0

Redmond gets first call to big leagues

photo

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Gwinnett Braves starting pitcher Todd Redmond (34) delivers a pitch to a batter from the Charlotte Knights at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville on Saturday.

For the first time since Class AAA baseball came to Gwinnett, Todd Redmond may not make his next scheduled start.

The right-handed starting pitcher who led the G-Braves in innings pitched that past three seasons and bounced on and off the Atlanta 40-man roster finally got the call he's been waiting for Sunday.

Redmond was called up by the Atlanta Braves after the team put starting pitcher Brandon Beachy on the disabled list. Beachy left Saturday's game early with shoulder soreness.

Redmond is said to be an option for the Braves out of the bullpen, a long relief option along with Kris Medlen with Jair Jurrjens reportedly scheduled to start in Beachy's place Friday.

But no matter the role, Redmond gets a chance to sit in a big-league clubhouse, stadium and bullpen for the first time.

The 2008 Southern League pitcher of the year in Class AA, Redmond struggled with consistency during his first two seasons in Gwinnett, but in 2011 and so far this year, those problems faded. His earned runs dipped by 22 between 2010 and 2011 and pitching coach Marty Reed said last year it was because of a renewed commitment to fitness.

Sure he's prone to the occasional home run with as many fly balls as he allows, but he also will get batters out with the strikeout and he makes use of the larger yard at Coolray Field.

In his last start, coming off a poor outing, Redmond threw all seven innings of Game 1 of a doubleheader. He didn't allow a run off just four hits with five strikeouts and three walks.

If he does come out of the Braves' bullpen the biggest question will be how a pitcher who has made nearly every professional appearance as a starter will respond to a quick call and minimal preparation.

As for the Gwinnett Braves, they called up Billy Bullock from Class AA Mississippi to replace Redmond. Bullock hasn't started a game this season, pitching out of the M-Braves' bullpen. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA. He hasn't thrown since last Wednesday.