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Redmond called back to national team

Todd Redmond

Todd Redmond

Todd Redmond is the Gwinnett Braves' all-time leader in wins and strikeouts. But the right-hander has actually done his best pitching the past few years for Team USA.

With his career at a crossroads, Redmond will soon get another chance to showcase his talents in world competition.

Redmond, 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA for Team USA the past two years, was named to the squad for the World Cup in Panama and the Pan American Games in Mexico during October.

The 26-year-old native of Florida was 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA for the USA in the 2010 Pan Am Qualifier after posting a 3-0 record with a 1.21 ERA in the 2009 World Cup.

"It's always an honor to represent your country," Redmond said. "I really have enjoyed the chance."

There could be a lot on the line personally this year.

Redmond was third in the International League with a 2.98 ERA for the G-Braves this season while going 10-8 and striking out 142. But his chances of being a starter with Atlanta appear blocked and he will likely have an opportunity to sign elsewhere if he wants as a minor league free agent.

Redmond came to the Braves as part of a trade with Pittsburgh and was 13-5 for Class AA Mississippi in 2008 before moving up to AAA with the G-Braves. He won nine games to lead the staff each of his first two seasons in Gwinnett and has a 28-24 record with the G-Braves. He has started a team-record 79 games and has 390 strikeouts in 477 innings.

Redmond isn't the only G-Brave playing in the World Cup and Pan American Games. Third baseman Shawn Bowman has been named to Team Canada.

Bowman, 26, was limited 52 games with the G-Braves because of injuries, but hit .278 with eight homers while showing off good glove and a strong arm. Like Redmond, Bowman can be eligible to become a minor league free agent.

SWB Yankees in limbo

The G-Braves are scheduled at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 26-29 next season, but it still isn't known where the Yankees will be playing in 2012.

PNC Field in Moosic, Pa., will be unavailable next year while undergoing an extensive facelift and a temporary home has not yet been secured.

Approval of a 2012 site was supposed to be made by the International League at the AAA National Championship, but the team was not ready to submit its plan.

Staten Island, where the Yankees have a New York-Penn League team, and Yankee Stadium in New York were considered possibilities. But the New York Mets have territorial rights.

Other sites mentioned include the IL ballparks at Lehigh Valley and Rochester, as well as former IL city Ottawa.

Braves make changes

After the resignation of Atlanta director of player development Kurt Kemp, assistant general manager Bruce Manno took over leadership of the baseball operations staff and Ronnie Richardson was named director of minor league operations.

Manno, 58, joined the Braves organization four years ago as assistant general manager and has spent 35 years in professional baseball. He previously worked in the St. Louis, Milwaukee and Baltimore organizations. Richardson, 30, has been assistant director or player development under Kemp.

Kemp joined the Braves in 1998 as a scout and took over as director of player development in 2006.

There will be a number of other changes for 2012. Those notified that they would not be retained for next year included minor league hitting coordinator Leon Roberts, base running instructor Lynn Jones and infield insructor Tommy Shields.

Lipka switched to CF

Matt Lipka, the Braves' first draft choice in 2010, is making the transition from shortstop to center field in the instructional league this fall.

Lipka had just 15 errors last season at Rome in his first full season, but was behind the G-Braves' Tyler Pastornicky and Lynchburg's Andrelton Simmons at shortstop in the organization. Eduardo Salcedo was moved to third base at Rome this season.

MLB.com rates Salcedo as Atlanta's No. 6 prospect, followed by Lipka at No. 7, Pastornicky at No. 8 and Simmons at No. 9. The top position prospect as ranked by MLB.com is Myrtle Beach catcher Christian Bethancourt.

Simmons won the Carolina League batting title with a .311 average, but it was teammate Joe Terdoslavich who set a league record. The first baseman had 52 doubles while batting .286 with 20 homers and 82 RBIs in his first full season after being a sixth-round draft choice out of Long Beach State the year before.