Results tagged ‘ Joey Terdoslavich ’

G-Braves Hot Stove: Almonte, Wang and Veal

Chien-Ming Wang went 13-8 with a 4.12 ERA in 28 Triple-A starts in 2014.  (Credit Tommy Viola / Charlotte Knights)

Chien-Ming Wang went 13-8 with a 4.12 ERA in 28 Triple-A starts in 2014. (Photo by: Tommy Viola / Charlotte Knights)

Following a historic front office revamp in October, the Atlanta Braves are preparing for their most important Hot Stove season in recent franchise history.  Here at the G-Blog, we’ll periodically take a look at some of the players that President of Baseball Operations John Hart and the new regime are bringing in, specifically those that will have an impact on the 2015 roster here in Gwinnett.

Yesterday marked Atlanta’s first foray into Major/Minor League free agency this offseason, as the club announced the signing of outfielder Zoilo Almonte to a one-year Major League deal and pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Donnie Veal to Minor League deals.  While these acquisitions aren’t the most notable the Braves will make this winter, they are proof that Hart and company are committed to building a deeper organization through the addition of established veterans.

Anyone who follows the Gwinnett Braves or the Triple-A International League closely will be familiar with all three players.  Almonte, Wang and Veal all spent significant time in the IL last season, and each played against the G-Braves on more than one occasion.

Almonte, on Atlanta’s 40-man roster, will contend for a spot on the 25-man Major League roster this Spring.  He’s the youngest of the three acquisitions at age 25, and he’s logged brief stints with the New York Yankees in each of the past two seasons. Almonte has never quite settled in at the plate in the big leagues, batting .211 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 47 career games, but he’s done plenty at the Triple-A level to make him an intriguing prospect.  In 105 games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders last year, he batted .261 with 18 doubles, 18 home runs and 69 RBIs.  His banner performance of 2014 occurred against Gwinnett at Coolray Field from July 23-24, a game that took two days to complete due to rain.  Almonte went 4-for-6 with three homers and seven RBIs in a 12-4 rout of the G-Braves, launching solo and three-run shots off Kanekoa Texeira and adding another three-run clout off Carlos Fisher.

Almonte is reportedly out of options and would have to clear waivers should the Braves ever want to send him to Gwinnett, so it’s unlikely that he’ll bring his homer show back to Coolray Field in 2015.  That’s not to say his addition won’t have an effect on the G-Braves’ roster.  IL veterans Todd Cunningham and Joey Terdoslavich, also competitors for the Atlanta bench, are now more likely to return to Gwinnett for their third and fourth seasons, respectively.  Cunningham (.287, 8 HR, 58 RBI, 19 SB) and Terdoslavich (.256, 15 HR, 61 RBI) both had productive Triple-A seasons a year ago.

In contrast to Almonte, Wang appears to be specifically signed to help the Gwinnett roster.  The Taiwanese right-hander posted back-to-back 19-win seasons with the New York Yankees in 2006 and 2007, but suffered a career-altering foot injury in 2008 and has since seen his profile transition to Triple-A workhorse.  Since the start of 2011, the 34-year-old has made twice as many starts in the International League (50) as he has in the Major Leagues (22).  Last year, Wang made an IL-best 28 starts with two organizations, going 13-8 with a 4.12 ERA with the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) and the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox).  He struck out just 73 batters over 172.2 innings, but kept the ball on the ground with a 1.78 groundout/flyout ratio and only six homers allowed.

Much like Almonte, Wang had success facing the G-Braves last year.  He went 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts while with Louisville, then finished 3-0 with a 3.54 ERA in three starts with Charlotte.  He worked at least 6.0 innings in four of his five meetings with Gwinnett, including 7.1 scoreless, nine-hit frames in a win with the Bats on June 14.

If he joins Gwinnett, Wang would be the elder statesman of a starting rotation that could include returnees Cody Martin (7-8, 3.52) and Aaron Northcraft (7-10, 4.70) and Double-A standouts Jason Hursh (11-7, 3.58) and Williams Perez (7-6, 2.91).  Another season of 170-plus innings from Wang would also help keep the bullpen fresh in 2015.

Speaking of the Gwinnett bullpen, that’s where you might find the left-handed Veal come April.  Veal, a second-round pick by the Chicago Cubs back in 2005, has had a taste of the Majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago White Sox.  In 100 total games from 2009 through 2014, he went 3-3 with a 4.87 ERA and one save.  His best year was 2011, when he went 0-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 24 relief outings with the White Sox.  Far more of his time has been spent at the Triple-A level, where he logged 25 games with the Indianapolis Indians from 2009-2011 and 89 games with the Charlotte Knights from 2012-2014.

After going 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 17 relief outings for Charlotte in 2013, Veal took a step back in 2014, going 4-5 with a 5.94 ERA in 37 appearances.  Against Gwinnett, he went 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in three meetings.  Though his recent numbers don’t impress, the 30-year-old southpaw will get a look in Major League camp this Spring.  Should he fail to make the Atlanta roster, he’ll be an asset for a Gwinnett bullpen in flux.  Of last year’s G-Braves relief staff, right-hander Pedro Beato and left-handers Ryan Buchter and Atahualpa Severino are all Minor League free agents.  That trio combined to make 131 appearances for the club last season.

Yesterday’s moves don’t represent a “big splash” at the Major League level, but they are the Atlanta Braves’ first steps toward building better organizational depth — and a better Triple-A club — in 2015.

-DL

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (15-14) vs. Buffalo Bisons (17-10)

Pitching Probables

Mon: TBA vs. TBA

Tue: TBA vs. Liam Hendriks (4-0, 1.26)

Wed: Cody Martin (2-2, 3.64) vs. LHP Sean Nolin (2-0, 1.55)

Tommy La Stella (KarlLMoore)

Tommy La Stella (KarlLMoore)

Thu: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (3-3, 2.73) vs. LHP Ricky Romero (0-0, 4.86)

The Gwinnett Braves and the Buffalo Bisons open up a four-game set on Monday night. Gwinnett enters the game only four games back of the front-running Durham Bulls in the South Division standings despite losing four straight games. While, the Buffalo Bisons are leading the North Division and are currently on a six-game winning streak.

Pitching: Gwinnett will have their hands full, as they will face No.1 staff in the International League. Entering today, Buffalo leads the league with a 2.91 ERA. They have logged 244.0 innings, striking out 228 and walking 102. Hendriks, who is second in the league in wins and third in ERA, will take the ball in game two. The former Minnesota Twins’ farmhand has been dominant since moving to the rotation. In four turns, he is 3-0 with 1.46 ERA, striking out 23 batters in 24.1 innings.

Nolin, the game three starter, has been just as impressive. The southpaw is 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA in five turns this year. Last season, in 21 starts across three levels, he combined to go 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 111.2 innings.

On the other side, Gwinnett enters the contest ranked 11th in ERA. They are the only team in the IL with an ERA over 4.00 and a winning mark.

Martin and Rodriguez have been solid for the G-Braves. Both lost in their last turn of the rotation, but have .500 records and sub-4.00 ERAs.

Despite owning a 3-3 record, Rodriguez has been special all season. The southpaw leads the team in wins, innings (33.0), ERA and is second in strikeouts (31).

Offense: The G-Braves are starting to miss Ernesto Mejia more and more. In the last eight games, the G-Braves have homered once and scored 36 runs, while dropping five of eight.

Joey Terdoslavich has been red hot in the absence of Mejia. He currently has a 14-game hitting streak and leads the team with a .333 (36-for-108) batting average. He has eight doubles, two homer and 10 RBIs on the season.

Despite snapping his 21-game on base streak on Saturday night, Tommy La Stella continues to rake. The lefty is batting .313 (31-for-99) with two doubles and 15 RBIs. He leads the team in RBI and is third in hits.

Buffalo will counter with the IL Batter of the Week, Kevin Pillar. Last week, he led the IL with a .444 batting average, 12 hits and nine RBI, leading Buffalo to a perfect 6-0 record. In 26 games, he is batting .275 (30-for-109) with nine doubles, two triples and 15 RBIs.

In addition to Pillar, the G-Braves will have to deal with Dan Johnson. The former IL MVP, is batting .309 (29-for-94) with a team-leading five homers and 20 RBIs. He has more homers than the whole team combined as he enters play on Monday.

Bison Tracks: Last season, the G-Braves took five of eight from the Bisons, but split the series at Coolray Field.

Quote of the Day: “Every dream you ever have can’t be reached without action.”

-JD-

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (11-14) at Gwinnett Braves (15-10)

Martin (Taylor Botta)

Martin (Taylor Botta)

Probables Pitchers

Thu: Zach Stewart (1-1, 4.98) vs. Sean O’Sullivan (0-2, 3.97)

Fri: Cody Martin (2-1, 2.66) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (1-0, 4.09)

Sat: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (3-2, 2.67) vs. David Buchanan (3-0, 3.45)

Sun: Mitch Atkins (1-3, 5.01) vs. LHP Greg Smith (2-0, 1.82)

The Gwinnett Braves return home after a solid 4-4 road trip, while the Lehigh Valley IronPigs begin their eight-game swing with a four-game set at Coolray Field. Gwinnett enters the game with a one game lead in the Wild Card lead and two games behind the Durham Bulls in the South division. Lehigh Valley is tied for fifth in the North division and is four games behind the front-running Pawtucket Red Sox.

Pitching: Lehigh Valley comes into the contest with a team ERA of 3.80 through 25 games. The duo of Buchanan and Smith has led the IronPigs rotation. Buchanan leads the league with six starts and his tied for second in wins. He has fanned 19 batters in 28.2 innings. He will get the ball in game three.

Smith has been even better. The southpaw is a perfect 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA. He has recorded three quality starts in four attempts. On April 17, he tossed a complete game shutout against the Syracuse Chiefs. He is one three pitchers in the IL to toss a complete game shutout. He has 18 punch outs in 24.2 innings.

Gwinnett will counter with Stewart, Martin, Rodriguez and Atkins.

Martin has been sensational in his last three starts. The righty has gone 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA over his last three. On April 26, he fanned a season-high ten batters at Toledo. In 23.2 innings, he has recorded 33 punch outs. He will get the ball in game two.

Rodriguez will pitch game three. Through five starts, Rodriguez has recorded three wins, tying his mark from 2013. He has been solid, striking out 28 batters in 27.0 innings. He is coming off of his strongest outing of the season on April 27, as he tossed 7.0 scoreless innings at Toledo.

Batting: The Braves have had to live life without Ernesto Mejia since being released on Saturday to pursue other opportunities. In his absence, Joey Terdoslavich has carried the load. The switch-hitting outfielder has been on a tear of late, recording a hit in his last ten games. On Monday morning, the IL named him the Batter of the Week after posting a .500 average with one homer and three RBIs from 4/21-4/27. On the season, he is batting .330 (30-for-91) with two homers and 10 RBIs.

Tommy La Stella continues to impress in his first season of Triple-A ball. The infielder is hitting .310 (27-for-87) with two doubles and 15 RBIs. He leads the team in RBIs. In 99 plate appearances, the lefty has fanned six times.

Lehigh Valley is off to a slow start at the plate, posting a team batting average of .235 through 25 games. Highly-touted prospect Maikel Franco is having a nightmarish start to the season. The third baseman is hitting .172 (15-for-87) with one homer and seven RBIs. The No.1 prospect in the Phillies organization according to Baseball America has fanned 18 times and has committed two errors on the field.

Bacon Bites: Former G-Braves manager Dave Brundage returns to Coolray Field for the second time in his career as an opposing manager. Last season he took three of four from Gwinnett.

Joey Terdoslavich Named IL Batter of the Week

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – The International League office has awarded Gwinnett Braves outfielder Joey Terdoslavich with Batter of the Week honors for the period of April 21-27. Terdoslavich is the second G-Brave to win the award this season, joining former Gwinnett first baseman Ernesto Mejia (April 7).

(Karl L Moore)

(Karl L Moore)

Terdoslavich, 25, has been red hot in the past week. He recorded hits in all seven contests from April 21-27, batting .500 (13-for-26) with three doubles, one home run, four RBIs and nine runs scored. The G-Braves went 4-3 in that span.

After batting .235 (12-for-51) through his first 13 games of 2014, Terdoslavich has hit safely in his last eight games, raising his batting average to .317. He currently ranks among IL leaders in runs scored (T-7th, 16), hits (T-9th, 26), total bases (12th, 40) and batting average (15th). Last season, the switch-hitting outfielder was named an IL postseason All-Star after batting .318 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs in 85 games with the G-Braves. His contract was purchased by the Atlanta Braves on July 4, 2013 and he spent the rest of the season with Atlanta.

Terdoslavich and the Gwinnett Braves continue their road trip on Monday night as they play game three of a four-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 PM. Right-hander Mitch Atkins (1-2, 4.86) will start for the G-Braves, while the Mud Hens will counter with left-hander Robbie Ray (2-2, 1.93). Tony Schiavone will have the play by play call beginning at 6:15 PM on wdun.com, GwinnettBraves.com, TuneIn Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app.

The G-Braves return to Coolray Field on Thursday, May 1 at 6:35 PM against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Tickets for all home games are available for purchase now by calling the Coolray Field Ticket Office at 678-277-0340 and by visiting GwinnettBraves.com.

-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 Q&A with Todd Cunningham

Much like David Hale, outfielder Todd Cunningham has seen quite a shift in his expectations this spring.  A year ago, he entered Major League camp as the reigning Atlanta Braves Minor League Player of the Year, an award that earned him a spot as a non-roster invitee.  He played in 22 Grapefruit League games before ultimately opening the season with Triple-A Gwinnett, where he went on to hit .265 with 60 runs scored an 20 stolen bases.  This spring, Cunningham is a member of the 40-man roster with a taste of the Majors under his belt (he hit .250 in eight games for Atlanta last year), vying for a return trip to Turner Field.  Gwinnett Braves Media Relations Manager Dave Lezotte caught up with him today at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Todd Cunningham (center) has hit .250 with a home run and three RBIs in eight games for the Atlanta Braves thus far this spring. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

Todd Cunningham (center) has hit .250 with a home run and three RBIs in eight games for the Atlanta Braves thus far this spring. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

DL:  Last year, you were a non-roster invitee to Braves Spring Training.  This year, you’re on the 40-man roster.  How does this spring compare to last year?

TC: Every year, you’re just trying to get ready for Spring Training.  Wherever you settle in the lineup or whatever team you end up on, it kind of works itself out.  It’s all about getting ready for the season and being ready to go for game one.

DL: You’re competing for a roster spot with Atlanta, going up against some former Gwinnett teammates like Jose Constanza and Joey Terdoslavich.  What’s that competition like?

TC: We all get along so well, there’s no bad blood among us.  It’s all about the competition.  We go out and we play hard, all of us enjoy the game of baseball.  We have that connection, that bond, regardless of what happens.  It’s all about going out there and playing hard.

DL: Obviously you still root for those guys when they’re at the plate.

TC: Yeah, they’re your teammates.  You’ve come up with them and played with them, so you want everyone to do well.

DL: Last year with Gwinnett, you hit two home runs all year.  In your third game this spring, you homered.  What was it like showing some power in a Major League Spring Training game?

TC: It feels good.  Hopefully that works itself into my swing; it’s something that I’ve tried to incorporate a little bit.  Hopefully that shows up throughout the whole season.

DL: As a G-Brave in 2013, you were the everyday centerfielder.  This spring, you’ve been playing a lot of left field.  Are you still working towards being in center, or is it left field now?

TC: The whole goal is to be able to play as many (positions) as possible.  You start looking at the levels above you, the big league level and who they have, and there’s a lot of contracts out there.  For me and my position, trying to find a way to get in there, you have to be able to play more than one.  The more positions I can play, the better, but obviously the longer I can stay in the middle of the field, the better, too.

DL: Is there different preparation involved for playing the corner outfield spots as opposed to center?

TC: Balls just don’t stay true on the corners, you get all the slices and hooks and top-spin.  It’s a lot about first-step reads.

DL: Last season with Gwinnett, you hit .265 and stole 20 bases.  Is there an area of your game that you’re working on improving for this year?

TC: Just being able to drive the ball consistently.  I’d kind of go through stretches last year where I’d get behind some balls.  To be able to do it throughout the whole year, would obviously improve (my) game.

DL: Last year, you got the opportunity to make your Major League debut with the Braves.  It was a limited stint, but certainly an eye-opening experience for you.  How important is that experience for you heading into this season?

TC: It’s great.  It put me in position to come in as a roster invitee. It was just a really cool experience, to kind of get (my) feet wet.  Especially when we were on that 14-game winning streak, it was a lot of fun to be in that atmosphere.

DL: Brian Snitker is the manager in Gwinnett this year.  You got a chance to work with him at the Major League level last season, what are your thoughts on Snit?

TC: I’m excited to have his experience transferred down to the Triple-A level.  He’s been around the game for a long time, so I’m sure there are things that everyone can pick up from him.

DL: The Gwinnett roster obviously will take shape once the Atlanta roster works itself out, but there should be a veteran presence on the club this year.   I know you guys aren’t thinking about Triple-A just yet, but what’s your early feeling about the Gwinnett club?

TC: The whole goal, like I said, is to get to the big leagues, but also be ready for game one.  I think everyone is going to be on the same page there and be ready in case the opportunity presents itself to be in Atlanta.  As far as how the Triple-A team is going to shape up, I think it’s going to be a lot of guys all with the same goal in mind, which is really cool when you get that many guys on the same page.  It should be an exciting year, wherever I end up.

DL: If you do end up back in Gwinnett at some point this season, how do you handle that?

TC: Just the same as I’ve always handled it.  It’s baseball, I’m trying to get better, I have things that I’m working on.  Keep the big picture in mind, trying to get back to Atlanta, and just keep working.

Scenes from Spring Training 2014

Chris Roughgarden of the Gwinnett Braves Photography Staff was at Champion Stadium on Thursday night to shoot the Atlanta Braves/Washington Nationals night game.  She got some great shots of several 2013 G-Braves, which can be viewed in the slideshow below.  The Braves won the contest, 3-2.

-DL

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (37-50) vs. Charlotte Knights (38-49)

Thu: RHP Omar Poveda (5-5, 3.42) vs LHP Charlie Leesman (1-1, 3.55)

Fri: RHP Cody Martin (2-0, 1.29) vs. RHP Jason Berken (6-8, 3.95)

Martin (Moore)

Martin (Moore)

The Gwinnett Braves finished their mini-road trip, dropping three of four to the Norfolk Tides (46-40). With the losses, the Braves have fallen 9.5 back in the Wild Card standings and to fourth place in the South division.

Batters- The recent promotion of Joey Terdoslavich (.318/18 HR/ 58 RBI) leaves a big void in the middle of the lineup. .. Ernesto Mejia will carry the load. The first baseman was recently named to his second consecutive Triple-A All Star game. On the season, he is hitting .249 (73-for-293) with 21 homers and 62 RBI. He leads the squad in both categories, while coming in second in the International League in both home runs and RBI… Brandon Boggs has cooled off of late, but the switch hitter has been solid since joining the G-Braves. In 47 games, he is batting .277 (43-for-155) with five dingers and 17 RBI.

Pitchers- The Braves will throw two of their best this weekend against the Knights. In game one, Omar Poveda will take the ball looking for his team-leading sixth win of the season. The right hander is 5-5 with a 3.42 ERA in 16 starts for the G-Braves… Cody Martin will take the ball in game two for the Braves. Since being called up from Double-A Mississippi three weeks ago, the righty is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, delivering three quality starts for Gwinnett.

Charlotte Knights

The Knights have rebounded from a poor 7-21 start and are now third in the South Division and only 8.5 games back of the Wild Card leading Tides. However, they have not fared well against the Braves, posting a 2-8 mark against Gwinnett.

Batters- Recently named Triple-A All-Star Josh Phegley leads the Knight attack. The backstop is hitting .316 (73-for-231) with 18 doubles, 15 homers and 41 RBI. He has been just as good against the Braves in 2013, hitting .345 (10-for-29) with two doubles, two homers and three RBI in eight games… Blake Tekotte is swinging a hot bat of late. In his last 10 games, he is batting .389 (14-for-36) with one homer and seven RBI.

Pitchers- Charlie Leesman would have been a late September call up last season, but a knee injury in the IL Playoffs sidelined the southpaw. He missed part of this season, but has been great since returning. In seven starts, he is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA. He features four quality pitches, relying on his fastball and changeup… Game two starter Jason Berken will try to reverse his luck against the G-Braves. In his lone start against Gwinnett, he was roughed up for six runs on ten hits in 4.1 innings. On the season, he is 6-8 with a 3.95 ERA in 16 starts for the Knights.

-Jd-

Mejia, Terdoslavich Named International League All-Stars

Mejia (Cooper)

Mejia (Cooper)

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – In an announcement made today by the International League, Gwinnett Braves’ first baseman Ernesto Mejia and outfielder Joey Terdoslavich have been selected to participate in the 26th Annual Triple-A All-Star Game, set to take place on Wednesday, July 17 in Reno, NV.   Mejia is honored for the second-straight season as an IL All-Star, while Terdoslavich will participate in the Triple-A All-Star Game for the first time.

Both players will represent the IL as they face off against the Pacific Coast League at Aces Ballpark in Reno, NV.  The game will air live on MLB Network, the American Forces Network and the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network beginning at 9:00 PM ET.

Mejia, 27, is one of 17 players selected by the IL office to the game.  He makes the trip to the Triple-A All-Star Game for the second straight year, this time as a reserve.  In his first Triple-A campaign last season, the slugging first baseman started the All-Star Game in Buffalo, NY and went 0-for-3 at the plate.  As of July 3, the right-handed hitter is batting .249 (73-for-293) with a team-high 21 home runs and 62 RBI.  Mejia currently ranks among IL leaders in home runs (2nd, 21), RBI (2nd, 62), extra-base hits (T-2nd, 41), total bases (4th, 157) and slugging percentage (6th, .536).

Terdoslavich (Roughgarden)

Terdoslavich (Roughgarden)

Terdoslavich, 24, will start the All-Star Game as one of the 13 players elected by a combined vote of fans, IL field managers, general managers and members of the media.  The switch-hitting outfielder is in the midst of an impressive sophomore season in the IL, ranking fifth in the league in hitting with a .322 batting average as of July 3.  The Sarasota, FL native also ranks among IL leaders in hits (1st, 102), total bases (1st, 182), extra-base hits (1st, 43), slugging percentage (3rd, .574), RBI (4th, 58), OPS (4th, .937), doubles (T-4th, 24), home runs (T-4th, 18) and runs scored (T-6th, 48).  Terdoslavich was also named to the 2013 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game by Major League Baseball on June 26.

Mejia, Terdoslavich and the rest of the Gwinnett Braves are currently on the road as they finish a five-game series with the Norfolk Tides on Wednesday night at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA.  Right-hander Joe Bisenius (2-0, 3.09) will start for the G-Braves, while left-hander Jake Pettit (2-1, 3.75) counters for the Tides.  The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.  Tony Schiavone will have the call on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM.

-Jd-

Pillar’s Career Night Leads Bisons Past Braves

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – On a night when Joey Terdoslavich was announced to the 15th Annual SiriusXM Futures Game, Buffalo outfielder Kevin Pillar stole the show, going 4-for-5 with four doubles and two runs scored to lead the Bisons (40-38) to a 4-3 victory over the Gwinnett Braves (35-46) on Wednesday night.

The G-Braves got off to a great start, taking advantage of three errors and coming up with clutch hits to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Todd Cunningham singled, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout by Phil Gosselin and scored on a grounder by Terdoslavich for the game’s first run.  Terdoslavich reached on an error by first baseman Luis Jimenez and Ernesto Mejia reached on an error by third baseman Mauro Gomez, putting runners on first and second with one out. Stefan Gartrell and Joe Leonard each picked up RBI singles to make it 3-0.

Jimenez cut into the lead with a solo homer in the top of the fourth.  His 14th home run of the season snapped a 13.1-inning scoreless streak by Gwinnett starting pitcher David Hale

In the fifth, the Bisons would tie up.  Sean Ochinko drew a one out walk and advanced to third on a double by Pillar. They both came around to score on a two-run double by Ryan Goins, making it 3-3.  Goins attempted to stretch the double into a triple, but was thrown out at third as Terdoslavich recorded his team-leading eighth outfield assist.

Hale exited after 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out six.  After turning in his third quality start of the season, he turned a tie game over to the bullpen.

However, the bullpen had some trouble in the eighth, as the Bisons took the lead in the top of the frame.  Pillar connected for his fourth double of the game to lead off the inning, becoming the first Buffalo player in the modern era to record four doubles in a game.  He would eventually come around to score on a wild pitch by Wirfin Obispo (L, 1-3). The right-hander’s errant pitch snapped a 14-outing, 17.2-inning scoreless streak, the longest by a Gwinnett pitcher this season.

Thad Weber (W, 3-1) was impressive for the Bisons in the victory.  After allowing the three runs in the first inning, he went on to face the minimum in his last six innings of baseball, allowing one hit and striking out three in the process.  He went 7.0 innings with three runs, one earned on four hits.  Joel Carreno (H, 3) and Brad Lincoln finished off the G-Braves, tossing two scoreless innings to end the game. Lincoln (S, 3) picked up the save, stranding a pair of baserunners in the ninth.

The Gwinnett offense was held to five singles on the night.  Terdoslavich, Cunningham, Gartrell, Leonard and Sean Kazmar each had one hit.

Pillar led the Buffalo offense with his four hits.  In two games against the G-Braves, he is 5-for-9 with five doubles.

The Gwinnett Braves continue their four game series with the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday night at 6:05 PM. G-Braves right-hander Joe Bisenius (1-0, 4.76) will face off against Bisons right-hander Chad Jenkins (0-3, 11.37). Listen to the game on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.  First pitch is 6:05 PM.

Thursday is another “$3 Thursday” at Coolray Field.  Enjoy $3 food and beverage specials all game long.  All Lawn Seats are also just $3.  To purchase tickets, call the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 44 other followers