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G-BRAVES NOTES: International League a road circuit in 2012

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be a travel team in 2012, not an ideal situation for the New York Yankees' top farm team or the rest of the International League.

The team will play "home" games in the other five North Division cities as well as in the small ballpark of a Class A New York-Penn League member after hopes of a full-season temporary home fell through.

The most recent possibility was playing in Newark, N.J. But the Mets used their territorial rights to the New York City area to block that.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's PNC Field will be unavailable next year while undergoing $40-million face-lift that includes demolishing the upper deck.

The team will play games in Batavia, N.Y., in addition to Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Lehigh Valley and Pawtucket. Batavia, a St. Louis affiliate in the short-season NY-P League, is located between Buffalo and Rochester. Dwyer Stadium seats just 2,600.

"This brings to a close what has been a lengthy process with a number of twists and turns," International League president Randy Mobley said in a statement. "But the league is quite confident the inconveniences experienced due to this relocation will ultimately be a small price to pay for the long-term benefit of a sorely-needed new facility for the fans of the SWB Yankees."

Gwinnett is on the road June 26-29 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It has not been decided at which of the six temporary sites those games will be played.

Pastornicky almost gets chance

Tyler Pastornicky didn't get into a game, but he was in the dugout as the Braves' season came to an abrupt end short of the National League playoffs.

The top shortstop prospect was put on Atlanta's 40-man roster and activated for the finale of the Phillies series after Alex Gonzalez was sidelined by his calf injury.

Pastornicky was in Florida participating in the instructional league when the emergency promotion came. His minor league season had been cut short with Gwinnett because of a sprained ankle.

"This was the best phone call I've ever gotten," Pastornicky said.

The 21-year-old batted .365 in 27 games for the G-Braves. His overall average was .314 between Class AAA and Class AA Mississippi, and he had 27 stolen bases.

If Gonzalez -- a pending free agent -- is not retained by the Braves, Pastornicky could be Atlanta's starting shortstop next season.

Gonzalez, 34, made $2.5 million this season in the option year of a contract the Braves inherited in the 2010 deal with Toronto for Yunel Escobar. Pastornicky was also part of that trade.

Flande re-signed by Braves

Used both as a starter and a reliever, Johan Flande proved to be one of the G-Braves' more valuable pitchers this season and his work obviously made a good impression with Atlanta.

The left-hander was re-signed after going 8-8 with a 4.01 ERA and one save. He made 19 starts and pitched 14 times in relief while striking out 104 and walking 38 in 137 innings.

Flande, 25, was signed by Atlanta as a minor league free agent last winter and would have been eligible to sign elsewhere this winter if not retained by the Braves.

The native of the Dominican Republic spent his first six minor league seasons with the Phillies. He was 10-8 with Class AA Reading in 2010 and pitched in the All-Star Futures Game the year before while with Class A Advanced Clearwater.

Trade for Diaz finalized

The G-Braves didn't lose a player to the Pirates as compensation in Atlanta's late-season trade for veteran outfielder Matt Diaz.

The player-to-be-named headed to Pittsburgh turned out to be relief pitcher Eliecer Cardenas, who spent most of the season with Lynchburg in the Class A Advanced Carolina League.

Cardenas, 23, was 4-3 with a 0.79 ERA and seven saves in 50 games for Lynchburg, but struggled in five outings with Class AA Mississippi. He was taken by Atlanta in the minor league part of the Rule 5 Draft last winter. Compensation still must be set for veteran shortstop Jack Wilson, who was acquired by the Braves from Seattle late in the season. Diaz has one more year on his contract, but Wilson is eligible to become a free agent.