Results tagged ‘ Turner Field ’

From Gwinnett to the Show: Matt Wisler

Right-handed starter Matt Wisler was 3-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 12 starts for the Gwinnett Braves before he was promoted on June 19 to make his Major League debut with the Atlanta Braves. (Jim Lacey)

Right-handed starter Matt Wisler was 3-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 12 starts for the Gwinnett Braves before he was promoted on June 19 to make his Major League debut with the Atlanta Braves. (Jim Lacey)

Right-handed starting pitcher Matt Wisler became the third of four former Gwinnett Braves pitchers to make his first Major League start with the Atlanta Braves this season when he faced the New York Mets on June 19 at Turner Field.

He pitched 8.0 innings that night with one run and six hits allowed, a hit batsman and two strikeouts to earn a victory in his big-league debut, as the Braves scored a pair of runs for him in the bottom of the eighth inning to head toward a 2-1 win.

Despite all of the new experiences the 22-year-old has had in his transition to the Majors, that superb first outing was as unexpected as anything, he said.

“What surprised me was my debut going so well,” Wisler said. “I didn’t really see that one coming.”

Wisler has gone on to make 10 starts for Atlanta this season with a 5-2 record and 4.74 ERA (30 ER in 57.0 IP). He suffered his first career loss the second time his spot in the rotation came around  in a road start on June 25 against the Washington Nationals, but he then won four of his next five outings.

“Being up here, feeling a part of it, I don’t feel overwhelmed or anything, which is good,” he said. “It’s not really been too much change. Obviously, hitters are better and everything, but you have to pitch the same game and you still have to get outs and everything. You’ve just got to be executing a little more consistently up here.”

Those performances followed a 12-start stint with the G-Braves to begin the season after Atlanta acquired him from the San Diego Padres on April 5, four days before Gwinnett’s season opener, in a six-player trade that sent outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. and relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel to the Padres. Wisler began the year 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA (15 ER in 20 IP) in his four April starts, but after the calendar flipped to May he posted a 3-1 record and 3.20 ERA (16 ER in 45.0 IP) across his final eight starts before his call-up.

Wisler (Taylor Botta)

Wisler (Taylor Botta)

The moment he got the news of his promotion was memorable, as well. Wisler said he went into pitching coach Marty Reed’s office confused about why he had been pulled from his regularly scheduled start in Louisville, and Reed acted as though he was upset with Wisler for questioning his authority before he told the pitcher the Braves had promoted him to the big leagues.

Wisler also said the work he and Marty did with his mechanics benefitted him as he moved into the big leagues.

“Marty was a great pitching coach for me, helped me a lot this year getting back on track,” Wisler said.

He was one-quarter of a group of starting pitchers who began the season with the G-Braves but have since moved on to Atlanta, along with fellow right-handers Williams Perez and Mike Foltynewicz, and left-hander Manny Banuelos (currently on the disabled list). That quartet has combined to go 14-12 with a 4.69 ERA (120 ER in 230.1 IP) in 46 appearances, 39 of which have been starts.

“It’s pretty crazy to think that all four of us were in Gwinnett this year and now three of us are in the rotation,” Wisler said. “It’s great that I got to know those guys a little bit before I got up here. … It’s cool to know those guys, just from a little bit (in Gwinnett), and think that we have a chance to be together for a while.”

Those starters are part of a group of 29 non-rehab players who have played for both Gwinnett and Atlanta this season. Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez  has relied heavily on former G-Braves this season, and he said he has been impressed by the quality of players he gets after they’ve worked with G-Braves’ manager Brian Snitker, Reed and hitting coach John Moses.

“Everybody has made some kind of an impact, some kind of contribution,” Gonzalez said. “Snit, Marty and Moses have done a great job preparing those guys. It’s a luxury to have a guy like Brian Snitker as the Triple-A manager. … He’s been dead on with every guy he’s brought up. You don’t have to worry about the guys not playing the game the right way, not getting a sign. That all stems from those guys in Triple-A in Gwinnett.”

Wisler got to enjoy that high level of instruction for only two-and-a-half months, but that relatively short time had a significant affect on his development during a season that has brought numerous new experiences.

“It’s been unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve been up here. It is definitely a privilege to be here. I definitely learned a lot in Gwinnett, too. … I’m just always soaking in new information and trying to get better.”

-JM

From Gwinnett to the Show: Matt Marksberry

Matt Marksberry (Chris Roughgarden)

Left-handed relief pitcher Matt Marksberry pitched 11 times for the Gwinnett Braves, going 0-0 with a 2.61 ERA, before the Atlanta Braves promoted him on July 30. (Chris Roughgarden)

Left-handed reliever Matt Marksberry began the season at Advanced-A Carolina in April with a goal to simply earn a promotion to one of the two highest minor league levels at some point in the following five months.

However, the 24-year-old pitcher who the Atlanta Braves drafted in the 15th round of the 2013 June free agent draft was already in the Major Leagues before the end of July.

“It was shocking because I didn’t expect it,” Marksberry said.

Marksberry went 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA (11 ER in 35.2 IP) and two saves in 22 relief outings for the Carolina Mudcats to begin his second full professional season and skipped Double-A completely, as the Braves promoted him on June 29 to Triple-A Gwinnett.

He was 0-0 with a 2.61 ERA (3 ER in 10.1 IP) and one save in 11 relief appearances for the G-Braves. Then manager Brian Snitker told Marksberry he would be headed to Philadelphia to meet up with the Braves on July 30.

Marksberry pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in his Major League debut on July 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He didn’t even allow a run until his sixth outing on August 9 to the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Through eight outings, he is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA (4 ER in 8.0 IP).

“You can’t really rely on fastballs up here,” Marksberry said of the differences he’s noticed about pitching in the big leagues. “It’s a good go-ahead pitch, but in my last outing (on Wednesday at Tampa Bay) because I honestly threw way too many fastballs. In my previous outings, I mixed it a little bit better.”

The Cincinnati native spent hardly more than one month with the G-Braves, but he said he learned a lot during that short time because of the number of veterans on the squad in Gwinnett.

“It was also cool to pick their brains about stuff and figure out stuff about pitching,” Marksberry said. “Everywhere I’ve been to has been real nice to me. It’s awesome to have a bunch of older guys who have the experience they have and have the big-league time that they have, to treat me as one of them instead of like a rookie.”

The journey to the top level of baseball has made 2015 a “whirlwind” year, Marksberry said, but all of the surprises and moves have been positives for a pitcher who has been more than happy to enjoy the ride.

“It’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in my life so far,” he said.

-JM

Julio Teheran Makes His 2012 Atlanta Braves Debut

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The G-Braves ace Julio Teheran was called-up by the Atlanta Braves to make a spot-start for Tim Hudson on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field against the Toronto Blue Jays.  The No. 2 overall prospect in minor league baseball opposed the Blue Jays southpaw ace Ricky Romero. Before the game, Chipper Jones was activated from the 15-day disabled list and Jose Constanza and J.C. Boscan were both optioned back to Triple-A Gwinnett.  

Teheran lasted just 4.1 innings on Sunday, as Toronto’s potent offense got to the stud right-hander in the fifth inning. The Braves starter hadn’t allowed a run in his first four innings of work as Teheran looked sharp and determined to prove a point. However, the wheels came off in the fifth inning with the Braves leading 4-0, as Toronto struck for six total runs in the inning. Teheran allowed four of the six runs to cross the plate in the frame.

The reigning Atlanta Braves 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the Year walked away with the no decision after 4.1 innings pitched. Teheran surrendered four earned runs on four hits and struck out five while he walked just one batter amidst the 74-pitch effort.

Thw 21-year-old has so much room to improve, so there shouldn’t be a feeling of wanting to rush this kid to the big leagues. Julio Teheran’s time is coming in the not-to-distant future, but for now, you can’t rush the growing process which is vital to the future success of his career. Stay tuned to The G-Blog in the coming days for news on Julio’s next start….

By: Tony Piraro

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