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G-Braves' bullpen gets a boost from Russell, Hughes

The Gwinnett Braves' bullpen is starting to take shape with the setting of the roster still almost 10 days away.

Adam Russell and Dusty Hughes, former major leaguers signed to minor league deals by Atlanta as free agents, were sent down as the Braves pruned their spring roster of active pitchers to 16 on Friday.

Russell, 28, is a 6-foot-8 right-hander with an 8-3 record and 3.95 ERA in 85 major league games over parts of four seasons. He was 1-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 36 games for Tampa Bay last year and also pitched in 15 games for Durham.

The Ohio native broke into the majors with the Chicago White Sox in 2008, going 4-0 with a 5.19 ERA in 22 games. He spent parts of the 2009 and 2010 seasons with San Diego.

Hughes, 29, is a left-hander who has pitched for Kansas City and Minnesota, going 2-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 80 career appearances. He spent all of 2010 with the Royals, posting a 3.83 ERA in 57 games.

The native of Mississippi was 1-0 with a 9.95 ERA in 15 games with the Twins last season and 3-1 with a 4.29 ERA in 43 games for Rochester. He had 68 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings for the Red Wings.

Russell and Hughes each got into seven Grapefruit League games with the Braves and had a 3.86 ERA in seven innings. Russell struck out eight and walked three in seven innings. Hughes had six strikeouts and three walks.

Mejia sent down to G-Braves

Ernesto Mejia, expected to replace Mauro Gomez as the Gwinnett first baseman this season, was reassigned to minor league camp after getting just two hits in 15 at-bats for the Braves during Grapefruit League games.

Mejia, 26, made the Class AA Southern League all-star team last season after batting .297 with 37 doubles, 26 homers and 99 RBIs for Mississippi. He set team records for homers and RBIs, but led the league with 156 strikeouts.

One of his two hits this spring was a triple. He struck out three times and walked once.

Gomez signed as a free agent with Boston after hitting .304 with 24 homers and 90 RBIs for the G-Braves.

Terdoslavich player to watch

Joey Terdoslavich will likely start the season with Class AA Mississippi as he makes the move to third base, but he could be up with Gwinnett by midseason.

Terdoslavich, 23, broke the Carolina League record with 52 doubles last season while hitting .286 with 20 homers and 82 RBIs for Lynchburg.

The switch-hitter was a sixth-round draft choice in 2010 out of Long Beach State and the Braves named him their minor league player of the year in his first full season.

Terdoslavich hit .240 with three doubles and three RBIs in Grapefruit League play before being sent to minor league camp along with catcher Christian Bethancourt, another top prospect. Bethancourt, 20, hit .400 with a homer and three RBIs.