Results tagged ‘ mauro gomez ’

IL Preview: Buffalo Bisons

The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, finished the 2013 campaign with 74-70 record and third place finish in the North Division. After a promising 20-10 start to begin the season, the Bisons fell off and ended right above .500.

Buffalo was led by International League All-Stars Jim Negrych and Mauro Gomez in 2013. Negrych has moved on to play for fellow North Division rival, Lehigh Valley, while Gomez signed an International contract with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball.

Without two former all-stars in the fold, the Bisons will have a lot of work to do to compete for a North Division crown.

Pitching: Sean Nolin will anchor the staff. The 6-foot, 5-inch, Nolin had an impressive showing in 2013, making 17 starts for Double-A New Hampshire, three for Triple-A Buffalo and one for Toronto. His spot start at the big league level didn’t pan out, as he was roughed up for six runs on seven hits in 1.0 IP. However, he rebounded well, going 8-3 with a 3.01 ERA in Double- A and 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA with Buffalo. Nolin has four pitches that he uses on both sides of the plate. He works his 2-seam fastball along with his curve, slider and changeup, to keep batters off balance.

He may be joined by teammate Marcus Stroman. The first round pick out of Duke University in 2012, has emerged as the No. 2 prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays organization according to Baseball America. Stroman dazzled at the Double-A level, going 9-5 with a 3.30 ERA. He struck out 129 batters in 122.0 IP. Stroman’s ability to pound the plate is his strongest asset, as he has walked 36 hitters in 131 minor league innings. Featuring a mid-90’s fastball with late sink and a hard slider, Stroman gives the opposition fits.

Infield: The Bisons lost two all-stars in Negrych and Gomez, so they will have to rely on Triple-A veterans like Steve Tolleson, Chris Getz, Dan Johnson, Andy Laroche, Mike McDade and Erik Kratz. Tolleson had a solid season for Charlotte in 2013, hitting .288 (113-for-382) with 28 doubles, eight homers and 53 RBIs. Johnson, “The Great Pumpkin,” has played parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues, tallying a .236 batting average, 53 homers and 194 RBIs in his career. He will have to work his way back to major league roster by starting the season with Buffalo. I

Outfield: The Bisons will have three jackrabbits in the outfield in Anthony Gose, Kenny Wilson and Kevin Pillar. Gose split the season between Triple-A Buffalo and Toronto in 2013, hitting a combined .244 (132-for-540) with 26 stolen bases. While, Gose was bouncing from Triple-A to the Majors, Pillar was making his unprecedented climb to the MLB. The former 32nd rounder out of Dominguez Hills University (Ca.) signed for $1,000 in 2011 and has become an asset for the Blue Jays’ organization. In three minor league seasons, he has accumulated a .321 (398-for-1240) batting average with 84 doubles, 15 triples, 22 homers, 185 RBIs and 82 stolen bases. He made his Major League debut in 2013, playing in 36 games for the Blue Jays. Wilson doesn’t have the accolades of Gose and Pillar, but he might be the best athlete of the three. In five seasons, he has swiped 194 bases and is a career .229 hitter.

Schedule: The Bisons will meet up with the G-Braves on May 5-8 at Coolray Field, while the G-Braves travel to New York on May 13-16.

Projected Depth Chart:

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

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

-JD-

All Things Five

Anniversary MarkHard to believe, but the 2013 International League season (and our home opener at Coolray Field) is just 85 days away!  With April 4 quickly approaching, we’re starting to lift the curtain on some of the things you can expect to see for the upcoming season of Gwinnett Braves Baseball.

The first major announcement occured this morning with the launch of the Fifth Season campaign and logo (pictured left).  Celebrations of the anniversary season include a new alumni Bobblehead Series and brand new 5-Pack Plans.  The series of five bobbleheads features G-Braves who have gone on to stardom in Atlanta, including Brandon Beachy, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen.  Conveniently, you can purchase tickets to all five bobblehead giveaway nights in the Bobblehead Pack, one of the four 5-Pack Plans that were rolled out in today’s announcement.

The 5-Packs also include a Fireworks Pack (all five dates are Friday Fireworks nights), a Best 5 Games Pack (our most popular games including Opening Night on April 4 and July 4) and a Silver Sluggers Pack (five day games).  Reinforcing the five theme, each 5-Pack starts at just $50.  You can get more details and buy online as well by visiting gwinnettbraves.com/5pack.

To add to the excitement of Season Five, gwinnettbraves.com is hosting a look back at some of the great players that have played for the G-Braves in the team’s first four seasons.  Expect to read up on guys like Barbaro Canizares (this week’s feature), Matt YoungTodd Redmond and Mauro Gomez in addition to the likes of Freeman, Kimbrel and others.  A new “5th Season Friday” feature will debut each Friday through the end of March. 

Is that enough fives for you yet?  Me neither.  As if the baseball gods had a hand in it, the G-Blog was announced as the 55th most visited ProBlog on the MLBlogs Network for the past year.  Fifth place would have been more fitting, but it’s an honor to finish near the middle of the Top 100 in our first year.  You can check out the entire list over at mlblogs.mlblogs.com.

Give yourself a high-5 for reading this post and head over to gwinnettbraves.com for more on the 2013 season!

-DL

Constanza Making Huge Splash With Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

The fifth Gwinnett Brave player to make an appearance in the big leagues this season is Jose Constanza. The former Gwinnett outfielder has been up with the Atlanta Braves before and his presence is always felt. Constanza is batting .400 with four hits in his first 10 at-bats, including two runs scored and one RBI for the Braves this season. However, since re-joining the team two days ago, he is 4-for-7 with two runs scored and an RBI in his two starts.

The Dominican has fired up the Atlanta offense as the Braves had lost eight straight games before the former G-Braves left fielder started a game. Now the Braves have won two straight games since Constanza entered the starting line-up against St. Louis.

For the season with the G-Braves, Constanza batted .288 with 40 hits, 22 runs scored, five doubles, four triples, 15 RBI, eight stolen bases and 53 total bases in just 36 games.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts

The highlight of the season for Constanza occurred in April after he was demoted from Atlanta following three games and three pinch-hit appearances with the Major League club. In his first game with Gwinnett, Constanza arrived in Norfolk for the final game of the series and made an immediate impact. He actually drove in the tying run in the ninth inning that completed a seven-run ninth inning comeback. Then, the left fielder delivered the game-winning triple in the 12th inning for an unprecedented Gwinnett victory.

So far, Constanza joins four former 2012 G-Braves players in Major League Baseball; Drew Sutton (Tampa Bay Rays), Cory Gearrin (Atlanta Braves) and J.C. Boscan (Atlanta Braves). Mauro Gomez was traded during the off-season from the Braves 40-man roster, but he did make an appearance with the Boston Red Sox this season.

Jose Constanza is the fifth but certainly won’t be the last Gwinnett Brave to experience big league baseball. The future is very bright inside the Braves organization, especially when you boast a first place club like Gwinnett (32-21) does presently. One way or another, the cream always rises to the top and a handful of G-Braves are pushing the envelope as I speak. Who will be next? Only time and Atlanta’s needs will tell.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

By: Tony Piraro

J.C. Boscan Filling In For McCann With Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Yet another Gwinnett Brave has made the ascension to the big leagues during the 2012 season. G-Braves catcher J.C. Boscan was called up on Saturday afternoon by the Atlanta Braves as Brian McCann is dealing with some injuries. Needless to say, Boscan was in the Atlanta Braves starting line-up upon his arrival.

Low and behold, Boscan’s first Major League at-bat of the season came against none other than the Washington Nationals flamethrower Stephen Strasburg. The Nats righty actually allowed an RBI groundout to Boscan in his first plate appearance. Sunday night, Boscan found himself facing another ace of most staff’s in baseball in the form of Gio Gonzalez.

G-Braves second baseman Drew Sutton was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates last week, then in turn was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays later that night. Joe Maddon waisted little time playing Sutton, as he got the start in his second game with the Rays. The former G-Brave didn’t disappoint going 2-for-4 in his first two games, while accumulating three RBI over that span. Currently, Sutton is batting .500 with Tampa Bay (6-for-12) so far this season and recorded hits over the weekend against Jon Lester and Josh Beckett.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Cory Gearrin was the first Gwinnett Brave to receive the call to the big leagues this season. The G-Braves closer who leads the team with six saves was called up for the demotion of Jair Jurrjens, but was sent back down after the Braves activated Tim Hudson.

The fourth G-Brave to play in the Major League’s this season is by default from a Gwinnett perspective. Mauro Gomez was traded by the Atlanta Braves organization to the Boston Red Sox prior to the start of the season. Gomez didn’t waist much time in Triple-A Pawtucket, as he was called up to Boston for two games. The former Gwinnett slugger received just two at-bats and failed to get a hit in both plate appearances.

The first place G-Braves are boasting a wealth of talent and it’s only a matter of time before more Gwinnett players are ready for their ascension to the big leagues. These four players are just the beginning of what should be a long list moving forward.

By: Tony Piraro

Stefan Gartrell Named IL Batter of the Week

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The Gwinnett Braves outfielder/designated hitter Stefan Gartrell has been named the International League Batter of the Week for April 30-May 6, 2012. Gartrell is the first G-Braves player to win the IL’s weekly award this season. LeHigh Valley’s Scott Elarton was named the IL Pitcher of the Week.

Stefan Gartrell has been on fire as of late, batting .400 over his last five games, including three home runs and eight RBI. He registered an .850 slugging percentage, as he becomes the first G-Braves hitter to receive the award since Mauro Gomez did so during the week of August 29, 2011. Gartrell was batting .165 as of last week, and has risen his average to .211 in a matter of days.

The last time Gartrell won the Batter of the Week award in minor league baseball was for the week of June 22, 2009. The slugger was then in the Southern League playing for the Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate, Birmingham Barons.

Gartrell and the Gwinnett Braves (19-10) host the Buffalo Bisons (17-13) for the start of a four-game series at Coolray Field on Monday. G-Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (2-1, 3.66) will oppose Buffalo righty Chris Schwinden (2-2, 2.05), first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Monday is “Kids Eat Free Monday” where all kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, bag of chips and a small soda.

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.

By: Tony Piraro

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