Results tagged ‘ Jaye Chapman ’

Trade: Braves Deal Chapman, Vizcaino to Cubs

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs have announced that the two clubs have completed a four-player trade, as of Monday, July 30. The Braves acquire left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm, outfielder Reed Johnson and cash considerationsfrom the Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman.

Vizcaino, 21, appeared in 17 career Major League games, and in 2011 went 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA. He has the No. 1 arm in the organization and was ranked the Braves No. 2 overall prospect after successful Tommy John surgery this season, according to Baseball America.  The right-hander possesses a 19-15 record alongside a 2.91 ERA over four minor league seasons with Atlanta. Over his career, Vizcaino has struck out an impressive 279 hitters in 268.2 innings of work. He was acquired by the Braves originally, alongside Melky Cabrera through a trade with the New York Yankees that involved Javier Vazquez in December of 2009.

Given Vizcaino’s track record, he is going to be a special player. However, the loss of Chapman creates a void within the organization as Chappy was not only a unique talent, but a special person more importantly. The right-handed reliever was one of the nicest and classiest people you will come across in this game. The Alabama alum would do anything for anyone, and that included any player appearances or opportunities to give back to the fans, community or kids.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts

Chapman was not only a solid piece to the G-Braves bullpen, alongside one of the best change-up’s in the organization, but he is a great person that will be dearly missed. Players with Chapman’s talent come around here and again, but a player with his attitude doesn’t exist in today’s game. The righty owns a career record of 17-22 with a 3.95 ERA, as he was signed by Atlanta after the Braves originally drafted him in the 16th round of the 2006 MLB Draft.

The 30-year old Maholm is 9-6 this season with a 3.74 ERA in 120.1 innings of work for Chicago. He has made 21 appearances this year, 20 for starts. He is currently 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA over his last seven starts with the Cubs, retaining a 7-0 record in those games. The southpaw owns a career Major League record of 62-79 with a 4.30 ERA in just over eight professional seasons. Maholm was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of Mississippi State University.  He is signed through the 2012 season with a club option for 2013.

By: Tony Piraro

Storylines Since the Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Redmond gone, who steps up?

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

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

There’s a whole lot of new faces here.

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

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

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

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

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

-DL

G-Braves Start 9-Game Homestand Thursday

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

The Gwinnett Braves (35-31)) begin a stretch of nine games in their next eight days, starting on Thursday night with a doubleheader against the Columbus Clippers (30-35) from Coolray Field. The G-Braves will play five games against the Clippers to conclude their season-series, as Columbus currently has the upper hand with a 2-1 season lead. Then the IL West leading Indianapolis Indians (38-27) will visit Lawrenceville for their first of two, four-game series’ against Gwinnett this season.

Gwinnett has lost 10 of their last 13 contests, including recording a 3-7 mark on their present 10-game road trip. Not only have the G-Braves been losing lately, but they have lost ground on their once-familiar first place lead in the IL South. With the G-Braves recent skid and Charlotte’s tremendous hot-streak, Gwinnett now finds themselves 3.5 games out of first place in the standings after once leading the division by 7.0 games, nearly a month ago.

Returning to Gwinnett after a cup of coffee in Atlanta are three main G-Brave contributors; Jose Constanza, J.C. Boscan and Julio Teheran. All three will return to action at Coolray Field when the G-Braves get back from their off day on Wednesday.

In their last 10 games, only two G-Braves are batting over .300, the obvious catalyst of the team Ernesto Mejia and one of the newer additions Lance Zawadzki. The seocond baaseman and hero of the “Memorial Day Miracle” is batting .321 with nine hits, five runs scored, five RBI and two home runs. Mejia continues his torrid pace as he is batting .324 with 11 hits, six runs scored, six RBI and four home runs in his last 10 games. The G-Braves slugger is also currently in fifth place for first basemen for the 2012 All-Star Game voting.

The road trip didn’t have many hightlights for Gwinnett pitching, however Anthony Varvaro and Jaye Chapman continue to emerge as reliable arms out of the bullpen. Varvaro has incredibly registered nine strikeouts in his last 3.2 innings of work, while Chapman has struck out seven through his previous 6.0 innings of one-run work. Both should be highly considered for 2012 All-Star bids. If you’re going to vote, don’t forget about starters Julio Teheran, Todd Redmond and Yohan Flande.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Gwinnett right-hander Todd Redmond (5-4, 3.52) will oppose the Clippers right-hander Corey Kluber (4-6, 4.14) in the first game of the doubleheader, first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. at Coolray Field on Thursday. The second game of the double-dip will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN AM 550 in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Join us for our second annual eating contest for Dudes vs. Foods Night on Thursday. Only the bravest fans will dare to tackle the Super Knucksie! Participants will be chosen at the game. Thursday is also “$3 Thursday” so start the weekend right with $3 food and drink specials all game long presented by Dave FM. New for 2012, all general admission berm seating is also $3 on Thursdays!

Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Notes for 4.30.12 at Toledo

It’s hard to believe the first month of the 2012 season is already ending tonight.  No matter what happens on April’s final night, the month is already a fantastic success for the Gwinnett Braves.  With yesterday’s 2-1 win in 10 innings, the G-Braves captured their 17th victory in 24 games and maintained a 4.0-game lead on Charlotte for first in the IL South.

The big story coming in, the first start for right-hander Jair Jurrjens since being optioned to Triple-A, turned out to be a big story after the game as well.  J.J. gave the G-Braves 7.0 innings of one-run baseball, allowing just four singles and three walks while striking out four.  He wasn’t overpowering, but he was efficient, needing 93 pitches (54 strikes) to get through a fairly potent Toledo offense.

After Jurrjens’ exit, the G-Pen was just about unhittable again.  Left-hander Dusty Hughes lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.71 with a scoreless eighth, and right-hander Jaye Chapman had another impressive outing with 2.0 scoreless innings to secure his first win of the season.  As has been the case more than once this month, the Gwinnett offense was minimal but opportunistic as Greg Paiml led off the 10th with a double, took third on a bunt by Luis Durango and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Constanza.

Tonight, the G-Braves look to end April with  their third series sweep in the finale of the series at Toledo.  Right-hander Julio Teheran (2-1, 3.78) is 8-1 in 14 career Triple-A road starts, but struggled in his first venture away from Coolray Field this season (April 7 at Durham, 1.2 IP, 3 ER).  Hopefully he’ll look better than last time out, when he gave up four runs on seven hits (including a pair of HR) over 4.1 innings in a loss to Charlotte on April 25.  On a more positive note, Teheran dominated Toledo in his one start against them last year, throwing 8.0-innings of scoreless, three-hit baseball in a 2-0 win on June 9, 2011.

More about J.J., Teheran and the rest of the G-Braves in tonight’s Game Notes:  4.30.12 GBraves Game Notes

First pitch at Fifth Third Field is scheduled for 6:30 PM tonight, catch the broadcast with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 55o AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.

-DL

G-Braves Pitchers Ready To Shoulder The Load

(Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Tony Piraro

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers