Results tagged ‘ Pittsburgh Pirates ’

Spring Training Weekend Wrap-Up 3.28-29.15

A potential Gwinnett Braves utilityman has been perhaps the hottest hitters for the Atlanta Braves in Spring Training camp for the past week, and he helped lead the Braves Saturday to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Pedro Ciriaco went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at three runs apiece while spending time defensively in center and left field during the contest in Dunedin, Fla. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games while batting .526 (10-for-19) with a pair of runs scored, a double, a triple, 10 RBI and a stolen base. Among qualifiers, Ciriaco leads the team with a .380 batting average (19-for-50) for the spring.

Utilityman Pedro Ciriaco's 19 hits during Atlanta Braves Spring Training camp are the second-most on the team. (Photo by Karl Moore)

Infielder/outfielder Pedro Ciriaco’s 19 hits during Atlanta Braves Spring Training camp are the second-most on the team. (Photo by Karl Moore)

The Braves dropped their second game of the weekend 4-2 Sunday to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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

Sean Kazmar (3B), 1-for-2, R.

Seth Loman (1B), 0-for-2.

Joe Benson (LF-CF), 0-for-1, R, BB.

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

Cedric Hunter entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement in left field but did not receive an at-bat.

A pair of possible G-Braves right-handed relievers also combined to throw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays. Brandon Cunniff (H, 2) breezed through the eighth inning with nothing more than a walk allowed. Juan Jaime (H, 4) retired one batter but also gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth.

The Braves played most of their expected starters at their home Spring Training complex against the Pirates. Right fielder Todd Cunningham and left fielder Benson were the only two players likely to man the outfield for Gwinnett to get an at-bat. Cunningham walked and scored in the eighth, and Benson flew out to center field in the following at-bat.

Right-handed pitcher Michael Kohn (L, 1-1) was the only possible G-Braves pitcher to take the mound against Pittsburgh. He pitched the ninth but gave up the deciding two runs on two hits, including a two-run homer by second baseman Jong Ho Kang, with one strikeout.

Atlanta reassigned Kohn to minor league camp Monday and optioned fellow right-handed reliever Arodys Vizcaino to Gwinnett. Those moves leave the Braves with 36 active players in Major League camp.

The Braves will travel to face the Detroit Tigers for the fifth and final time this spring at 1:05 p.m. Monday in Lakeland, Fla. The teams have split their first four meetings, two of which were split-squad contests for Atlanta.

-JM

Spring Training Report 3.27.15

A pair of possible Gwinnett Braves infielders led the Atlanta Braves to a 4-2, seven-inning win Friday over the Boston Red Sox at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Shortstop Pedro Ciriaco drove in Atlanta’s first three runs with a two-out double in the second inning after he singled the previous inning as the Braves’ first hitter of a game shortened because of rain. Ciriaco finished the game 2-for-4 with a strikeout. He is hitting .370 (17-for-46) in Spring Training and is tied for the team lead in runs batted in with 15.

Kelly Johnson, who is in competition for one of the final spots on the Braves’ Opening Day roster, tacked on Atlanta’s final run with a solo home run in the sixth inning. Johnson entered the game as a defensive replacement at third base in the top half of the inning and played the seventh at first base.

Meanwhile, Phil Gosselin, who led the 2014 G-Braves with a .344 batting average (130-for-378), went 2-for-3 with a run scored. He started the game in center field and moved to third base in the seventh.

Phil Gosselin, winner of the G-Braves' 2014 MVP Award, is competing to make his first MLB Opening Day roster with the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

Phil Gosselin, winner of the G-Braves’ 2014 MVP Award, is competing to make his first MLB Opening Day roster with the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

Potential G-Braves outfielders Mycal Jones and Jose Constanza came in as defensive replacements in the seventh inning at center field and left field, respectively. Neither received an at-bat.

The Braves used only two pitchers in the game. Possible G-Braves right-handed reliever John Cornely (S, 2) got the final out of the sixth inning and retired both batters he faced in the seventh before the umpires halted play because of rain.

Former G-Braves right-handed pitcher and Atlanta’s Opening Day starter Julio Teheran (W, 2-1) pitched the first 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. He also walked four batters and gave up five hits, including a two-run home run by center fielder Mookie Betts in the fourth inning.

Atlanta also announced Friday it has optioned left-handed pitcher Manny Banuelos, right-handed pitcher Williams Perez and outfielder Eury Perez to Gwinnett to begin the season, which leaves the Braves with 40 active players in their Spring Training camp.

The Braves will travel to face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. Saturday in Dunedin, Fla., before they return to their home complex to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Champion Stadium. Atlanta lost to the Blue Jays 10-5 March 15 at Champion Stadium and beat the Pirates 7-5 Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.

-JM

Spring Training Report 3.26.15

Potential Gwinnett Braves right-handed pitcher Aaron Kurcz threw only one pitch Thursday but got his first win of Spring Training.

Kurcz (1-1) got Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli to ground out to end the eighth inning with runners on first and third base and the game tied 5-5. The Atlanta Braves struck for two runs, including a run-scoring groundout by possible G-Braves catcher Jesus Flores, in the ninth inning and held on for a 7-5 victory in Bradenton, Fla.

Possible G-Braves infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson also drove in one of the Braves’ five first-inning runs with a groundout that drove in third baseman Alberto Callaspo.

Flores finished the game 1-for-2, while Johnson ended the game 1-for-4.

Other potential Gwinnett position players’ stats from Thursday against Pittsburgh:

Pedro Ciriaco (SS), 0-for-1, K.

Phil Gosselin (2B), 0-for-1.

Also, catcher John Buck, who could have played for Gwinnett if he did not make Atlanta’s Major League roster out of Spring Training, announced his retirement Thursday after an 11-year Major League career with seven different teams. He had signed with the Braves as a minor league free agent Jan. 26 and was a non-roster invitee to Atlanta’s Major League Spring Training camp.

The Braves will return to their home Spring Training complex to take on the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. Friday at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Atlanta beat the Red Sox 11-3 March 17 in their only other 2015 Grapefruit League meeting.

-JM

Spring Training Report 3.24.15

Possible Gwinnett Braves right-handed starter, and Atlanta Braves starting rotation candidate, Mike Foltynewicz took the mound Tuesday for the Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Foltynewicz recorded four of his first six outs via strikeout, but the Phillies also tagged him for three runs on four hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Atlanta rallied to tie the game at three in the seventh inning but ultimately fell 5-3 at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Foltynewicz had been scheduled to start Monday against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., but the Braves pushed him back a day because of the possibility of rain. He is 0-2 with a 7.06 ERA (6 ER in 7.2 IP) and is tied for second on the club with 10 strikeouts in four Spring Training starts.

Other possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats from Tuesday vs. Philadelphia:

LHP Manny Banuelos, 3.0 IP, 4 H, BB, 2 K.

RHP Arodys Vizcaino (L, 0-2), 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, K.

RHP Cody Martin, 1.0 IP, K.

Infielder Pedro Ciriaco continued his torrid pace offensively with singles in both of his at-bats against the Phillies while playing third base. He scored on a seventh-inning home run by shortstop Andrelton Simmons and stole his first base of Spring Training when he swiped second in the eighth. Ciriaco is 6-for-10 in his last four games, and his 13 hits, overall, are tied for the team lead.

Other potential G-Braves position players stats from Tuesday against the Phillies:

Kelly Johnson (1B), 1-for-2, R.

John Buck (C), 0-for-2.

Todd Cunningham (RF), 0-for-1, K.

Eury Perez (pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.

Wednesday will be the Braves' final off day of Spring Training. The Gwinnett Braves will open their season on at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, April 9. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

Wednesday will be the Braves’ final off day of Spring Training. The Gwinnett Braves will open their season on at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, April 9. (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

The Braves have their final off day of Spring Training on Wednesday. They will resume play with a contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.

-JM

Scouting The G-Braves Opponent: Starling Marte

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The No. 4 prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates system is outfielder Starling Marte. Born in 1988 out of the Dominican Republic, the 6-foot, 2-inch speedster was signed by the Pirates in June, 2007, but he didn’t arrive in the United States until 2009. He is a five-tool player that has become more projectable over the last season since he is beginning to develop his power. The Indianapolis superstar is only starting to find his groove in the game and at the plate, so the Pirates are willing to be patient with him for the time being.

2012 Stats: .266 Batting Average, 36 R, 65 Hits, 12 Doubles, 8 Triples, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 108 TB, 15 SB, .323 OBP, .443 SLG, .766 OPS

Marte has above average speed and can beat out infield hits with regularity. At times, he can be too aggressive at the plate which is a setback to his on-base percentage according to Baseball America.

In 2009, playing in the Double-A, Marte led the Eastern League in batting (.332), hits (178) and doubles (38). He has drawn a great deal of comparisons to Detroit Tiger outfielder and leadoff man Austin Jackson.

His plate discipline has improved over his three years of minor league baseball with the Pittsburgh organization. He is an above-average defensive outfielder with range, but will get better with more time and experience at the higher levels of professional baseball. Marte has an unquestioned passion for the game which is an unmeasurable intangible that makes the difference between a good player and a great player at the next level. He is so good defensively in centerfield that he will push current Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen to one of the corner outfield spots upon his arrival in Pittsburgh. The ceiling is extremely high for yet another Pittsburgh Pirates five-tool outfield prospect.

By: Tony Piraro

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