File Photo Gwinnett Braves pitcher Todd Redmond went 10-8 with 2.92 ERA and had 142 strikeouts to 47 walks in his third year with the G-Braves last season.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Being promoted to a major league team's 40-man roster is usually something to celebrate.
On a few occasions, though, it can be a curse as well as a blessing.
"I definitely had mixed emotions," Todd Redmond said.
By returning the Gwinnett right-hander to the major league roster last fall, Atlanta kept him from being a minor league free agent and getting the chance to shop for a better opportunity elsewhere, somewhere he could compete for a starting spot in the majors.
Redmond went 10-8 with a 2.92 ERA and had 142 strikeouts to 47 walks in his third year with the G-Braves last season. That was enough for Atlanta to want to keep him, but not enough for the Braves to consider him for a regular starting spot
The 26-year-old understands the reasoning. The Braves are pitching rich and Redmond is behind top prospects like Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado as well as the veteran starters.
"But it was a little disappointing to get sent down so soon," Redmond said.
The Florida native was optioned back to Gwinnett on Sunday, about halfway through Grapefruit League play. He's insurance in case injuries pop up at the major league level during the summer.
So far, the call has never come.
"You just have to pitch well and hope you finally get that chance," he said.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said that Redmond hasn't been forgotten.
"We may see him in the course of the year," Gonzalez said. "I told him to be ready."
Redmond, who pitched a no-hitter in 2010, already tops about all the starting pitching categories in Gwinnett's brief Class AAA history.
He led the team in victories the first two years and was second last season to prime prospect Teheran, who topped the International League with a 15-3 record while earning pitcher and rookie of the year.
That even Teheran isn't assured of a spot in Atlanta at the start of the season shows what a roadblock he's ahead of Redmond and others trying to get to the majors with the Braves.
The G-Braves have had one of the top rotations in the IL each of the past three seasons. The constant has been Redmond, although the attention has always been with the likes of Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, Minor, Teheran and Randall Delgado.
That's why a new start obviously had a little appeal.
"But you can't look down at a 40-man spot," Redmond said. "It's something."
Redmond earned his place for the first time after going 13-5 with Class AA Mississippi in 2009, only to be dropped later.
Redmond got into one Grapefruit League game in 2010, two in 2011 and four this time. He had a win, a loss and a save this spring, allowing five runs and eight hits in six innings while striking out five and walking two. Two of his appearances were good, two weren't.
Now Redmond has to get stretched out to start for the G-Braves. Erik Cordier, once thought to be headed to the bullpen, is in a similar situation and likely so is left-hander Luis Avilan. Johan Flande, still with the Braves, will be later.
Teheran and Delgado are competing for the fifth spot in the Atlanta rotation and the loser will be back in Gwinnett. Also in the mix for a starting spot with the G-Braves is veteran Buddy Carlyle, re-signed by Atlanta.
J.J. Hoover, who made the conversion from starter to reliever last year because of the overload of starting prospects, was optioned to Gwinnett on Sunday along with Redmond, Avilan and Jaye Chapman, a fixture in the G-Braves' bullpen last year.
Atlanta has two more rounds of cuts coming and the Gwinnett relief corps will get plenty of reinforcements with several battles for Atlanta bullpen spots undecided.
"Our pitching should be good again," Braves manager Dave Brundage said. "There are a lot of good arms in this organization."