G-Braves coming together

Todd Redmond and James Parr, expected to be key parts of the Gwinnett rotation this season, were included in the Atlanta Braves' first round of cuts made on Monday.

Redmond and Parr, both 24, were optioned to the Class AAA G-Braves along with relievers Stephen Marek, 26, and Lee Hyde, 25.

G-Braves TV schedule set

The Gwinnett Braves' opener on April 8 at 7:05 p.m. against Charlotte will be one of 25 home games televised on CSS this season.

The TV schedule, which was announced on Monday, also includes another game during the opening homestand.

It is April 12 against Durham, also at 7:05 p.m.

CSS will televise four G-Braves games in both April and May, seven in June and five each in July and August.

Mike Morgan is the new CSS play-by-play announcer, replacing Josh Caray. Brian Jordan returns as TV analyst.

Morgan is the TV voice of the Carolina Panthers for NFL preseason games and calls college football, basketball and baseball for various networks, including ESPN, ESPNU and Fox Sports South. He also broadcast South Carolina baseball, basketball and football on radio and TV for 10 years.

- From staff reports

Three other pitchers on Atlanta's 40-man roster were optioned to Class AA Mississippi as the Braves trimmed their major league camp from 57 players to 44. The remaining players sent to minor league camp were spring training non-roster invitees.

Redmond led the G-Braves in victories, posting a 9-6 record last season a year after going 13-5 for Mississippi. The right-hander had a 4.41 ERA and was second in the International League with 21 homers allowed.

Parr won 14 games in 2008, including one with Atlanta. But he battled injuries last season and was limited to 15 appearances, including eight relief outings with the Braves and six starts with Gwinnett.

Marek, a right-hander acquired from the Angels in the Mark Teixeira deal two years ago, spent time with Gwinnett and Mississippi last season. He pitched 38 times for Mississippi and six times with the G-Braves.

A former Georgia Tech pitcher, Hyde finished last season at Mississippi and pitched well in the Arizona Fall League. The left-hander has battled injuries throughout his minor league career.

Hyde didn't pitch in a Grapefruit League game for Atlanta this spring, but Parr and Marek each worked in three and Redmond in one.

Although the G-Braves don't begin playing exhibition games until Saturday, most of the players who will be on the team this season have already seen plenty of game action this spring.

Atlanta used 50 players in a pair of split-squad Grapefruit League games Sunday, and about two-thirds of them will start the season in the minors. The Braves will make two more rounds of cuts before opening the season at home on April 5 against the Chicago Cubs. The G-Braves' opener is April 8 at home against Charlotte.

The big story with Atlanta this spring, of course, involves 20-year-old outfielder Jason Heyward — rated the best prospect in baseball. Even if he sticks with the Braves as expected, Gwinnett again could have a strong team in its second IL season.

The G-Braves should have increased power with Atlanta's signing of Mitch Jones — the AAA home run leader a year ago with 35. He will likely join an already solid lineup expected to include first base prospect Freddie Freeman, International League all-stars Barbaro Canizares and Wes Timmons, and Jordan Schafer, Atlanta's starting center fielder early last year.

On the mound, Jo-Jo Reyes will likely be part of the rotation again and the bullpen is expected to be anchored once more by Luis Valdez, who led the IL with 27 saves and was named 2009 reliever of the year.

The G-Braves finished second in South Division last season and made the Governors' Cup playoffs as the wild-card team under manager Dave Brundage, losing to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the first round.

Brundage and his coaching staff of Derek Botelho and Jamie Dismuke will begin putting the 2010 team together this week. The first of 12 exhibition games is Saturday against IL foe Syracuse, Washington's AAA team.

The G-Braves will break camp in Florida on April 5 and work out at Coolray Field a couple of times before the season opener.