Results tagged ‘ Matt Kennelly ’

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 3.5.14

The Atlanta Braves are off to a slow start in their Grapefruit League campaign (1-6-1), but several non-roster players are making key contributions and earning extended playing time on the field.  

On Tuesday afternoon, Phil Gosselin keyed the Braves’ 8-4 victory over the Washington Nationals, as his bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the eighth gave the Braves a 7-4 lead. He scored the final run on sacrifice fly by Edward Salcedo, leading the Braves to their first win of the spring.

Gosselin, who played in four games with the Atlanta Braves in 2013 (.333, 2R), is tied for third on the team with three RBI in five Grapefruit League games.  

While, Gosselin is holding his own in the first week of action, Tommy La Stella is opening eyes all around camp. The Braves’ farmhand leads the squad with seven hits and is batting .412 (7-for-17) through six Grapefruit League contests. Despite never playing above Double-A, La Stella is thriving at the dish with a consistent line drive approach and plate discipline, seeing four walks in 21 plate appearances.  He has benefitted from Tyler Pastornicky’s knee injury, as he has been one of the primary back-ups in his absence.

Infielder Tyler Greene is showing his value around the diamond, playing third base for the Braves even though he is a shortstop by trait. Greene has played six Spring Training games at third, but has only played third in 41 out of 973 professional games. The position change hasn’t affected his bat, as he is hitting .273 (3-for-11) with two runs and a stolen base.

Gosselin (KarlLMoore)

Gosselin (KarlLMoore)

Matt Lipka, another former shortstop, is also faring well this spring. The former supplemental 1st rounder out of McKinney High School in Texas, is batting .333 (4-for-12) with three runs scored, four RBI and one stolen base. He is holding his own in his first taste of big league camp.

Unlike Lipka, catchers Matt Kennelly and Steven Lerud have been around big league camp a while. The veterans have played well, recording two hits and an RBI each.

On the bump, Gus Schlosser’s bid to make the opening day roster continues. The side-winder has made two appearances, hurling 3.0 scoreless innings and limiting opponents to a .100 (1-for-10) batting average against him.  He has recorded one strikeout and has allowed a free pass. His 0.67 WHIP is tied for second on the team with Juan Jaime and behind Freddy Garcia, who hasn’t allowed a base runner in 5.0 innings.

Southpaw Ian Thomas has battled control issues, allowing two walks in 2.0 Innings, but he hasn’t allowed a run and recorded three strikeouts. The Braves need for another left-handed arm in the bullpen makes him a strong candidate for the MLB roster.

The Braves continue their Grapefruit League schedule today, as they play the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:00 p.m. in Clearwater, FL. The game will be televised on the MLB Network.

While Braves action is in full gear, be sure to keep up with the Gwinnett Braves as their home opener is April 11th at 7:05 p.mm as they play host to the IL Champion Durham Bulls.

-JD-

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