Results tagged ‘ Arodys Vizcaino ’
A potential Gwinnett Braves utilityman has been perhaps the hottest hitters for the Atlanta Braves in Spring Training camp for the past week, and he helped lead the Braves Saturday to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Pedro Ciriaco went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at three runs apiece while spending time defensively in center and left field during the contest in Dunedin, Fla. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games while batting .526 (10-for-19) with a pair of runs scored, a double, a triple, 10 RBI and a stolen base. Among qualifiers, Ciriaco leads the team with a .380 batting average (19-for-50) for the spring.
The Braves dropped their second game of the weekend 4-2 Sunday to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Other possible G-Braves position players’ stats from Saturday against Toronto:
Sean Kazmar (3B), 1-for-2, R.
Seth Loman (1B), 0-for-2.
Joe Benson (LF-CF), 0-for-1, R, BB.
Jesus Flores (C), 0-for-1.
Cedric Hunter entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement in left field but did not receive an at-bat.
A pair of possible G-Braves right-handed relievers also combined to throw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays. Brandon Cunniff (H, 2) breezed through the eighth inning with nothing more than a walk allowed. Juan Jaime (H, 4) retired one batter but also gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth.
The Braves played most of their expected starters at their home Spring Training complex against the Pirates. Right fielder Todd Cunningham and left fielder Benson were the only two players likely to man the outfield for Gwinnett to get an at-bat. Cunningham walked and scored in the eighth, and Benson flew out to center field in the following at-bat.
Right-handed pitcher Michael Kohn (L, 1-1) was the only possible G-Braves pitcher to take the mound against Pittsburgh. He pitched the ninth but gave up the deciding two runs on two hits, including a two-run homer by second baseman Jong Ho Kang, with one strikeout.
Atlanta reassigned Kohn to minor league camp Monday and optioned fellow right-handed reliever Arodys Vizcaino to Gwinnett. Those moves leave the Braves with 36 active players in Major League camp.
The Braves will travel to face the Detroit Tigers for the fifth and final time this spring at 1:05 p.m. Monday in Lakeland, Fla. The teams have split their first four meetings, two of which were split-squad contests for Atlanta.
Possible Gwinnett Braves right-handed starter, and Atlanta Braves starting rotation candidate, Mike Foltynewicz took the mound Tuesday for the Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Foltynewicz recorded four of his first six outs via strikeout, but the Phillies also tagged him for three runs on four hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Atlanta rallied to tie the game at three in the seventh inning but ultimately fell 5-3 at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Foltynewicz had been scheduled to start Monday against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., but the Braves pushed him back a day because of the possibility of rain. He is 0-2 with a 7.06 ERA (6 ER in 7.2 IP) and is tied for second on the club with 10 strikeouts in four Spring Training starts.
Other possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats from Tuesday vs. Philadelphia:
LHP Manny Banuelos, 3.0 IP, 4 H, BB, 2 K.
RHP Arodys Vizcaino (L, 0-2), 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, K.
RHP Cody Martin, 1.0 IP, K.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco continued his torrid pace offensively with singles in both of his at-bats against the Phillies while playing third base. He scored on a seventh-inning home run by shortstop Andrelton Simmons and stole his first base of Spring Training when he swiped second in the eighth. Ciriaco is 6-for-10 in his last four games, and his 13 hits, overall, are tied for the team lead.
Other potential G-Braves position players stats from Tuesday against the Phillies:
Kelly Johnson (1B), 1-for-2, R.
John Buck (C), 0-for-2.
Todd Cunningham (RF), 0-for-1, K.
Eury Perez (pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.
The Braves have their final off day of Spring Training on Wednesday. They will resume play with a contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.
A parade of pitchers who could man the mound at Coolray Field in 2015 helped lead the Atlanta Braves to a weekend of four games in which they allowed an average of fewer than three runs per contest. The Braves split the weekend slate and are 8-12 in Grapefruit League play.
Six of seven potential Gwinnett Braves relievers who worked Saturday and Sunday did not allow a run. All seven combined for a 1.08 ERA (1 ER in 8.1 IP) with two saves and two holds. Right-hander Williams Perez (BS, 1; L, 0-1) was the only likely G-Brave pitcher to work Friday. He gave up the final four runs on seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts in a 5-1 loss to the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.
Atlanta played a pair of split-squad games Saturday. One Braves squad beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 in a home contest at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and the other portion of the team lost 1-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter.
Possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats vs. Washington:
RHP Michael Kohn (H, 2), 1.0 IP, H, BB.
RHP Juan Jaime (H, 2), 1.0 IP.
RHP Brandon Cunniff (S, 1), 2.0 IP, 2 BB, 2 K.
Potential G-Braves pitchers’ numbers against St. Louis:
RHP Arodys Vizcaino,1.1 IP, H, BB.
RHP Sugar Ray Marimon, 2.0 IP, 2 H, HBP.
RHP Aaron Kurcz (L, 0-1) 0.0 IP, 2 H, ER, BB.
Left-handed reliever Donnie Veal was the only potential G-Braves hurler to pitch Sunday in a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers at Champion Stadium. He got his first save of Spring Training with a scoreless ninth inning during which he walked a hitter and struck out two others.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco led possible G-Braves hitters by going 3-for-6 in two starts, including 2-for-3 against Detroit with three runs batted in. He also picked up a single and a walk as the leadoff hitter and starting shortstop vs. the Nationals.
Potential G-Braves position players’ stats from Friday against Miami:
Eury Perez (CF), 1-for-4, K.
Jesus Flores (C), 1-for-4.
Phil Gosselin (3B), 1-for-2.
Jace Peterson (2B), 0-for-3, BB, K.
John Buck (1B), 0-for-1.
Joey Terdoslavich (pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.
Infielder Sean Kazmar took over at shortstop in the eighth inning but did not receive an at-bat.
Other possible G-Braves position players’ lines Saturday against the Nationals:
Todd Cunningham (CF), 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K, outfield assist in the third inning on a play when Mike Carp was out trying to reach second base.
Jose Constanza (RF-LF), 1-for-3, R, SB.
Seth Loman (1B), 0-for-4, K.
Cedric Hunter (RF), 1-for-1, R, RBI.
Barrett Kleinknecht (3B), 0-for-1.
Corban Joseph (2B), 0-for-1.
Catcher Steve Rodriguez entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning but did not receive an at-bat.
Potential G-Braves position players’ stats vs. St. Louis:
Peterson (2B), 2-for-3, K.
Buck (C-1B), 2-for-3.
Gosselin (LF-3B-1B), 0-for-4, K.
Terdoslavich (RF-1B), 0-for-2, BB.
Joe Benson (LF-CF), 0-for-1, BB, threw out Rafael Ortega at home plate from center field in the sixth inning.
Braeden Schlehuber (C), 0-for-1.
Perez (pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.
Kazmar (SS), 0-for-1.
Other possible G-Braves position players’ stats against Detroit:
Perez (RF-CF), 1-for-5, K.
Cunningham (CF), 1-for-3, R, SB.
Constanza (LF), 1-for-1, R, SB.
Gosselin (2B), 0-for-1, RBI, BB, K.
Benson (LF-CF-RF), 0-for-1, BB, K.
Joseph (2B), 0-for-1.
Schlehuber (C), 0-for-1.
Loman (1B), 0-for-1.
Hunter (pinch hit), 0-for-1.
Flores entered the game at catcher as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning but did not receive an at-bat.
The Braves will face the Houston Astros at 1:05 p.m. Monday in Kissimmee, Fla.
Right-handed starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz made his his third and longest start of Spring Training on Wednesday vs. the New York Yankees. He is a contender for an Atlanta Braves’ rotation spot but could also start the season with the Gwinnett Braves,
Foltynewicz (L, 0-2) held New York in check, allowing a run on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts through 2 2/3 innings. The Yankees then went to work on the Atlanta bullpen to build toward a 12-5 victory over the Braves at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
New York scored 11 runs in the next five innings against five Braves relievers, although seven of the runs came against left-hander James Russell and righty Jose Veras, pitchers who are likely to remain on Atlanta’s roster to begin the season rather than move to Gwinnett.
Potential G-Braves relievers’ stats from Wednesday vs. the Yankees:
RHP Arodys Vizcaino, 1.1 IP, H, 3 ER, 3 BB, K.
RHP Michael Kohn, 1.0 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, K, WP.
RHP Justin Jackson, 1.0 IP, H, BB.
RHP Jake Brigham, 0.1 IP.
Possible G-Braves position players’ stats from Wednesday:
Eury Perez (CF), 1-for-5, 3 K.
Jace Peterson (2B), 1-for-4, K.
Jesus Flores (C), 0-for-3, R, 2 K.
Phil Gosselin (SS), 1-for-2.
Sean Kazmar (2B), 0-for-1.
Joey Terdoslavich (1B), 0-for-1, RBI, K, sacrifice fly in seventh inning.
Todd Cunningham (LF), 0-for-0, BB.
Pedro Ciriaco (3B), 0-for-1.
Right fielder Mycal Jones entered the game in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement but did not receive an at-bat.
Left-handed starter Manny Banuelos will get his second start at 1:05 p.m. Thursday against the Miami Marlins at Champion Stadium as he vies for a Braves rotation spot. Miami plans to send right-hander Tom Koehler to the mound.
Possible 2015 Gwinnett Braves catcher John Buck and outfielder Eury Perez provided all of the offense Monday for the Atlanta Braves in a game against the Houston Astros that ended in a 2-2 tie in Kissimmee, Fla. The two teams also played to a 2-2 tie March 8 in Kissimmee.
Buck, a non-roster invitee the Braves (4-9-2) signed to a minor league contract in the offseason, smashed his first home run of Spring Training to lead off the inning and cut Houston’s lead to 2-1.
Perez followed with a double to right field, and the center fielder scored the tying run later in the inning on a single by first baseman Freddie Freeman. Perez also led off the fifth with a double, although he was thrown out trying to steal third base, and started the seventh with a walk. Buck finished the game 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
Other potential G-Braves position players’ stats from Monday:
Jace Peterson (2B), 0-for-4, 2 K.
Kelly Johnson (3B), 0-for-1, BB.
Phil Gosselin (SS), 0-for-1.
Joey Terdoslavich (1B), 0-for-1.
Jesus Flores (C), 0-for-1.
Left fielder Todd Cunningham and second baseman Pedro Ciriaco both entered the game as defensive replacements in the seventh inning but did not receive an at-bat.
A parade of five potential G-Braves relievers pitched the final five innings without giving up a run. Each threw exactly one frame, and four of the five did not allow more than one batter to reach base.
RHP Jose Veras, 1.0 IP, BB, WP.
LHP Donnie Veal, 1.0 IP, BB, K.
RHP Michael Kohn, 1.0 IP, H, BB, K.
RHP Arodys Vizcaino, 1.0 IP, H, K.
RHP Aaron Kurcz, 1.0 IP, H, K.
At the midway point of the Braves’ Grapefruit League schedule, Ciriaco, Peterson and Terdoslavich are tied with Freeman for the team lead in hits with eight. Peterson’s .421 batting average (8-for-19) is also the second-highest on the team among players with a minimum of 10 at-bats, behind only catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s .467 mark (7-for-15).
On the pitching side, right-handers Cody Martin and Sugar Ray Marimon are the only Braves’ hurlers with at least four innings pitched who have yet to allow a run. Fellow righties Kohn (3.1 IP) and Brandon Cunniff (3.0 IP) are also pitchers who could be slated to spend time in Gwinnett and have not given up a run.
The Braves will play their second straight away game when they face the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Atlanta Braves started two pitchers Friday who are in contention for a spot in the starting rotation but could also be key members of the Gwinnett Braves’ rotation. Neither made it through their respective first innings, however, as Atlanta dropped a pair of split-squad games to the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (L, 0-1) gave up five runs, although four were unearned, on three hits and two walks with one strikeout in 2/3 of an inning of a 12-2 loss to the Tigers at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Left-hander Manny Banuelos (L, 0-2) also allowed five runs (all earned) on three hits and two walks with a strikeout and two wild pitches against the Mets in Port St. Lucie. The Braves ultimately fell to New York 13-2.
One bright spot on the mound was the performance of right-handed starter Cody Martin, who won the 2014 G-Braves’ Most Outstanding Pitcher Award in 2014. Martin held Detroit scoreless through three innings of relief with one hit and one walk allowed, a hit batsman and three strikeouts.
Other possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats vs. Detroit:
RHP Todd Coffey, 0.1 IP, H, BB.
RHP Jose Veras, 1.0 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, HBP, WP.
RHP Aaron Kurcz, 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, K.
Potential Gwinnett pitchers’ lines against New York:
RHP Carlos Fisher, 1.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 H, BB, K.
RHP Williams Perez, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 K.
RHP Juan Jaime, 0.1 IP, ER, H, 4 BB, WP.
RHP Arodys Vizcaino, 1.1 IP, ER, H, BB, 3 K.
RHP Brandon Cunniff, 1.0 IP, K.
RHP Jake Brigham, 0.2 IP.
Offensively, potential G-Braves players scored three of the Braves’ four runs Friday combined between the two games. First baseman Joey Terdoslavich and catcher Braeden Schlehuber both entered the game against Detroit as pinch runners and came around to score. Designated hitter Matt Kennelly singled and scored Atlanta’s first run in the fifth inning vs. the Mets as part of his 1-for-3 day.
Potential G-Braves position players’ stats Friday vs. the Tigers:
Terdoslavich (1B), 0-for-1, R.
Schlehuber (C), 0-for-1, R.
Cedric Hunter (RF-CF), 1-for-3, RBI.
Pedro Ciriaco (SS), 0-for-3.
Mycal Jones (DH, pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.
Corban Joseph (3B), 0-for-1.
Barrett Kleinknecht (1B), 0-for-1.
Possible G-Braves position players’ stats Friday vs. the Mets:
Phil Gosselin (SS), 2-for-3, RBI, K.
Jace Peterson (2B), 1-for-3, K.
Todd Cunningham (RF), 0-for-3, K.
John Buck (C), 1-for-2, BB, K.
Eury Perez (LF), 1-for-3.
Jose Peraza (2B), 1-for-2.
Joe Benson (RF), 1-for-1.
Seth Loman (1B), 0-for-1.
Jose Yepez (DH, pinch hit), 0-for-1.
The Braves will remain at Champion Stadium for the weekend. They are scheduled to face the Houston Astros at 6:05 p.m. Saturday and the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.
First baseman Freddie Freeman’s three-run, third-inning blast provided all of the Atlanta Braves’ offense Tuesday, and a pair of possible Gwinnett Braves relievers sealed a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Right-hander Jose Veras worked around two hits to post a scoreless eighth inning and earn a hold. Fellow righty Arodys Vizcaino then notched his first save of the spring with a perfect ninth inning. Left-handed pitcher Eric Stults, a candidate for the Braves’ No. 5 starter spot, pitched three innings of relief with one run allowed on four hits with a walk and a strikeout, which also earned him a hold.
Potential G-Braves’ position player stats from Tuesday:
Phil Gosselin (3B), 1-for-3, R, K.
Eury Perez (RF), 1-for-2, BB.
Pedro Ciriaco (SS), 1-for-3, K.
Joey Terdoslavich (LF-1B), 0-for-3, K.
Catcher Jose Yepez and second baseman Jace Peterson entered the game as defensive replacements in the eighth inning and did not receive an at-bat.
The Braves will remain at Champion Stadium to play the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday with a pair of lefties set to oppose one another in their second starts of Spring Training. Alex Wood is scheduled to start for the Braves opposite Marco Gonzales of the Cardinals.
The Atlanta Braves came up short in a 9-8 slugfest Friday against the Washington Nationals at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. However, a pair of potential 2015 Gwinnett Braves provided much of Atlanta’s firepower.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco and outfielder Cedric Hunter were the only two Braves to play the entire game, and they accounted for four of the team’s 14 hits.
Ciriaco fell a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run in the third inning and a two-out, two-run double in the fifth that gave the Braves an 8-7 lead. Hunter scored the go-ahead run after he had singled in the preceding at-bat. He finished 1-for-5.
Other possible G-Brave position players:
Jace Peterson (2B), 2-for-4, 2 R.
Braeden Schlehuber (C), 1-for-3, RBI, threw out attemping basestealer in the fifth inning.
Joey Terdoslavich (1B), 0-for-2, 2 K.
Jose Peraza (2B), 0-for-1.
Todd Cunningham (CF), 0-for-1.
Jose Yepez (C), 0-for-0, HBP.
Three pitchers who project to make Atlanta’s Opening Day roster, Alex Wood, Jason Grilli and Josh Outman, covered the first four innings on the mound. Manager Fredi Gonzalez then turned to four potential G-Braves to cover the final five frames.
RHP Juan Jaime, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB.
RHP Michael Kohn, 1.1 IP, 2 BB, K.
RHP Arodys Vizcaino (BS, 1; L, 0-1), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, WP.
RHP Tyrell Jenkins, 2.0 IP, 2 H, K.
The Braves will enter their first of three split-squad days of Spring Training on Saturday. Part of the team will remain at Champion Stadium to take on the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 p.m., while another portion will face the New York Mets at 1:10 p.m. in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The club will then come back together for a 1:05 p.m. contest Sunday against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Fla.
As the Hot Stove season continues, here’s an overview of Atlanta Braves’ transactions that could directly affect the Gwinnett Braves roster in 2015. Moves that pertain to the Major League club only are not included. All information has been obtained through the Braves.com Transaction Report and Baseball America Minor League Free Agent Tracker. Please note that the official Gwinnett Braves 2015 Roster will not be announced until early April, and all roster projections are my opinion only.
This post was last updated on February 10.
Acquired via trade:
- Arodys Vizcaino (RHP) – acquired from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Tommy La Stella on November 16. As mentioned in a previous post, the hard-throwing Vizcaino is back in the Braves’ organization after two-plus seasons with the Cubs. He rebounded from 2012 Tommy John surgery to go 1-1 with a 3.51 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 41.0 minor league innings last year, some of that time spent with Triple-A Iowa. The 24-year-old also pitched out of the Major League bullpen in September, going 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in five relief appearances with the Cubs. Vizcaino is on the Braves’ 40-man roster and will compete for a bullpen spot this spring, but his limited MLB resume could land him in Gwinnett.
- Tyrell Jenkins (RHP) – acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals along with Shelby Miller for Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden on November 17. The Cardinals’ 50th pick in the first round of the 2010 June draft is now one of the top pitching prospects in the Braves’ organization. Jenkins, 22, put up solid numbers with Advanced-A Palm Beach in 2014, going 6-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 13 starts. He was also impressive in Arizona Fall League action, going 2-2 with a 2.22 ERA in six starts with the Peoria Javelinas. He’s slated to make his Double-A debut with Mississippi in 2015, but he could be a candidate for a late-season promotion to Triple-A.
- Aaron Kurcz (RHP) – acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Anthony Varvaro and cash considerations on December 17. Kurcz, 24, was a teammate of Bryce Harper at the College of Southern Nevada when the Chicago Cubs selected him in the 10th round of the 2010 June draft. The Cubs then sent him to Boston in March 2012 as part of the compensation package for hiring Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations. Kurcz made his debut at Double-A Portland in 2012, going 3-4 with a 3.04 ERA, four saves and 72 strikeouts in 50.1 innings over 29 relief outings. Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery on his right elbow forced him to miss August and all of the 2013 campaign. He came back strong with Portland in 2014, going 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA, three saves and 54 strikeouts in 42.0 innings over 34 outings. Kurcz held opponents to a .204 batting average and didn’t allow a single home run last year. With plenty of late-inning experience at the Double-A level, he should fill a similar role with Gwinnett in 2015.
- Jace Peterson (2B) – acquired from the San Diego Padres along with left-hander Max Fried, third baseman Dustin Peterson and outfielder Mallex Smith in exchange for Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft on December 19. The 24-year-old Peterson is the only player the Braves received in the J-Up blockbuster that has played above Advanced-A. San Diego’s first round pick in 2011 out of McNeese State University, Peterson reached the Majors for the first time in 2014, batting .113 with a pair of stolen bases in 58 plate appearances. The rest of his season was split between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso, where he combined to hit .307 with 24 doubles, six triples, three homers, 46 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 86 games. Atlanta signed veteran infielder Alberto Callaspo to be the likely stop-gap second baseman until Jose Peraza is ready, but Peterson could contend for that role with a good Spring Training performance. If he doesn’t make the big club, he could be in the crowded Gwinnett infield mix.
- Manny Banuelos (LHP) – acquired from the New York Yankees in exchange for David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve on January 1. Like Kurcz and Fried, Banuelos is another promising prospect set back by recent Tommy John surgery. The 23-year-old Mexico native was rated the No. 4 prospect in the Yankees’ system by Baseball America prior to the 2011 season. He made his Triple-A debut that year with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA in seven starts. On August 29, 2011, he one-hit the Pawtucket Red Sox over 7.0 scoreless innings, striking out six. Banuelos returned to Scranton to open 2012, but made just six starts before suffering the left elbow injury in May. After missing all of 2013 while rehabbing, the southpaw made his return in 2014. Over 26 appearances between Advanced-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Scranton, he went 2-3 with a 4.11 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 76.2 innings. His final four starts came in the International League, where he went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 15.0 innings for the RailRiders. Banuelos has yet to make his Major League debut, but is currently a factor in the Braves’ search for a No. 5 starter. If he doesn’t win the spot, he’ll likely start in Gwinnett.
- Michael Foltynewicz (RHP) – acquired from the Houston Astros along with right-hander Andrew Thurman and third baseman Rio Ruiz in exchange for Evan Gattis and James Hoyt on January 14. Foltynewicz, Houston’s first round pick in 2010, jumps to the head of the class when it comes to Braves’ prospect pitchers. The 23-year-old made both his Triple-A and Major League debuts in 2014, going 7-7 with a 5.08 ERA in 21 games with Oklahoma City and 0-1 with a 5.30 ERA in 16 games with the Astros. A power pitcher who has reportedly touched triple digits with his fastball, Foltynewicz will look to improve his control and cut down his ERA in his first season with the Braves. He could immediately challenge for a Major League bullpen spot this spring, but Atlanta may choose to develop him as a starter in Gwinnett.
Claimed off Waivers:
- Eury Perez (OF) – claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees on January 23. The 24-year-old Perez is a top-of-the-order Triple-A hitter that has speed and can play all three outfield spots. He has had brief call-ups with the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees over the past three seasons, but has been primarily plying his trade in Triple-A Syracuse. Over 193 games with the Chiefs since 2012, Perez batted a combined .310 with 38 doubles, eight triples, eight home runs, 49 RBIs and 63 stolen bases. With G-Braves’ all-time hits leader Jose Constanza out of options, Perez could be the guy to take over his table-setting role in Gwinnett. (EDIT: Constanza, DFA’d on January 28, cleared waivers and was assigned back to Gwinnett on February 5.)
Acquired via Rule 5 Draft:
- Daniel Winkler (RHP) – selected from the Colorado Rockies in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft on December 11. Normally, a Major League Rule 5 selection must spend the entire season on his new club’s 25-man roster or be offered back to his old team, but Winkler is an interesting exception. He is coming off Tommy John surgery performed last June, meaning the Braves can keep him on the Major League disabled list while he rehabs. Atlanta will likely assign him to minor league rehab outings (potentially with Gwinnett) early in the season, but will have to call him up to the active roster for 90 days to retain him past 2015. Winkler went 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA and a MiLB-best 175 strikeouts in 2013, then went 5-2 with a 1.41 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 12 starts with Double-A Tulsa last year.
- Steve Rodriguez (C) – selected from the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Double-A roster in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft on December 11. Rodriguez, 24, was Arizona’s 15th round pick in the 2011 June draft out of UCLA. In four seasons in the D-Backs’ system, he batted .225 with 30 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 56 RBIs in 158 games. He made his Double-A debut with Mobile last year, batting .267 with nine doubles and 11 RBIs in 39 games. While he didn’t do much with the bat in 2014, he did throw out 50% (19-of-38) of attempting base-stealers in 38 errorless games with the BayBears. Rodriguez hopes to ride his defense to a Triple-A debut in 2015.
Re-Signed with Braves:
- Sean Kazmar (INF) – signed to a minor league contract on November 12. Kazmar, 30, has been a versatile defender and steady bat for the G-Braves for the past two seasons. After batting .228 in 95 games with Gwinnett in 2013, he posted the highest batting average of his career in 2014, a .297 mark in 67 games. His production was halted by a left hand fracture suffered in late May, but Kazmar returned in July and batted .299 in 27 games in August. He capped his season by earning the Gwinnett Braves “Most Competitive Player Award” for 2014. Expect to see Kazmar at Coolray Field once again in 2015, backing up at second base, third base and shortstop.
Minor League Free Agents:
- Pedro Ciriaco (2B) – signed to a minor league contract on October 13. Ciriaco, 29, is a well-traveled Major League infielder, having logged time with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2010-11), Boston Red Sox (2012-13), San Diego Padres (2013) and Kansas City Royals (2013-14). In 188 career big league games, he has batted .270 with 24 doubles, six triples, four home runs, 36 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. Despite that experience, Ciriaco played primarily with Triple-A Omaha in 2014, batting .302 and posting a .766 OPS in 62 games. He brings postseason success with him to Gwinnett after batting .342 in nine playoff games for the Triple-A National Champion Omaha Storm Chasers last year.
- Sugar Ray Marimon (RHP) – signed to a minor league contract on November 4. The Braves are just the second organization for Marimon, who spent his previous eight seasons in the minors with the Kansas City Royals. The 26-year-old made his long awaited Triple-A debut in 2014, going 5-4 with a 3.56 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 83.1 innings for Omaha. Like Ciriaco, he was an important September piece for the Triple-A National Champion Storm Chasers, going 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his two playoff starts. Marimon is just 27-46 with a 4.14 ERA in 137 career outings (121 starts) in the minors, but may benefit from a fresh start with the Braves. He should be a strong candidate for the Gwinnett rotation.
- Greg Smith (LHP) – signed to a minor league contract on November 4. The veteran southpaw has pitched for seven different organizations prior to joining the Braves, including Arizona (2005-07), Oakland (2008), Colorado (2009-10), New York Yankees (2011), Boston (2011), Los Angeles Angels (2012) and Philadelphia (2013-14). He has seen time on the Triple-A roster for all seven of those clubs. Smith’s standout year was 2008, when he made 32 Major League starts for Oakland and went 7-16 with a 4.16 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 190.1 innings. G-Braves fans will more likely remember him as a staple of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs’ rotation, where he went 9-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) a year ago. Consider Smith a challenger for a Gwinnett rotation spot.
- Francisco Rondon (LHP) – signed to a minor league contract on November 7. Rondon, 26, has spent all nine of his minor league seasons in the New York Yankees system, going 29-18 with a 3.61 ERA, seven saves and 431 strikeouts in 436.0 innings. After tastes of Triple-A in 2012 and 2013, he finally caught on with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a longer stretch in 2014, going 3-1 with a 3.32 ERA over 12 relief outings. The Santo Domingo, D.R. native could be a relief option in Gwinnett or Double-A Mississippi next year.
- Donnie Veal (LHP) – signed to a minor league contract and invited to Spring Training on November 10. As mentioned in a previous post, the 30-year-old Veal will compete for an Atlanta bullpen spot this spring, but could spend ample time with Gwinnett in 2015. In 100 Major League outings with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2009) and Chicago White Sox (2012-14), he’s 3-3 with a 4.87 ERA, one save and 70 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. He spent the majority of 2014 with Triple-A Charlotte, going 4-5 with a 5.94 ERA in 37 relief outings.
- Chien-Ming Wang (RHP) – signed to a minor league contract and invited to Spring Training on November 10. Also mentioned in a previous post, the 34-year-old Wang is the most notable addition to the Gwinnett pitching staff thus far. Seven years and several injuries removed from his consecutive 19-win seasons with the New York Yankees in 2006 and 2007, Wang is now considered a Triple-A workhorse. He led the International League with 28 starts in 2014, going 13-8 with a 4.12 ERA between the Louisville Bats and the Charlotte Knights. His strikeout ratio was low (73 SO in 172.2 IP), but his groundout/flyout ratio was an impressive 1.78. Wang should headline the Gwinnett rotation in 2015.
- Victor Mateo (RHP) – signed to a minor league contract on November 13. Mateo, 25, joins the Braves after spending his first eight minor league seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He hasn’t yet reached the Triple-A level, but is coming off back-to-back solid seasons as a starter for Double-A Montgomery. In 2013, he went 7-9 with a 3.93 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 153.1 innings for the Biscuits. Last season, he matched a career high with 12 wins, going 12-11 with a 3.90 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 166.0 innings. Mateo appears poised to advance to Triple-A for the first time in 2015, but a glut of experienced starters in Gwinnett could mean a trip to Mississippi.
- Corban Joseph (1B) – signed to a minor league contract on November 19. The New York Yankees’ fourth round selection in the 2008 June draft, Joseph spent seven seasons with the club before being released on August 27. He made his Triple-A debut in 2012 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, batting .266 with 25 doubles, 13 home runs, 56 RBIs and an .840 OPS. His 2013 season was highlighted by his Major League debut with the Yankees — a two-game stint as the 26th man during a doubleheader on May 13 — but also included a torn labrum injury in his right shoulder that required surgery in June. He returned to Triple-A in 2014 and hit .268 with four homers and 28 RBIs in 70 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Joseph, 26, could be a potent left-handed bat for the G-Braves as he seeks to play a full season for the first time since 2012.
- Jake Brigham (RHP) – signed to a minor league contract on November 20. Brigham, 26, has experienced a lot in eight minor league seasons prior to joining the Braves. Originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the sixth round in 2006, Brigham underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007 and missed all of 2008. He returned from the injury in 2009 and reached as high as Double-A Frisco in 2012, going 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 21 starts. The Rangers traded him to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for catcher Geovany Soto at the 2012 trade deadline, but got him back from the Cubs via trade the following November. Brigham made his Triple-A debut with Round Rock in 2013, going 5-5 with a 4.51 ERA in 26 games (18 starts). The Rangers didn’t re-sign him after 2013, and he moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Last year at Triple-A Indianapolis, he went 3-5 with a 4.29 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 92.1 innings over 18 games (14 starts). Brigham profiles to be in Gwinnett, but a definite fit isn’t clear.
- Travis Mattair (1B) – signed to a minor league contract on November 20. The 25-year-old Mattair has yet to play above Double-A, but is an intriguing prospect that could be ready for the next level. Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 2007 June draft, Mattair was selected during the Triple-A phase of the 2012 Rule 5 Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. In two seasons with the Reds’ Double-A affiliate in Pensacola, he combined to hit .240 with 42 doubles, 26 home runs and 126 RBIs in 263 games. He also struck out 239 times in that span, a rate he’ll have to cut down in order to proceed to Triple-A. Mattair could be headed for Gwinnett, but is more likely to be in Mississippi.
- Jairo Heredia (RHP) – signed to a minor league contract on November 20. Another former Pinstripes prospect, Heredia joins the Braves after seven seasons in the New York Yankees’ system. The 25-year-old Dominican Republic native was rated the Yankees’ No. 12 prospect by Baseball America back in 2009. He spent most of 2014 with Double-A Trenton, going 4-1 with a 3.53 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 71.1 innings over 26 games (10 starts). Heredia also pitched five times for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, going 1-0 with a 7.53 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 14.1 innings in five games (1 start). He likely starts out in Double-A Mississippi in 2015.
- K.D. Kang (OF) – signed to a minor league contract on November 21. Though born in South Korea, the 26-year-old Kang has ties to Gwinnett County. He attended Parkview High School in Lilburn, GA, the same school that produced former Braves outfielder and current Philadelphia Phillies farmhand Jeff Francoeur. The Tampa Bay Rays drafted Kang in the 15th round in 2006, and he spent seven seasons in their minor league system before signing with Baltimore for 2014. The left-handed hitter has batted .269 with 150 doubles, 38 triples, 68 home runs, 307 RBIs and 37 stolen bases in 726 minor league games, stats reflecting decent power and speed. He has yet to reach the Triple-A level, however, spending nearly all of his time with Double-A affiliates the past four seasons. Last year, Kang batted .282 with 22 doubles, three triples, 12 homers and 37 RBIs in 100 games with Bowie of the Orioles’ system. He looks poised to make his Triple-A debut in Gwinnett sometime in 2015.
- Michael Kohn (RHP) – signed to a minor league contract and invited to Spring Training on December 4. Like Veal, Kohn is a reliever with quality Major League experience that the Braves will take a long look at this spring. Over parts of four seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, he combined to go 5-6 with a 3.67 ERA, two saves and 107 strikeouts in 110.1 innings. In 2014, Kohn made 25 big league appearances, going 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA. He’s also a veteran of four Triple-A seasons with Salt Lake, where he went 5-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 110 relief outings. The Camden, SC native could end up a G-Brave, but certainly has the ability to pitch for Atlanta as needed.
- Joe Benson (OF) – signed to a minor league contract on January 7. The Minnesota Twins’ second round pick in 2006, Benson was regarded by Baseball America as the Twins’ No. 2 prospect in 2008. He spent seven seasons with the Twins, making a 21-game Major League debut back in 2011 (.239, 17-for-71, 2 RBI, 2 SB). Benson has not since returned to the Majors in stints with the Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins, and he spent most of 2014 with Miami’s Double-A affiliate in Jacksonville (.264, 10 HR, 62 RBI in 124 games). Though he’s logged 861 minor league games — including 70 games with Triple-A Rochester from 2012 to 2013 — he’s still just 26 years old and has upside. Time will tell how he fits into a Gwinnett outfield that could return Todd Cunningham, Edward Salcedo and Joey Terdoslavich.
- Leyson Septimo (LHP) – signed to a minor league contract on January 7. The continued search for left-handed relief depth led to the 29-year-old Septimo, who pitched for Southern Maryland of the independent Atlantic League last season (0-0, 14.85 ERA in 8 games). Septimo was originally signed as an outfielder by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003 and began his conversion to the mound in 2008. The Chicago White Sox claimed him off waivers in June 2011, and he spent most of 2012 and 2013 working out of the Triple-A Charlotte bullpen. He went 2-1 with a paltry 1.31 ERA in 24 outings for the Knights in 2012, but followed up with a 2-1 record and 4.42 ERA in 28 games in 2013. Septimo does have big league experience, 21 appearances with the White Sox in 2012 when he went 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. If Septimo regains his 2012 form, he could be another sleeper Independent League find for the Braves on the order of Carlos Fisher last season.
- David Carpenter (RHP) – signed to a minor league contract on January 17. The OTHER David Carpenter joins the Braves after six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels’ ninth round pick in 2009, Carpenter has spent parts of the last three seasons with Triple-A Salt Lake. In 60 games with the Bees, he combined to go 7-2 with a 5.58 ERA, six saves and 67 strikeouts in 80.2 innings. After posting a 9.48 ERA in 24 outings with Salt Lake in 2013, he dropped his ERA down to 3.34 in 21 games last season. Carpenter has logged 30 appearances in the Majors with Los Angeles, but 28 of those came back in 2012 when he went 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA. He is likely to spend some time in Gwinnett next season.
- John Buck (C) – signed to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training on January 25. The well-traveled Buck has played for Kansas City, Toronto, Florida/Miami, New York (NL), Pittsburgh, Seattle and Los Angeles (AL) over an 11-year Major League career. In 1,090 big league games, he has combined to bat .234 with 134 home runs an 491 RBIs. Back in 2010, he was an American League All-Star with the Blue Jays thanks to career highs in batting average (.281), homers (20) and RBIs (66). The 34-year-old did spend 33 games with Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels’ system last year, and could end up in the same role within the Braves’ system — veteran catcher providing depth in Gwinnett.
- Jesus Flores (C) – signed to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training on January 26. Flores is another seasoned catcher added with depth in mind. He spent five years with the Washington Nationals from 2007-12, batting .241 with 23 homers and 127 RBIs in 311 games. Last season, he made the move to the Kansas City Royals’ system, but played in just 40 games with Triple-A Omaha before being released on July 23. Flores is one of eight catchers the Braves extended non-roster invites to, but he and Buck stand as the most Major League ready backstops of the group.
Notable 2014 G-Braves that have gone elsewhere, or are currently free agents:
- Mitch Atkins (RHP) – signed with the Texas Rangers.
- Pedro Beato (RHP) – currently a free agent.
- Brandon Boggs (OF) – currently a free agent.
- Ryan Buchter (LHP) – signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Terry Doyle (RHP) – signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
- James Hoyt (RHP) – traded to the Houston Astros.
- Tommy La Stella (2B) – traded to the Chicago Cubs.
- Steve Lerud (C) – signed with the Washington Nationals.
- Ozzie Martinez (INF) – signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
- Donnie Murphy (INF) – currently a free agent.
- Aaron Northcraft (RHP) – traded to the San Diego Padres.
- Daniel Rodriguez (LHP) – traded to the Baltimore Orioles.
- Edward Salcedo (OF/3B) – traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Gus Schlosser (RHP) – traded to the Colorado Rockies.
- Chasen Shreve (LHP) – traded to the New York Yankees.
- Atahualpa Severino (LHP) – signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
- Zach Stewart (RHP) – signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
Please check back for further updates as the offseason continues, and remember to follow @GBravesMedia for baseball-related G-Braves news.
The Atlanta Braves traded one former G-Brave for another yesterday, sending infielder Tommy La Stella and an international bonus pool slot (No. 4) to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino and three international bonus pool slots (No. 2, No. 3, No. 4).
Time for a G-Braves-centric look at the trade:
La Stella entered 2014 with plenty of hype, having earned the Braves’ “Best Hitter for Average” and “Best Strike Zone Discipline” distinctions from Baseball America. Though he didn’t display much power in his Triple-A debut, he was as-advertised for Gwinnett, batting .293 with a .384 on-base percentage in 47 games. He ranked among International League leaders in lowest TPA/SO ratio (2nd, 1 SO/14.21 TPA), walks (T-8th, 25) and on-base percentage (10th) as of May 28, and Atlanta rewarded him with his first Major League call-up.
A few more of La Stella’s Gwinnett highlights:
- He reached base safely in 21 consecutive games from April 10 to May 2, batting .325 (27-for-83) with one double and 14 RBIs. It was the longest on-base streak by a G-Brave in 2014.
- In 23 games at Coolray Field, he batted .346 (27-for-78) with two doubles and eight RBIs.
- In his final game with Gwinnett on May 27 at Pawtucket, he belted his first career Triple-A home run, a two-run shot off RHP Matt Barnes.
La Stella started hot in the Majors, batting .411 with nine multi-hit games over his first 16 contests. He leveled off, however, batting .251 with 16 doubles, one home run and 31 RBIs in 93 total games with the Braves. By season’s end, he saw decreased playing time with the emergence of fellow former G-Brave Phil Gosselin.
In sending La Stella to the Cubs, the Braves have helped clear up their second base log-jam. Gosselin is a good bet to be the Braves’ starting second baseman next April, but he may only be a placeholder for Jose Peraza. The Braves’ top prospect and 2014 Minor League Player of the Year, Peraza batted .339 with a .364 on-base percentage and 60 stolen bases between two levels last season, but hasn’t yet played above Double-A. He could follow the same path as La Stella, starting the year in a Gwinnett uniform before earning a Major League call-up during the season. Second base sets up to be an intriguing spot for the G-Braves in 2015, as Gosselin, Peraza or Tyler Pastornicky could see time at the position.
Yesterday’s trade also brings the hard-throwing Vizcaino back to the Braves organization. Before Tommy John surgery in 2012 and a trade to the Cubs that July, he was included with Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado as the next wave of prospect pitchers bound for Atlanta. The Coolray Field faithful saw him briefly during the pitching-rich 2011 season, when he went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, no walks and eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings with Gwinnett. Vizcaino made his Major League debut with Atlanta that same season, going 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA, nine walks and 17 strikeouts in 17 games, 17.1 innings.
Vizcaino had a comeback year in 2014, as he went 1-1 with a 3.51 ERA, 18 walks and 42 strikeouts over 41.0 innings in the Cubs’ minor league system. His September call-up to Chicago produced a 5.40 ERA in five outings, 5.0 innings.
Though Vizcaino logged most of his appearances at Triple-A Iowa, he was certainly acquired to compete for a bullpen spot with Atlanta this Spring. His addition also provides competition for another flame-throwing former G-Brave, right-hander Juan Jaime. Jaime and his upper-90’s fastball have been impressive in both Gwinnett and Atlanta, but he’ll have to improve his control and limit his walks (45 in 53.1 combined innings) to stick in the Majors.
This deal in the long run seems to be more about the international bonus pool slots and the minor league depth the Braves can build with them, but it also helps Atlanta bolster their pitching staff while clearing up the picture at second base.