Results tagged ‘ Jason Hursh ’

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (59-52) vs. Buffalo Bisons (58-54)

Pitching probables

Fri: LHP Greg Smith (4-4, 2.34 ERA) vs. RHP Phillippe Aumont (3-4, 2.54 ERA), 7:05 p.m.

Sat: RHP Victor Mateo (1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (5-0, 1.41 ERA), 7:05 p.m.

Sun: RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (3-3, 3.92 ERA) vs. RHP Scott Copeland (8-3, 2.11 ERA), 2:05 p.m.

Victor Mateo (Jim Lacey)

Victor Mateo (Jim Lacey)

The Gwinnett Braves begin a three-game series against the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, off of their best stretch of the season. The G-Braves had their season-high, six-game winning streak snapped in a 7-5 loss on Thursday to the Rochester Red Wings. Still, they have won 11 of their last 13 games to move from last place to second in the International League South Division and put them in the runner-up spot in the IL Wild Card race, 2.5 games behind the Columbus Clippers.

Buffalo entered the All-Star break on July 13 one game below the .500 mark at 45-46, but the Bisons won eight of their first 11 games after the break and have climbed into second place in the IL North, 3.5 games behind the division-leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Buffalo is also in fourth place in the Wild Card standings and 1.5 games behind the G-Braves. Gwinnett swept a three-game road series from the Bisons in  the team’s first meeting this season from June 29 through July 1. The G-Braves have won the season series between the clubs in each of the past two seasons, going 11-4, overall, and 5-3 at Coolray Field during that stretch. This will be the final regular-season series the teams will play against one another this season.

Pitching: Two of the top pitching staffs in the IL will face off this weekend at Coolray Field. The Bisons boast a 3.07 team ERA that ranks second in the league behind only the Norfolk Tides, and the G-Braves follow in third with a 3.11 ERA. Both staffs go about their work in much the same way. Buffalo has a 2.29 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (804 strikeouts/352 walks), while Gwinnett has a 2.14 mark (784 strikeouts/366 walks). G-Braves’ pitchers have given up five more home runs than Buffalo, but their 54 homers allowed still are the fourth-fewest in the league. August has been particularly good for Gwinnett hurlers, as they have combined for a 2.17 ERA through the first six games of the month, which is the second-lowest in the league, to help the team to a 5-1 record in that span. In five games during which the team is 2-3, Buffalo has a 4.50 ERA.

The Buffalo rotation is led by the current IL ERA leader in Copeland, who is scheduled to pitch the series finale. He has won three of his last four starts and has not allowed more than one earned run in that span. He has given up more than two earned runs in two of his 15 appearances (14 starts) for the Bisons this season. He made his Major League debut with the Blue Jays in May and has made five appearances (three starts) for Toronto, going 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA.

Gwinnett pitchers held opponents to three runs or fewer in 10 of the 13 games during their hot streak despite five strikeouts or fewer in nine of those contests. The G-Braves also got seven quality starts from its starting rotation in that time span, and right-hander Peter Moylan has become a stopper at the end of games. He has gone 4-for-4 in save opportunities across his last six appearances and has not allowed a run in his last eight while he gave up three combined hits in that span. Overall, Moylan is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA (9 ER in 25.0 IP) with four saves in 24 outings since he joined the team on June 2.

Hitting: Outfielder Todd Cunningham and catcher Christian Bethancourt have caught fire of late. They have combined to hit at a .411 rate (.476 for Cunningham, .371 for Bethancourt) in the team’s last 10 games. Cunningham has driven in five runs and scored four during that span, while Bethancourt has a home run, seven RBIs and a seven runs scored. The team batting average has risen to .256 for the season, which ranks eighth in the IL. Buffalo has a .262 team batting average that is tied with Norfolk for the second-highest in the league. The Bisons do not hit for much power, however. Their 49 home runs are the third-fewest in the league, although Gwinnett’s 38 are the fewest in the league, overall. The G-Braves hold a distinct advantage on the bases with their 126 stolen bases that are the second-most in the IL. Buffalo baserunners have swiped 61 bags, which ranks 11th in the league.

Along with Copeland atop the IL pitching ranks, Buffalo also has the league’s top hitter with Matt Hague. The first baseman/third baseman leads the league in batting average (.342), hits (145), RBIs (79), total bases (202), on-base percentage (.424) and is tied for the league lead in walks (54). He also ranks second in slugging percentage (.476) and third in doubles (28). Hague played 33 games in the Majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates combined in 2012 and 2014, hitting a combined .222 with no home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs. He combined to hit .282 with 23 doubles, 15 homers, 76 RBIs and 60 runs scored in 106 games between the Indianapolis Indians and Buffalo in 2014, including a .377 batting average in 13 games for the Bisons.

G-Bites: The G-Braves lost utilityman Joey Terdoslavich and right-handed reliever Ryan Kelly to Major League promotions on Tuesday with the Atlanta Braves. They are both on their fourth stints with Atlanta this season…Kelly’s move opened a roster spot for right-hander Jason Hursh to make his Triple-A debut on Thursday with the G-Braves. The Braves’ first-round pick (31st overall) in 2013 threw a perfect ninth inning in his first appearance on Thursday. He began the season as a starter for Double-A Mississippi and made 15 starts, going 2-6 with a 5.63 ERA. He moved to the bullpen on 7/10 and went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in nine relief outings for the M-Braves before his promotion…The G-Braves will embark on their longest remaining road trip after the Buffalo series. They will travel to three cities in nine days for four games against the Charlotte Knights, three vs. Columbus and two against the Toledo Mud Hens…After their final day off of the regular season on August 19, the team will come back to Coolray Field for a four-game series against the Louisville Bats.

-JM

Spring Training Weekend Wrap-up 3.14-15.15

Several players who could patrol the diamond at Coolray Field for the Gwinnett Braves in 2015 finished the weekend with standout performances at the plate, as the Atlanta Braves split a pair of games against the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros. They also made their two largest rounds of roster cuts.

The Braves chopped their Spring Training roster by 13 players with cuts made Saturday and Monday.

Top prospect Jose Peraza headlined the six players cut Monday. Atlanta optioned him to Gwinnett and sent right-handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins to Double-A Mississippi. Right-hander Mauricio Cabrera and left-hander Yean Carlos Gil were optioned to Advanced-A Carolina. Left-handed pitcher Brady Feigl and catcher Jose Yepez were reassigned to Minor League camp.

The Braves reassigned seven players Saturday, including right-handed pitcher Jason Hursh, catchers Matt Kennelly and Chris O’Dowd, infielders Daniel Castro and Rio Ruiz, and outfielders Cedric Hunter and  Mallex Smith.

Potential G-Brave returnee Joey Terdoslavich, winner of the 2014 G-Braves’ “Fan Favorite Player” award, belted his first home run of the spring with a three-run shot in the seventh inning Sunday against the Blue Jays in a 10-5 loss at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He drove in possible G-Braves infielders Pedro Ciriaco and Peraza after Ciriaco led off the frame with a single and Peraza entered as a pinch runner for infielder Alberto Callaspo.

Terdoslavich struck out in his only other at-bat in the ninth inning. Ciriaco finished the game 2-for-5 with a strikeout, and Peraza grounded out to first base in the ninth inning for his only at-bat of the game. Center fielder Todd Cunningham went 2-for-4 with a run-scoring double in the sixth inning and threw out a runner at home plate to end the third.

Other potential G-Braves position players’ Sunday stats vs. Toronto:

Braeden Schlehuber (C), 0-for-3.

Jesus Flores (C, pinch hit), 0-for-1.

John Buck (1B) 0-for-1.

Phil Gosselin (SS-LF), 0-for-1.

Right-hander Ryne Harper was the only pitcher the Braves’ threw against Toronto who projects to spend time in Gwinnett this season. He recorded the final two outs of the fourth inning despite throwing  a wild pitch and giving up two hits, including a two-run home run to outfielder Jose Bautista.

Atlanta topped the Astros 6-5 Saturday at Champion Stadium. Left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez (W, 2-0) picked up his second win of the spring by going four innings with two hits allowed, three walks and two strikeouts.

Other possible Gwinnett pitchers’ stats from Saturday:

RHP Chien-Ming Wang, 0.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, K.

RHP Justin Jackson (S, 1), 1.0 IP, H, ER.

Second baseman Jace Peterson led potential G-Braves hitters at the plate Saturday, going 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.

Other possible G-Braves position players’ stats from Saturday:

Gosselin (2B-SS), 0-for-2, R.

Cunningham (RF-LF), 0-for-2.

Terdoslavich (1B), 0-for-3, 2 K.

Kelly Johnson (3B), 0-for-4, 3 K.

Eury Perez (LF), 0-for-3, 2 K.

Yepez (DH), 0-for-3, K.

Peraza (2B), 0-for-1.

Flores (C, pinch hit), 0-for-1.

Atlanta travels to face the Astros for a 1:05 p.m. game Monday in Kissimmee, Fla.

-JM

Spring Training Report 3.5.15

The Atlanta Braves tallied their first Grapefruit League victory of the exhibition season Thursday as they topped the Detroit Tigers 6-4 in Lakeland, Fla.  Several players who could help make up the roster for the 2015 Gwinnett Braves made large contributions.

Infielder Phil Gosselin got the Braves on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a two-out single up the middle to score 2014 G-Braves teammate Joey Terdoslavich along with John Buck, which put Atlanta ahead 2-1.  Gosselin finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and a strikeout while spending time defensively at second base and third base.

Terdoslavich also scored in the sixth on a double by Buck, while potential 2015 G-Braves outfielder Eury Perez walked and stole home as part of a double steal in the ninth to give the Braves their final run of the game.  Terdoslavich, who played left field and first base, was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.  Perez spent the entire game in center field but did not reach base in any of his other four at-bats.

Potential G-Braves position players:

Pedro Ciriaco, 2B-3B, 0-for-2, K.

Todd Cunningham, RF, 1-for-2, K.

Jesus Flores, C, 0-for-1, K.

Elmer Reyes, 0-for-3, K.

Jose Peraza, pinch ran for Terdoslavich in the ninth.

The Braves also sent six pitchers to the mound, with right-handed starter Julio Teheran the only member of the group guaranteed a spot on Atlanta’s Opening Day roster.

Potential G-Braves pitchers (by order of appearance):

LHP Eric Stults, 2.0 IP, 2 H.

RHP Brandon Cunniff, 1.0 IP, BB, K.

LHP Ian Thomas (H, 1), 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, K.

RHP Jason Hursh (BS, 1; W, 1-0), 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, K.

RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (SV, 1), 1.0 IP, K.

The Braves will return to their home Spring Training complex to face the National League East rival Washington Nationals at 1:05 p.m. Friday at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

-JM

Three former G-Braves receive Spring Training non-roster invitations

Cody Martin is an Atlanta Braves' non-roster invitee for the second consecutive season. (Photo by Karl Moore)

Cody Martin is an Atlanta Braves’ non-roster invitee for the second consecutive season. (Photo by Karl Moore)

Right-handed pitcher Cody Martin will have a chance to take his 2014 Gwinnett Braves Most Outstanding Pitcher honors with him to to the Major League side of Spring Training camp when he arrives at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., later this month.

Martin and former G-Braves catchers Jose Yepez and Matt Kennelly are three of 24 players to receive non-roster invitations to Spring Training, the Atlanta Braves announced Tuesday.

Martin, 25, tied fellow right-hander Gus Schlosser for the most wins on the Gwinnett staff with seven, and he led the team with a 3.52 ERA, 26 starts, 13 quality starts, 156.0 innings pitched and 142 strikeouts. He also finished third in the International League in strikeouts, fourth in innings pitched, tied for fourth in starts, fifth among starters with an 8.12 strikeouts-per-9-innings ratio and sixth in ERA.

His premier performance as a G-Brave came on June 25 when he held the Toledo Mud Hens to one run on three hits with two strikeouts in a 7.0-inning, complete-game 7-1 victory at Coolray Field. He is 10-12 with a 3.51 ERA in 40 career appearances, including 37 starts, with Gwinnett, and this will be his second consecutive year as a non-roster invitee for spring training.

Yepez, 33, is the longest-tenured former G-Brave of the group, as he spent the entire past three seasons with Gwinnett. He compiled a .241 batting average with 27 doubles, three home runs and 62 RBIs through 163 games. He threw out 30.8 percent of attempted basestealers in 14 games a year ago, as he battled injuries that sent him to the disabled list three times.

Kennelly, a 26-year-old from Western Australia, spent the 2014 season at Double-A Mississippi after re-signing with the Braves in the previous offseason. Kennelly began the 2013 season with the G-Braves, going 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, a home run and four RBIs in five games before the Braves released him in May. He spent the rest of the year in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization.

Yepez and Kennelly were also non-roster invitees in 2014, as were fellow 2015 invitees Jason Hursh, a right-handed pitcher who was the Braves’ first-round selection (31st overall) in the 2013 June draft and played for Mississippi last year, and catcher Braeden Schlehuber, who also spent the season with the M-Braves.

Atlanta invited nine pitchers overall, including right-handers Michael Kohn, Sugar Ray Marimon and Chien-Ming Wang, as well as lefties Brady Feigl, Wandy Rodriguez, Eric Stults and Donnie Veal.

Those pitchers are accompanied by eight catchers, including Yenier Bello, John Buck, Jesus Flores, Tanner Murphy and Chris O’Dowd.

The Braves also invited infielders Johan Camargo, Daniel Castro, Pedro Ciriaco, Kelly Johnson and Rio Ruiz, as well as outfielders Cedric Hunter and Mallex Smith.

Braves camp opens Feb. 20 when pitchers and catchers report. Full-squad workouts begin Feb. 26, and the team opens its Grapefruit League schedule with a game at 1:05 p.m. March 4 against the New York Mets at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista.

JM

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-

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