup for today:  Andrelton Simmons (SS), Martin Prado (DH), Brian McCann (C), Dan Uggla (2B), Chipper Jones (3B), Eric Hinske (1B), Jason Heyward (RF), Stefan Gartrell (LF), Todd Cunningham (CF), Randall Delgado (SP).

Personally, I’m excited to see Gartrell in action after all I’ve read about his 2011 campaign in Gwinnett.  I’m also intrigued to get my first look at Simmons, the #4 prospect in the Braves’ system according to Baseball America.  Plus, I’ll get a first-hand view of Delgado, who throws for the first time since a forgettable first Spring outing against Detroit on March 4.  It looks like we’ll be ready to get underway here shortly.

I’ll likely be tweeting throughout the game at my personal account, @DaveLezotte and re-tweeting through @GwinnettBraves.  Feel free to check in throughout what should now be a gorgeous day for baseball here in Lake Buena Vista.

-DL

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