Mariano Gomez, a key member of the Gwinnett bullpen, has re-signed with Atlanta after becoming a minor league free agent.
The left-hander was 8-4 with a 1.99 ERA and eight saves while appearing in 47 games for the G-Braves in their first International League season. Gomez, who turned 27 on Sept. 12, signed with Atlanta last year after previously pitching in the Cleveland and Minnesota organizations.
G-Braves to open 2nd season at home
The Gwinnett Braves will begin their second season with a home opener on a Thursday afternoon rather than at night.
The G-Braves will play Charlotte at 2:05 p.m. April 8 to start a four-game series and seven-game homestand. The night opener is at 7:05 p.m. April 9.
Charlotte is at Gwinnett Stadium through April 11. Then the G-Braves host Durham in a three-game series before going on a 12-game road trip to Charlotte, Norfolk and Durham.
Gwinnett began its first season with a road trip to Charlotte and Durham before opening Gwinnett Stadium against Charlotte.
G-Braves full and partial season tickets are on sale, as well as holiday packs of as little as four games. Tickets to individual games won't go on sale until March. Information is available at gwinnettbraves.com.
- Guy Curtright
The native of Honduras recently joined Navojoa of the Mexican Pacific League, where a number of Braves prospects play. He took Tim Gustafson's place on the Mayos' roster after the Parkview graduate returned home.
Re-signing Gomez to a Class AAA contract was important after fellow lefty reliever Juan Perez signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent. Perez, 29, had a 3.47 ERA in 47 games with the G-Braves and struck out 59 in 57 innings.
In addition to retaining Gomez, Atlanta signed six free-agent position players, with at least four expected to be candidates to play at Gwinnett next season.
Leading the signees is outfielder Brent Clevlen, who has had time in the majors with Detroit. Clevlen, 26, hit .265 with 26 doubles, five triples, 16 homers and 64 RBIs in 125 games for Toledo in the IL last season. The right-handed batter is a former second-round draft pick.
Third baseman Eric Duncan, meanwhile, was once a first-round pick by the New York Yankees. The 25-year-old left-handed hitter played the past three years in the IL with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, slumping to a .204 average last season.
Also signed by the Braves as minor league free agents were middle infielders Luis Bolivar and Juan Gonzalez. Bolivar, 28, stole 28 bases while batting .232 in 108 games for Louisville in the IL last season. Gonzalez, 27, played in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization at Class AAA Albuquerque and Class AA Chattanooga last season.
Chris Burke, who played shortstop and second base for the G-Braves last season, recently signed with Cincinnati as a free agent and was put on his hometown Louisville roster.
In addition to the five AAA players, Atlanta also signed first basemen Mauro Gomez, 25, and Gerardo Avila, 23, as free agents. Both played in Class A last season.
Gwinnett finished two games behind first-place Durham in the IL South in its first season and made the playoffs as the wild-card team, losing to Scranton in the first round.