Results tagged ‘ Daniel Rodriguez ’

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (2-2) at Norfolk Tides (1-3)

Mon: Zach Stewart (0-0, 0.00) vs. Suk-min Yoon (0-0, 0.00)

Tues: Gavin Floyd (0-0, 13.50) vs. Mike Wright (0-0, 0.00)

Wed: Cody Martin (0-0, 3.00) vs. Kevin Gausman (0-0, 0.00)

Thu: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (1-0, 1.80) vs. Steve Johnson (0-0, 3.00)

The Gwinnett Braves and Norfolk Tides meet for the first time in the 2014 campaign at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA starting Monday night. The four-game set will conclude the G-Braves current road trip, as they split with Durham to start the season.

Pitching: The G-Braves pitching staff has been touched up for 23 runs (21 ER) in 34.0 IP and are last in the IL with a 5.56 team ERA through the first four games of the season… Daniel Rodriguez had the strongest showing of the weekend. The southpaw went 5.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits, while striking out nine. He recorded his first win of the season and first victory since May 28, 2013. He will get the ball in game four of the series. Last season, he made one start against the Tides, tossing 4.2 innings, scattering three hits and allowing three runs. He was not a part of the decision, as the G-Braves won the contest 5-4 in extra innings on April 15.

(Daniel Rodriguez/ Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden)

(Daniel Rodriguez/ Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden)

Despite dropping three games to the Knights, the Tides’ pitching staff has been real strong in 2014. In four games, they have posted a 2.50 ERA, while striking out 43 batters in 36.0 IP.

Yoon and Wright will make their first starts of the 2014 season on Monday and Tuesday. Yoon, 27, is coming over from the Korean League. In 2011, he was named the Korean Baseball Organization MVP after leading the league in wins (17), ERA (2.45) and strikeouts (178).

Wright is coming off of a strong 2013 campaign, as he dominated the Double-A circuit, going 11-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 26 starts for Bowie. On September 2, he was called up to Triple-A Norfolk to make his debut. He delivered seven shutout innings, scattering six hits and striking out two. 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.

Gausmann and Johnson will round out the Norfolk rotation for the weekday series. Both right-handers threw in the opening weekend series against Charlotte, but received no decisions. They combined to strike out 10 batters in 7.1 innings.

Batting: Ernesto Mejia is coming off of a huge week with the G-Braves. In four games, he hit .308 (4-for-13) with four homers and seven RBIs. He was named IL Batter of the Week for his outstanding work at the dish. Last season, Mejia hit .347 (25-for-72) with five doubles, eight homers and 16 RBIs in 19 games against the Tides.

Infielder Phil Gosselin also had a solid opening week. The right-handed hitter batted .364 (1-for-11) with one double and one RBI, while playing shortstop and third base. Gosselin fared well against Norfolk in 2013, hitting .275 (14-for-51) with two homers and six RBIs.

Norfolk is off to a slow start offensively, scoring six runs in four games against Charlotte.

Henry Urrutia is batting .143 (2-for-14) with one RBI and two strikeouts. Last season, he hit .316 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 29 games with Norfolk. He was even better against Gwinnett, batting .356 (16-for-46) with two doubles, one triple, one homer and 10 RBIs. He will try and get Norfolk back on track this week.

Tides News: The Orioles have acquired right-hander Preston Guilmet from the Indians in exchange for infielder Torsten Boss. Guilmet was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

-JD-

 

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (0-0) at Durham Bulls (0-0)

Pitching Probables
Thu: Gavin Floyd (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Nathan Karns (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Fri: Ervin Santana (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Enny Romero (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sat: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Matt Andriese (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sun: Mitch Atkins (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Mike Montgomery (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Pitching: The Gwinnett Braves will open their series against the Durham Bulls with two MLB veterans leading the group. Both Floyd and Santana will be on strict pitch counts, as they work their way back to the Major Leagues. Rodriguez, who missed most of last season with elbow ailments in his throwing arm, will make his first start since June 2nd and Atkins will join the G-Braves after spending 2013 with Double-A Mississippi.

Floyd will try to get the Braves off to a good start in 2014, as he is a perfect 3-0 against the Bulls in his career, but hasn’t pitched in a Triple-A contest in seven years. Rodriguez and Atkins haven’t fared well against the Bulls in their respective careers. Rodriguez gave up seven runs in 0.1 IP in his lose start against the Tampa Bay affiliate, while Atkins is 1-1 with a 5.50 ERA in three career starts against Durham.

Nathan Karns will be the opening day starter. The right-hander was a part of the monster trade, which saw the Tampa Bay Rays exchange catcher Jose Lobaton, pitcher Felipe Rivero and outfielder Drew Vettelson for the Washington Nationals’ Karns. The right-hander is a game-changer as he tosses a mid 90’s fastball, hard sinker and a heavy slider. Last season, he struck out 155 batters in 133.0 IP with Double-A Harrisburg.

Karns wasn’t the only one dominating the Double-A circuit. Romero was spectacular in the Southern League, going 11-7 with a 2.76 ERA in 27 starts for the Montgomery Biscuits. He made one start for Triple-A Durham (8IP, 0R, 2K) and one for Tampa Bay (5IP, 0R) to end the season. He will get the start in game two of the series.

Andriese will make his first start in International League as he was a part of the San Diego Padres organization in 2013, while Montgomery will put his 2-3 record with a 5.27 ERA in five career starts against Gwinnett on the line in game four.

Batting: Offense will be showcased in the series, as both teams have potent attacks. The Braves will have two-time RBI champion Ernesto Mejia leading the middle of the order. In 2013, Mejia struggled against the Bulls, hitting .192 (14-for-73) with two homers, eight RBIs and 26 strikeouts. While, Mejia struggled against the Bulls, Jose Constanza thrived at the dish against Durham pitching. The outfielder batted .340 (17-for-50) with two doubles, two RBIs and six stolen bases in 12 contests against the Bulls. Constanza is the lone active G-Brave to hold a batting average over .300 against Durham in 2013.

While, the G-Braves struggled to hit Bulls’ pitching, Cole Figueroa welcomed G-Braves pitching. The infielder hit .355 (27-for-76) with three doubles, two triples, one homer and 14 RBIs in 20 games against Gwinnett in 2013.

He will be joined veterans Wilson Betemit and Vince Belnome around the infield. Betemit is coming off of an injury-riddled 2013 campaign, but in 2012, he hit .261 with 19 doubles, 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 102 games with Baltimore. He will try to find his stroke in 2014 with Durham.

Belnome hasn’t had a problem hitting at the minor league level. He is a lifetime .300 hitter at the MiLB level, clubbing 58 homers and driving in 312 runners. Despite struggling against the G-Braves in 2013 (.151, 12K), he hit .300 and drove in 67 runs while earning an IL All-Star Game nod.

Bull Rushed: The Gwinnett Braves will look to get off to a good start in 2014 against the Durham Bulls, as they went 6-15 against Durham in 2013. Durham’s stranglehold was more apparent at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, as they won nine of ten games at home.

-JD-

Il Preview: Gwinnett Braves

The IL Preview concludes with the Gwinnett Braves. Last season, Gwinnett had a forgettable season, finishing last in the IL with a 60-84 mark. Injuries at the Major League level and constant turnover at the minor league level crippled the Gwinnett roster.

The Braves will be led by new skipper Brian Snitker. The former Atlanta Braves third base coach has managerial experience at the minor league level, coaching over 2,000 games (1140-1145 record). He will have a good group of players leading the charge in 2014.

Pitching: The Braves pitching staff took a big hit with the losses of Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy during Spring Training. The losses will trickle down to the minor league level, as two potential G-Braves in David Hale and Gus Schlosser will start in Atlanta.

The G-Braves will start the season with Zach Stewart, Mitch Atkins, Daniel Rodriguez, Cody Martin and Yunesky Maya. All five pitchers have pitched at the Triple-A level and come with experience. Atkins has won 33 games between the Pacific Coast League and International League. Last season, he went 5-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 17 games for Double-A Mississippi.

Martin enters the season with the least amount of experience on the staff, but will be leaned on to built upon his successful 2013 campaign. In 13 games (11 starts), he went 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 69.2 IP with the G-Braves.

The bullpen will feature a slew of flamethrowers, as Wirfin Obispo, Mark Lamm, Juan Jaime and Luis Vasquez will be eager to close outs games. Obispo returns to Gwinnett after going 2-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 54 relief appearances. He recorded nine saves, striking out 70 batters in 63.2 innings.

Infield: Offensively, the diamond will be loaded with a deep-talented group. Ernesto Mejia, who hit a career-high 28 homers in 2013, returns for his third season with the G-Braves. He has led the IL in RBIs two straight seasons.

Tommy La Stella will join him on the right side. The former Coastal Carolina alum is a lifetime .327 minor league hitter. The second baseman made an impression with Atlanta during Spring Training, batting .255 with four doubles and five RBIs. He will get his first taste of Triple-A baseball in 2014.

The Atlanta Braves No.2 prospect according to Baseball America, Christian Bethancourt will get his first taste of Triple-A as well. He hit .277 (99-for-358) with 21 doubles, 12 homers and 45 RBIs in 90 games for the M-Braves. He set a club record by reaching base in 40-straight games from June 13 to August 14, batting .338 (54-for-160) with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 27 RBI during the streak.

Tyler Greene and Edward Salcedo will fill out the left side. Both players have the ability to drive in runs and steal bases. Salcedo has swiped 80 bags and drove in 211 runners in 471 minor league contests, while Greene has over 150 stolen bases and 373 RBIs in his ten year career.

Outfield: The Gwinnett Braves will be fortunate to feature a major-league like outfield, as Jose Constanza, Todd Cunningham and Joey Terdoslavich will be manning one of the three outfield positions. Terdoslavich returns after a banner season with Gwinnett. He was named an International League midseason and postseason All-Star after hitting .318 (102-for-321) with 24 doubles, 18 home runs and 58 RBI in 85 games. He was named Gwinnett’s Most Valuable player by Atlanta and Gwinnett. He was as selected to represent Team USA in the 15th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, but did not participate due to his MLB call-up on 7/4.

Constanza returns for his fourth season with Gwinnett. The longest tenured G-Brave returns for his fourth season with the ball club. Constanza enters the season as the G-Braves all-time hits (306), triples (11) and stolen bases (58) leader. In three seasons, he has tallied a .301 (306-for-1,118) batting average with 19 doubles and 69 RBIs.

Cunningham, the switch-hitting outfielder led the squad in hitting with a .265 (113-for-427) batting average. He tallied 13 doubles, five triples, two home runs, 38 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 116 games.

Projected Depth Chart:

(Depth chart is not official, based on projections.)

(Depth chart is not official, based on projections.)

 

-JD-

Spring Training Report- Non Roster Invitees, Pitchers

The Atlanta Braves are ready to open up Spring Training camp on Thursday, February 13.  While, the majority of the 40-man roster returns from a season ago, the roster did take some hits this off season, losing Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm and Brian McCann to free agency. However, the Braves are locked and loaded to compete for their second straight East Division crown and their third straight postseason berth.

The Braves will enter camp with 62 players, inviting 22 non-roster players to join the fold in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Many of the players will get their first taste of big league camp, while others will compete for a chance at the 25-man roster. Arms are always at a premium, so we will go over all the hurlers that will report to the Disney complex on Thursday.  The Braves invited 11 non-roster pitchers, left-handers Ian Thomas, Daniel Rodriguez, Atahualpa Severino and right-handers Lay Batista, J.R. Graham, Jason Hursh, Mark Lamm, Cody Martin, Yunesky Maya, Gus Schlosser and Shae Simmons.

Martin (Moore)

Martin (Moore)

Among the 11 invited, two have big league experience as Severino and Maya spent some time with the Washington Nationals. In 2009, Maya fled Cuba and signed with the Nationals. However, the 32-year old right-hander didn’t live up to the four-year, six-million dollar deal that he signed with Washington, going 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA in 16 games (10 starts) for the Nationals over the last four years. He will compete for a bullpen spot along with former teammate Severino, but they could end up with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Former Los Angeles Angels’ farmhand Lay Batista is the only other non-roster invitee that did not start his career in the Braves system. Batista reached Double-A last year, going 5-8 with a 3.37 ERA in 122.2 IP. He has relief experience, but primarily started the last two seasons.  He will likely start in Double-A Mississippi, but he will get a long look at big league camp.

The rest of the invitees have been with the Braves since they began their professional careers. Left-handers Ian Thomas and Daniel Rodriguez are interesting prospects, as the Braves’ bullpen enters camp with one lefty reliever. While, Jonny Venters recovers from “Tommy John” surgery, the Braves will look for another southpaw to emerge during Spring Training. Thomas had a strong showing in 2013, going 7-8 with a 2.76 ERA in 104.1 IP. He struck out 123 batters while walking 37. Rodriguez’ numbers did not resemble Thomas’, but he has been in big league camp two straight seasons and starred in Triple-A Gwinnett last year before an injury shutdown his 2013 campaign.

Rodriguez was not the only one that was shut down with an injury in 2013, as Graham had to miss the second half of the season with a shoulder injury. Graham made a name for himself during last Spring Training, tossing in 9.0 IP, allowing six hits, striking out five and recording two saves. He was sent down to Double-A Mississippi, landing on the DL in May.

With Graham’s absences on the M-Braves roster, Schlosser, Lamm and Martin, had a chance to shine for the Braves Double-A affiliate. Schlosser had the most impressive resume, going 7-6 with a 2.39 ERA in 25 starts, but he was the only one of the three that was not promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett. Lamm and Martin got their first taste of the International League circuit. Lamm went 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA, while Martin went 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA for the G-Braves.

Finally, the last two players that will get a look during big league camp will be Simmons and Hursh. Simmons dominated Class-A Rome, recording a club-record 24 saves, surpassing former record holder Sung Ki Jung of the inaugural 2003 club. While, last season first round pick Hursh will get his first taste of the big leagues during Spring Training. Hursh lived up to the billing last year, going 1-1 with a 0.67 ERA in 27.0 IP for Class-A Rome. The former Cowboy has an impressive upside, but he is likely heading to Double-A Mississippi to continue his development.

The 11 pitchers that are heading to big league camp will get a long look during Spring Training, but it is likely that all players will start the season in one of the Braves Minor League systems.

Tomorrow we will go over the 11 position players that have been invited to big league camp.

-JD-

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (24-31) at Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (24-29)

Fri: RHP Tim Corcoran (3-3, 3.19)vs. RHP Zach Miner (2-3, 5.40)
Sat: RHP Omar Poveda (3-3, 2.84)vs. RHP B.J. Rosenberg (1-4, 4.10)
Sun: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (3-3, 5.76)vs. RHP Ethan Martin (5-2, 5.44)
Sun: LHP Yohan Flande (3-4, 4.25)vs. LHP Raul Valdes (0-1, 5.54

The Braves seven game win streak was snapped on Thursday night, as they were blanked by Syracuse 5-0. Despite the loss, the Braves have been on a roll of late, winning eight of their last ten.

Hitting-
The Braves enter play with the 6th-highest batting average in the International League. Despite outscoring their opponents 47-24 in the last eight games, the Braves are 11th in the league in runs (224)… Joey Terdoslavich leads the squad in batting average (.325), hits (67) and total bases (114). His 67 hits lead the IL, as well as his 21 doubles… Brandon Boggs has been a delight since signing with the Braves. In 20 games with the G-Braves, the switch-hitting outfielder is batting .329 (24-for-73) with five homers and 13 RBI.

Pitching-
Tim Corcoran was named IL Pitcher of the Week this week, going 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA (1ER/11IP) from 5/20 through 5/26… He will get the ball in game one and make first ever start against the Iron Pigs… Omar Poveda, the G-Braves best starter this season, will get the ball in game two. In his last start, the Toledo Mud Hens snapped his seven-game quality start streak, scoring four runs in six innings. Despite the poor performance, the right-hander ranks seventh in the IL in ERA (2.84) and second in WHIP (0.99).

G-Bites- During the first five games of the winning streak, the G-Braves bullpen did not allow a run, going 17.2 scoreless innings. The streak was the longest of the season…

Lehigh Valley

Batting-
Josh Fields paces the Iron Pigs offense. The infielder is hitting .329 (44-for-134) with four homers and 17 RBI. He ranks ninth in the league in BA… Cody Overbeck is the muscle in the Lehigh Valley lineup. The first baseman enters play, leading the team in homers (9) and is second in RBI (23)… The Iron Pigs enter play with the 5th-best batting average in the league, while leading the league in triples (21).

Pitching-
The pitching staff has been suspect all season, posting 5.19 ERA and allowing the most runs (293) in the International League. Ethan Martin, Lehigh Valley’s best starter, will get the nod on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander is 5-2 with a 5.44 ERA. He has struck out 45 hitters in 49.2 innings… Left-hander Jake Diekman has been a workhorse out of the bullpen, logging 23 innings in a league-high 23 games…

Piglets-
Lehigh Valley is on a four-game losing streak, dropping to fourth place in the North Division. They are currently 7.5 games back of the front-running Pawtucket Red Soxs.

-Jd-

Boston STRONG, G-Braves baseball

Tuesday is “Boston Strong Night” at Coolray Field, as every ticket sold via the online link gwinnettbraves.com/boston using the promo code STRONG, $5 will be donated to OneFundBoston.org, benefitting the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. Atlanta Falcons and former Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, former Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and former Boston Celtics guard Dee Brown will all be guests of the G-Braves as they throw out ceremonial first pitches.

In honor of Boston STRONG night at Coolray Field we will center today’s blog on fun facts about the Boston Braves. The team became known as the Boston Braves in 1912 after going through various names in a five year span. The name would stick until the Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953.

From Last to First- In 1914, the Braves had one of the most memorable seasons to date. After starting the season 4-18 and entering July 4th with the worst record in the league (26-40), the Braves reeled off 43 wins in 56 tries to finish first in the league. They are the only team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. They won the World Series despite being heavy underdogs against the Philadelphia A’s, sweeping them and being the first team in modern history to sweep a World Series.

Fenway Park- The monumental park has been the Boston Red Sox’s home park since it broke ground in 1912… However, to accommodate for the excess crowds during their historic run in 1914, the Boston Braves used the park to field their last games and the World Series.

The Babe Returns to Boston- After being dealt away by the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth was purchased by Emil Fuchs in 1935, becoming player, Assistant Manager and Vice President of the Boston Braves. With his skills diminishing, Ruth wanted a way to transition to a career in baseball once his playing career was over. Fuchs wanted to sell more tickets, so the move was great on paper for both, and Ruth was acquired from the New York Yankees. The move did not pan out, as Ruth retired on June 1–only six days after he hit the last three home runs of his career. It remains one of the most memorable afternoons in baseball history. The Braves finished the season 38-115 in 1935.

Dynamic Duo- Dealing with poor seasons for decades, the Braves were revived in the late 40’s behind the brilliant duo of Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. In 1948, the hurlers won a combined 39 games and lead the Braves to a World Series appearance. They lost in six games to the Indians.

Milwaukee- The World Series appearance would be the last hurrah in Boston, as their fate change again. Amid four more mediocre seasons, on March 13, 1953, owner Lou Perini, announced he was moving the team to Milwaukee, where the Braves had their top farm club, the Brewers.

Notable Boston Braves
Earl Averill
Dave Bancroft
Dan Brouthers
John Clarkson*
Jimmy Collins
Hugh Duffy*
Johnny Evers
Burleigh Grimes
Billy Hamilton
Billy Herman
Rogers Hornsby
Joe Kelley
King Kelly
Ernie Lombardi
Rabbit Maranville
Rube Marquard
Tommy McCarthy
Bill McKechnie
Joe Medwick
Kid Nichols*
Jim O’Rourke
Charley Radbourn
Babe Ruth
Frank Selee**
Al Simmons
George Sisler
Casey Stengel
Ed Walsh
Lloyd Waner
Paul Waner
Deacon White
Vic Willis**
George Wright
Harry Wright
Cy Young

The G-Braves take the field tonight, as Daniel Rodriguez (1-2, 7.48) will take the ball against Alfredo Aceves (1-0, 0.00) at 6:05 PM. Braves will try and stop their nine game skid.

-JD-

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (12-19) vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (17-13)

Mon: Omar Poveda (2-1, 1.93) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (0-0, 7.11 ERA)
Tue: Daniel Rodriguez (1-2, 7.48 ERA) vs. Alfredo Aceves (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Wed: Sean Gilmartin (2-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Allen Webster (1-0, 2.70 ERA)
Thu: Yohan Flande (1-2, 4.97 ERA) vs. Terry Doyle (2-2, 3.03 ERA)

Gwinnett- The G-Braves are currently on an eight-game losing streak. Their slide has dropped them to third in the division and a whopping 8.5 games back in the South standings. After getting back to 12-11, the Braves have been swept by the Indianapolis Indians (21-10) and Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (17-11)in the last week.

Hitting- Joey Terdoslavich continues to hit. The outfielder is ninth in the IL in batting average (.333), T-1st in hits (41), 1st in doubles (13), 1st in extra-base hits (19) and 1st in total bases (71). He has amassed multi-hit games in 12 of his last 20… Jose Constanza has been missing in action. Since extending his hit streak to 11 games on 4/28, the outfielder has not appeared in a contest…

Pitching- Poveda will take the ball in game one. In five starts, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA. He is 5th in the IL in ERA, 3rd in WHIP (0.80) and 1st in batting average against (.136)… Rodriguez suffered a setback last time out, as he was roughed up for seven runs (6 ER) in 3 IP. Prior to the start, he tossed 14.1 scoreless frames. He gets the nod in Game 2… Gilmartin suffered his first loss of the season last time out, but he carried a no-hitter through the first six innings. He will pitch on Wednesday… Flande will toss the finale. The left-hander has moved from bullpen-to-starter well, posting a 1-2 record with a 4.19 ERA in four starts.

G-Bites- Infielder Tyler Pastornicky is set to return to the G-Braves lineup tonight, as he was optioned by the Braves last night.

Pawtucket

Hitting- The Pawtuket attack is led by Jackie Bradley Jr. After struggling in the MLB, Bradley Jr. has found his stroke in Triple-A. In 11 games, he is hitting .302 (13-for-43) with two doubles and four RBI… Bryce Brentz is the muscle in the middle of the lineup, leading the squad in homers (5) and RBI (20)… Jeremy Hazelbaker also has five dingers this season…

Pitching-De la Rosa takes the ball in the opener, the former LAD farmhand has struggled in 2013. He is 0-0 with a 7.11 ERA. He has limited hitters to a .229 batting average, but has walked eight in 12.2 IP… Seasoned Vet, Aceves gets the ball in Game 2. After being sent down by the big club, Aceves was sharp with Pawtucket, tossing six scoreless in a win last week… Baseball America’s No.4 ranked Boston prospect, Allen Webster will start on Wednesday. He has an impressive strikeout rate, as he has set down 26 hitters in 20 IP… Doyle gets the call on Thursday. The right-hander currently leads the team in innings (32.2), walks (18) and strikeouts (28)…

-JD-

G-Braves Winning Baseball at Coolray

The G-Braves won at home, again. The win pushed their record at Coolray Field to 5-0 in 2013. Despite their undefeated mark at home, the Braves check into tonight’s game with a 6-6 mark.

So what has been the difference?

Answer, pitching.

The Braves pitching staff has posted a 2.72 ERA at Coolray. The bullpen has been even sharper, tossing 16 innings, allowing seven runs, five earned and striking out the 22. It has resulted into a 2.03 bullpen ERA.

The trouble, however, has come on the road as the G-Braves have allowed a whopping 49 runs (41 earned) in 58.1 innings. Starters have been tagged for 29 runs in 28.1 innings, while averaging a little over four innings per start.

Last night, starter Daniel Rodriguez did not buck the trend, but he proved effective, tossing 4.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out six. It was his best appearance of the season, as the Braves won in dramatic fashion in the eleventh. Rodriguez, who witnessed the birth of his first daughter over the weekend, seemed at ease in the start. His only hiccup came in the third, allowing three runs to score in the frame. The southpaw made adjustments throughout the night, utilizing his curveball to put down opposing hitters while attacking the zone with his fastball. He walked a season-high, but only one run proved to be costly as it came around to score on an RBI single by Russ Canzler.

The bullpen went back to its dominant ways, tossing 6.1 innings of one run baseball. Andrew Russell, who dropped two contests on the road, was sharp for the Braves. He pitched two scoreless to pick up the victory. He is another pitcher that has enjoyed the Lawrenceville surroundings, as he is yet to issue a run at Coolray Field. It’s ironic that the well-traveled Aussie has pitched better at home than around the rest of the International League.

The Braves Jekyll-and-Hyde ways will be tested again tonight. Luckily for the Braves, they will be at Coolray Field for the contest tonight.

The G-Braves head into tonight’s game tied for second in the South Division and two games back of the Durham Bulls (8-4). Former G-Brave Jair Jurrjens will match up against the Braves lineup. The former MLB All-Star has been sharp in his first two starts. In 11.1 innings, he is 0-1 with a 1.59 ERA. His command has been spotty, walking six, but he has limited hitters to a .128 batting average.

G-Braves Sean Gilmartin makes his third start of the year. He is going on five days rest, as his scheduled start last night was pushed back to make room for Rodriguez. The lefty will go for his second win of the season. Game time is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
Starting Lineups are listed below:

Norfolk Tides (6-6)
Pridie 8
Hoes 7
Canzler DH
Valencia 5
Ishikawa 3
Robinson 9
Navarro 4
Exposito 2
Schoop 6
Jurrjens 1

Gwinnett Braves (6-6)
Constanza 7
Pastornicky 6
Terdoslavich 9
Mejia 3
Parraz DH
Cunningham 8
Janish 6
Yepez 2
Carrithers 5
Gilmartin 1

-JD-

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (5-6) vs. Norfolk Tides (6-5)

G-Braves Report-The Braves return home after dropping six of seven on the road… After their best start in franchise history, the Braves could not keep it going on the road, as the pitching staff allowed 49 runs in seven games… The drought has moved the Braves to third place in the South Division.

Hitters-Ernesto Mejia has been on fire of late, hitting four home runs in seven games. He currently leads the International League in home runs (6), RBI (12) and total bases (32). He is hitting well above the .300 mark, checking in with a .316 (12-for-38) batting average after 11 games… Tyler Pastornicky leads all G- Braves in batting, hitting .400 (18-for-45). His 18 knocks lead and is tied for first in doubles (5) through 11 games… Sean Kazmar checks in with a .310 batting average, one home run and 11 RBI. His RBI mark is second in the league behind Mejia.

Pitchers-The staff struggled on the road, giving up 49 runs on the trip… Omar Poveda was the only starting pitcher to get through five innings during the road trip. He tossed six scoreless on 4/8 and five innings of four-run ball on 8/13. He was not a part of either decision. He leads the squad in innings (11) and WHIP (0.82)… Reliever Andrew Russell had a rough week, blowing one save and losing twice. On the season, the Aussie is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA… Today starter, Daniel Rodriguez has not had a good start to 2012. In two appearances, he is 0-1 with a 48.60 ERA.

G-Bites- The Braves are currently sixth in the League in hitting with a .271 (60-for-361) batting average. They are second in the league in homers (12)… However, they are 11th in ERA (4.98) and have allowed the second most runs in the league (60). Free passes have hurt the staff, as they have issued 49 in 11 games…

Norfolk Update-The Tides have been playing good ball of late. After dropping their first three contests, the Tides have won six of their last eight. They are currently on a three-game winning streak… The Tides swept the mini two-game set against the G-Braves this weekend…

Hitting-Russ Canzler is leading the Tides attack, the infielder is hitting .333 (14-for-42) with three homers and 10 RBI. He leads the Tides in every offensive category and is second in the IL with seven extra base hits, behind the G-Braves Mejia… Danny Valencia is off to a solid start, hitting .316 (12-for-38) with three doubles and six RBI…

Pitchers- The G-Braves were stifled last night by Norfolk’s top arm, Josh Stinson, as he hurled 6.2 innings of one-run ball, collecting his first win of the season. On the year, he is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA. He has fanned 10 batters over 11.2 innings. He is fifth in the IL in ERA… Former G-Brave Jairo Asencio has been sharp in 2013, converting three of three save opportunities. He has tossed four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out five. He leads the IL in saves…

Rolling With the TidesThe Tides have been playing well of late, winning three in a row. However, they will hit the road for an 11-game road trip starting tonight. So far in the early season, the Tides are 1-1 on the road, as they have played the bulk of their games at home.
Norfolk Lineup
Pridie 8
Hoes 9
Canzler 5
Valencia 3
Ford DH
Robinson 7
Navarro 4
Schoop 6
Exposito 2
Clark 1

Gwinnett Lineup
Constanza 7
Pastornicky 4
Terdoslavich 9
Mejia 3
Parraz DH
Cunningham 8
Janish 6
Pagnozzi 2
Carrithers 5
Rodriguez 1

Game Preview: G-Braves (1-0) vs. Knights (0-1)

The Gwinnett Braves took the opener last night, 5-4. Sean Gilmartin (1-0) was impressive, hurling five innings, scattering six hits and allowing one run. He picked up his first victory of the season and his second as a G-Brave.

Shortstop Tyler Pastornicky got off to a blazing start, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and a stolen base. The Sarosota, FL native looked sharp on the field as well, converting on all five of his chances.

Andrew Russell locked it down for the G-Braves, getting out of a jam in the eighth inning and going on to toss two scoreless frames. The Aussie struck out four of the six hitters he faced. He is now 3-for-5 in save opportunities with the G-Braves.

Tonight, the G-Braves and the Knights will make up Thursday night’s rainout with a doubleheader starting at 5:05 p.m. RHP David Hale (0-0) will square off against RHP Andre Rienzo (0-0) in Game 1, while LHP Daniel Rodriguez (0-0) takes the ball against RHP Tony Pena Jr. (0-0) in Game 2.

Hale was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft out of Princeton University. The former Tiger has bounced around from starter to reliever, however last season he flourished as full time starter in Double-A Mississippi. In 27 starts, Hale went 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA. He topped the Southern League in starts, while finishing fourth in strikeouts (124).

His opponent, Andre Rienzo has been a coveted Chicago (AL) prospect for a few years. Last season, the hard-throwing righty had to battle a 50-game suspension, forcing him to miss a 1/3 of the season. Upon his return, he dominated across three different levels, going 7-3 with a 2.53 ERA. He limited hitters to a combined .206 batting average. Baseball America ranks him the No. 7 prospect in the Sox organization.

In the night cap, Rodriguez will make his third affiliated appearance of his career. The left-hander spent seven years with the Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League. After signing with the Braves on 8/14/12, Rodriguez made two appearances for the G-Braves, going 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA in six innings. He went 11-5 with a 2.54 ERA with Saltillo last year.

He will go up against Tony Pena Jr. The son of former big league catcher Tony Pena, has bounced around from organizations (ATL, KC, SF, BOS), landing with the White Sox organization in the offseason. Last season with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox’s, he went 1-9 with a 4.75 ERA. The right-hander began his career as a middle infielder for the Atlanta Braves organization in 2000.

Tonight should be a treat, as the G-Braves look to start the season 2-0 for the first time in Franchise history. Joe Leonard will receive his MiLB Gold Glove award in between games.

Last season, the G-Braves went 5-3 in doubleheaders, sweeping two, splitting one and getting swept once.

Game One Lineups are below:

Charlotte Knights Starting Lineup

Mitchell 8
Sanchez 4
Morel 5
Danks 9
Greene 6
Loman DH
Anderson C
Tolleson LF
Gallagher 3
Rienzo P

Gwinnett Braves Starting Lineup

Constanza 7
Pastornicky 6
Terdoslavich DH
Mejia 3
DeWitt 4
Cunningham 8
Leonard 5
Parraz 9
Yepez 2
Hale 1

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