Results tagged ‘ Adam Russell ’

2013 Spring Training – Familiar Faces, New Places

Stephen Gartrell (left) slugs home run, while J.C. Boscan (right) walks off the field.

Stefan Gartrell (left) slugs home run, while J.C. Boscan (right) takes the field.

With the off-season almost in the books, a new crop of G-Braves is forming at Atlanta Braves Spring Training in Lake Buena Vista, FL.  We’ve already taken a look at some of the potential returnees from last year’s club as well as some of the new faces that could impact Atlanta or Gwinnett’s roster.  For this post, we’ll check in with 2012 G-Braves who are no longer with the Braves organization.

Catcher J.C. Boscan signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Cubs this off-season. The longest tenured G-Brave spent four seasons with Gwinnett. In 210 games, the right-handed hitting backstop hit .210 with eight home runs and 54 RBI. He is fifth in Gwinnett Braves history in games and fourth in at bats (689) dating back to 2009.

While Boscan spent four years with Gwinnett, shortstop Josh Wilson’s tenure was short-lived, as the slick-fielding infielder wore the G-Braves uniform for one season. Wilson signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the off-season. He spent all of 2012 with the G-Braves after spending a part of the last four seasons in the big leagues. In 122 games with Gwinnett, Wilson hit .241 with five home runs and 43 RBI.

The outfield lost three notable players in Luis Durango, Stefan Gartrell and Felix Pie.

Durango signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Royals. He played all of 2012 with Gwinnett, finishing the season fourth on the team in RBI (45), third in batting average (.289), second in triples (5) and first in stolen bases (46). Durango’s 46 stolen bases led the International League and are second all-time in Gwinnett Braves history.

Pie was another welcomed addition to the club last season, hitting .285 with six home runs and 51 RBI. He led the squad in triples (7) and was a perfect 16-for-16 in stolen bases. Pie signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gartrell’s tenure with the G-Braves may be the most celebrated from a hitter’s standpoint. In two seasons, the outfielder has made his stamp in the Gwinnett record books. He is second all-time in doubles (50), RBI (146) and runs (134), while coming in third in hits (217), games (238) and at bats (849). His 45 home runs top the charts. Gartrell signed with the Chicago White Sox in the off-season and receive an invitation to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.  The White Sox originally drafted Gartrell in the 31st round of the 2006 draft, but shipped him to Atlanta in a 2011 trade.

On the mound, the G-Braves saw a few hurlers leave for free agency, while two others were involved in big trades this off-season.
Buddy Carlyle moved on to Canada, signing a free agent deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The right-handed pitcher made his mark with the G-Braves in 2009, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.76 ERA. Last season, he went 5-4 with a 3.43 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 76 innings.

Jair Jurrjens moved on and signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Jurrjens made 17 career starts for the G-Braves from 2010-2012. In 17 games, he went 6-7 with a 4.93 ERA while striking 51 batters in 91.1 innings.

Jair Jurrjens went 4-6 with 4.98 ERA in 14 starts for the G-Braves in 2012.

Jair Jurrjens went 4-6 with 4.98 ERA in 14 starts for the G-Braves in 2012.

Tommy Hanson made one rehab start for the G-Braves last season and was the opening day starter for the G-Braves’ inaugural season in 2009. The right-hander was shipped off to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for reliever Jordan Walden. Hanson was always outstanding with Gwinnett, recording a 4-3 record with a 1.39 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 71.1 innings of work.

Finally, Randall Delgado was a part of one of the blockbuster trades this off-season, as the Braves traded him and four others to the Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Justin Upton and infielder Chris Johnson. Delgado, rated one of the top prospects in the Braves organization, spent two stints with the G-Braves in 2011 and 2012. In 12 starts, he went 6-5 with a 4.09 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 66 innings.

The lists of other G-Braves that have found a new home are as followed:

Lyle Overbay- Boston Red Sox (Free Agent)
Rusty Ryal- Los Angeles Dodgers (Free Agent)
Miguel Batista- Colorado Rockies (Free Agent)
Erik Cordier- Pittsburgh Pirates (Free Agent)
Peter Moylan- Los Angeles Dodgers (Free Agent)
Adam Russell- Baltimore Orioles (Free Agent)

First-year Gwinnett Braves manager Randy Ready will lead the 2013 edition of the Gwinnett Braves for the first time on Thursday, April 4 as the club opens the season at Coolray Field with a 7:05 PM game against Charlotte.  For tickets, merchandise and more information, visit GwinnettBraves.com.

-JD

Storylines Since the Break

A new post on your Gwinnett Braves has been long overdue since the start of the final 52-game stretch of the regular season.  The G-Braves are off to a 1-4 start since the Triple-A All-Star break and maintain a 1.0-game lead on Durham for third place in the International League South Division.  Dave Brundage’s club stands 10 games behind South-leading Charlotte with time still on the clock to catch the Knights, but it’s clear that the time is now to make a move up the standings.

Here’s some of the storylines playing out since the break:

Constanza has hit in a franchise-record 19-straight games as of July 17. (Chris Roughgarden)

Jose Constanza is on a tear that may not end any time soon.

Constanza entered the All-Star break with a 14-game hitting streak in tact, tying the existing Gwinnett franchise record shared by Barbaro Canizares (2010) and Felix Pie (2012).  He’s re-written the record book with hits in five-straight games since, giving him a 19-game hitting streak as of July 17.  That streak is the second-longest in the International League this season, trailing only a 20-game streak accomplished by three players including former Toledo Mud Hen Brad Eldred.  Constanza isn’t just collecting a hit a night to advance history, he’s often doing it with huge, multi-hit efforts.  He’s logged more than one hit in 12 of the 19 games, hitting an impressive .400 (34-for-85) on the streak.  Not surprisingly, he’s shot to the top of the IL in batting average, now leading the circuit with a .322 mark.

Mejia leads the IL with 106 hits and ranks fourth with a .308 batting average. He’s among offensive leaders in just about every other category. (Karl Moore)

Ernesto Mejia has been even better since appearing in the All-Star Game.

What’s left to prove for Mejia after his first Triple-A All-Star Game selection?  Plenty.  He’s continued to do it with his bat, hitting .354 with four homers and nine RBI over the first 12 games of July.  The slugging first baseman is riding a three-game multi-hit streak that has raised his average to .308, fourth-best in the International League.  He leads the league with 106 hits (amazing for a player with such power to lead in total hits), while ranking second in total bases (189), tied for second in extra-base hits (44), tied for third in RBI (62), fourth in slugging percentage (.549), fifth in OPS (.916) and tied for fifth in home runs (19).  If he can keep up the pace, the IL Triple Crown could be within his grasp in his first year at the level.

Redmond went 6-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 18 starts for the G-Braves before the trade. (Kyle Hess)

It’s going to be weird not seeing Todd Redmond pitch every fifth day.

One constant over the first four years of G-Braves baseball has been the consistency of Redmond in the rotation.  The all-time wins leader in Gwinnett history was shipped to Cincinnati in exchange for shortstop Paul Janish on July 14.  Redmond went 34-30 with a 3.78 ERA in 101 games, 97 starts in a G-Braves uniform, making him one of the faces of the young franchise.  He’ll certainly be most remembered for his nine-inning no-hitter at Louisville on May 28, 2010, still the only no-no thrown by a G-Brave.  Die-hard fans will certainly remember his outstanding 2011 season in which Redmond went 10-8 with the IL’s third-best ERA of 2.92.  One thing is for sure, it’s going to be weird not seeing “Red” on the mound at Coolray Field.  Even stranger, he may face his old club when his new team, the Louisville Bats, come to town in August.

Since throwing his first career complete game on June 3, Teheran is 1-3 with an 8.56 ERA in his last six starts. (Kyle Hess)

With Redmond gone, who steps up?

It’s no secret that even when Redmond was still a member of the rotation, Gwinnett starters had been struggling.  The question is, who is able to shake off those struggles and consistently win for this team?  We’ve seen flashes of dominance from Julio Teheran, Eric Junge, Yohan Flande and Jose Lugo this year, but who takes the reigns as the staff ace?  Teheran would be the likely candidate given what he did just a season ago.  There’s still time for the 21-year-old to improve upon a 6-5 record and uncharacteristic 4.96 ERA.  Randall Delgado served up six runs in his first Triple-A start since being optioned to Gwinnett by Atlanta, but could also ressurect his season with a strong finish in Triple-A.

McCurry has thrown 5.0 scoreless innings across two appearances with Gwinnett this season. (Leslie Watts)

There’s a whole lot of new faces here.

Terry Tiffee, Cole McCurry, Andy Russell…who are these guys?  The G-Braves’ roster underwent nine transactions this past weekend, giving the roster a bit of a new look.  Not only the addition of Tiffee, a third baseman who has logged Major League time in Minnesota and Los Angeles (Dodgers), McCurry, a reliever who came over from the Baltimore  system earlier this year and Russell (not to be confused with Adam), a 28-year-old reliever in just his second U.S. season after pitching in his native Australia, but also the “re-addition” of Jordan Parraz.  Parraz had been out since May 7 with a broken left hand, but went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles in his first game back with Gwinnett on July 14 at Louisville.  Which of the new faces becomes a key piece of the puzzle?

Carlyle ranks second among IL relief leaders in fewest walks per 9.0 innings with a 1.76 mark. (Melinda Pease)

With a slim lead late in the game, who gets the call?

Triple-A All-Star Cory Gearrin is currently on the DL, so who gets the coveted closer’s role?  Jaye Chapman posted two saves and a win in three scoreless outings from July 4-12, but suffered a tough letdown in a blown save and loss on July 14 at Louisville.  Buddy Carlyle is the active bullpen leader in ERA (2.34) and wins (5), but gave up the grand slam to Bats’ catcher Dioner Navarro that defeated the G-Braves on that same July 14 evening.  Don’t count out the rest of the pen, Billy Bullock, Adam Russell, Dusty Hughes and others to get on track, but the late innings will still likely belong to Chapman and Carlyle.

That’s just a small sampling of what’s going on with the Gwinnett Braves just past the half-way point of July.  To find out how it all plays out, keep coming back to the G-Blog and gwinnettbraves.com, as well as catching the radio broadcasts with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.

-DL

G-Braves Game Notes for 4.28.12 at Toledo

The Gwinnett Braves started off the eight-game trip with a 3-2 win over the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field last night.  Left-hander Yohan Flande finally proved human as he allowed two runs in the fifth inning to snap his 19.2-inning scoreless streak, but a 3-for-4, two-RBI performance from Jose Constanza led the G-Braves to the win anyways.  Constanza’s RBI single in the seventh scored Greg Paiml for the winning tally.  Right-hander Adam Russell (W, 3-0) minimized the damage for Flande in the fifth and earned the win as a result, while right-hander Anthony Varvaro (H, 2) and left-hander Dusty Hughes (S, 3) combined on 3.0 scoreless innings.

With pitching continuing to be the main story of the G-Braves, we’ll get a look at right-hander Todd Redmond tonight in game two of the series.  Redmond has lost each of his last two outings but hasn’t had a lot of offensive support to work with.  He’s 10th amongst all International league pitchers with a 2.61 ERA and ranks third in strikeouts with 27.  The ‘Hens are countering with left-hander Shawn Teufel (1-0, 3.18) today and pushing back lefty Andy Oliver to tomorrow.

Much more worth reading in tonight’s Game Notes:  4.28.12 GBraves Game Notes

Note that tonight’s game is a 6:00 PM start time, so tune in a little earlier to WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM to catch the action with Tony Schiavone.  As always, you can listen online as well at WDUN.com.

-DL

G-Braves Pitchers Ready To Shoulder The Load

(Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts)

The Gwinnett Braves (13-7) currently reside in first place of the International League South Division. A huge part of their early success thus far in 2012 can be attributed to their top-notch pitching staff. Presently, the G-Braves have the No. 1 overall pitching in the International League.

Gwinnett possess the top team ERA (2.56), shutouts (5), innings pitched (186.0), least total runs allowed (66) and least earned runs allowed (53) in the 14-team league. The G-Braves are also ranked third in the IL in wins (13), second in least losses (7), fifth in saves (6), fourth in least hits allowed (160), second in least home runs allowed (7) and third in strikeouts (171).

Marty Reed’s staff as a whole has been exceptional this season, but more importantly, they have been consistent. Every arm from top to bottom has made giant contributions to the G-Braves’ success. Already, one player has already been called up to the big club and he is in the form of Cory Gearrin. The righty reliever worked as a set-up man and part-time closer for Gwinnett, where he allowed no runs in 12.1 innings of work and recorded two saves.

Yohan Flande leads the pitchers with a 0.00 ERA through three starts, totaling 15.2 innings. The lefty has been dominant this season, as well as, being a pleasant surprise to the rotation. Flande has allowed just five hits total this season and struck out 16 batters, while walking seven.

Obviously, the reigning IL Pitcher of the Year and IL Rookie of the Year, Julio Teheran has been his usual self for the most part. Barring one start where he was on extended rest due to the Tim Hudson rehab appearances, Teheran has been solid. The ace of the staff is 2-1 with a 3.78 ERA and has struck out 13 batters through 16.1 innings of work. Teheran is rated the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball according to numerous sources including Baseball America and MLB.com.

The veteran of the staff, Todd Redmond has been consistently good as always. He is 1-2 on the year with a 2.61 ERA but has been dealing with a lot of tough luck. For instance, in his last start at Coolray Field, the righty allowed just one earned run and still took the loss. Currently, Redmond is second in the IL in strikeouts (27) with just 20.2 innings under his belt and he has only walked six batters this season. When his luck starts to turns for the better, watch out.

The bullpen consists of six remarkable Gwinnett pitchers who have an ERA below 3.00 in 2012. Anthony Varvaro has yet to allow a run in his short time with the club, after coming off a Major League rehab assignment. Dusty Hughes has an incredible 0.87 ERA through 10 innings of work, alongside a 1.05 WHIP. The southpaw is also tied with Gearrin for the team-lead in saves with two.  Jaye Chapman has a miniscule ERA at 1.74 so far, including a 0.87 WHIP and 11 strikeouts to just three walks through 10.1 innings pitched. Veteran of the bullpen Buddy Carlyle has been dominant so far in Triple-A. The righty owns a 1.80 ERA and has struck out 12 batters in 15.0 innings thus far. Right-hander Jason Rice possesses a 2.25 ERA this season through eight innings on the mound for the G-Braves. The former White Sox, Padre and Tampa Bay Ray Adam Russell has transitioned beautifully to the Gwinnett bullpen. The 6-foot, 8-inch righty is currently registering a 2.89 ERA, alongside a save and 11 strikeouts through nine and one-third innings of work.

The scary part is that this G-Braves team is leading the league in pitching and in first place before the bats have yet to awaken. Once the team is running on all cylinders, this G-Brave team is going to be more fun to watch than they already are. One fact remains unquestionable, the Atlanta Braves have a stockpile of hard throwers who are ready to get big league hitters out on a consistent basis whenever their time may arise.

By: Tony Piraro

Game Notes for 4.7.12 at Durham

Two games, 23 innings so far for the Gwinnett Braves in Durham.  Fortunately, last night resulted in a 3-0 win in 11 innings as Joey Terdoslavich doubled home two runs to break a scoreless game.  Jose Yepez also added an RBI double for his first hit with the G-Braves.  Right-hander Adam Russell bested his old team, the Bulls, with 2.0 scoreless innings and five strikeouts in relief.

Think it’s unprecedented to have two extra-inning games in the opening series?  Not with these two.  The Braves and Bulls played extra-inning affairs twice in last year’s opening four-game series at Coolray Field, with each team claiming victory once.  If history repeats itself, we shouldn’t be in store for extras in either of the next two games.

For more factoids on last night’s win, check out today’s G-Braves Game Notes:  4.7.12 GBraves Game Notes

Right-hander Julio Teheran, easily the most decorated pitcher in the International League this season, begins his second campaign with the G-Braves tonight in a 5:05 PM start at Durham.  You can catch the broadcast with Tony Schiavone on WDUN AM 550/102.9 FM, or listen online at WDUN.com.

-DL

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