Results tagged ‘ Barbaro Canizares ’
Hard to believe, but the 2013 International League season (and our home opener at Coolray Field) is just 85 days away! With April 4 quickly approaching, we’re starting to lift the curtain on some of the things you can expect to see for the upcoming season of Gwinnett Braves Baseball.
The first major announcement occured this morning with the launch of the Fifth Season campaign and logo (pictured left). Celebrations of the anniversary season include a new alumni Bobblehead Series and brand new 5-Pack Plans. The series of five bobbleheads features G-Braves who have gone on to stardom in Atlanta, including Brandon Beachy, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen. Conveniently, you can purchase tickets to all five bobblehead giveaway nights in the Bobblehead Pack, one of the four 5-Pack Plans that were rolled out in today’s announcement.
The 5-Packs also include a Fireworks Pack (all five dates are Friday Fireworks nights), a Best 5 Games Pack (our most popular games including Opening Night on April 4 and July 4) and a Silver Sluggers Pack (five day games). Reinforcing the five theme, each 5-Pack starts at just $50. You can get more details and buy online as well by visiting gwinnettbraves.com/5pack.
To add to the excitement of Season Five, gwinnettbraves.com is hosting a look back at some of the great players that have played for the G-Braves in the team’s first four seasons. Expect to read up on guys like Barbaro Canizares (this week’s feature), Matt Young, Todd Redmond and Mauro Gomez in addition to the likes of Freeman, Kimbrel and others. A new “5th Season Friday” feature will debut each Friday through the end of March.
Is that enough fives for you yet? Me neither. As if the baseball gods had a hand in it, the G-Blog was announced as the 55th most visited ProBlog on the MLBlogs Network for the past year. Fifth place would have been more fitting, but it’s an honor to finish near the middle of the Top 100 in our first year. You can check out the entire list over at mlblogs.mlblogs.com.
Give yourself a high-5 for reading this post and head over to gwinnettbraves.com for more on the 2013 season!
Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess
The man, Jose Constanza, who just broke Gwinnett’s franchise record hit-streak at 22 total games, surpassing both Barbaro Canizares and Felix Pie, is now on his way to the Atlanta Braves….again. This is nothing new for the Braves left fielder, as this is the third time this season Constanza will drop by Atlanta. With the recent injury to Matt Diaz, an opening has arisen and Atlanta is in desperate need of a bat. Who better than the Gwinnett all-time hit-streak leader himself?
This season Constanza has been the catalyst to the Gwinnett Braves offense, as he leads the International League in hitting with a .324 batting average. The speedster has registered 91 hits, 43 runs scored, nine doubles, four triples, one home run, 23 RBI, 111 total bases, 29 walks and 11 stolen bases, alongside his team-leading .386 on-base percentage.
Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess
Constanza is batting .250 with the Atlanta Braves this season, including eight hits and four runs scored in 32 at-bats. The value of Constanza is not only recognized in the batters box, but he is an exceptional defender that has saved his pitching staff countless runs this season.
The Braves players are making a play to win it all this season, the future is important, but so too is winning a World Series this season, in the final year of arguably the greatest third baseman of all-time in the form of Chipper Jones. Constanza will provide a much-needed spark to the offense and pitching staff, but his contributions will not be measured by his stats, but by the Braves win-loss record with him in the line-up.
By: Tony Piraro
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.