Gwinnett is only new team in IL

The Gwinnett Braves are the only new team in the International League for 2009, but the Class AAA circuit will have other changes next season.

Three of the other 14 franchises in the IL will have new parent teams.

The New York Mets have moved into Buffalo and Washington into Syracuse. The Cleveland Indians jumped from Buffalo to Columbus, which had been affiliated with Washington.

The Mets rejoined the IL after two years at New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League. Toronto left the IL for the PCL, taking over as the major league team for Las Vegas.

The move of the Mets into Buffalo gives the IL six franchises affiliated with National League teams, which is significant for Gwinnett.

When National League teams play against each other, pitchers hit. Otherwise, the designated hitter is used.

The NL affiliates in the IL in addition to Gwinnett, Buffalo and Washington are Louisville (Cincinnati), Indianapolis (Pittsburgh) and Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia).

The AL teams in the IL are at Charlotte (Chicago White Sox), Durham (Tampa Bay), Norfolk (Baltimore), Columbus (Cleveland), Toledo (Detroit), Rochester (Minnesota), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (New York Yankees) and Pawtucket (Boston).

Gwinnett is in the South Division with Charlotte, Durham and Norfolk. The Braves' first game is April 9 at Charlotte, with the home opener April 17.