April 4, 2012
Just 27 hours before first pitch and three hours after the Gwinnett Braves piled onto a bus and headed for the season opener to Durham, a final, Game 1 roster is in place.
“What does set really mean at triple-A?” manager Dave Brundage asked today hours before a final team was announced.
And he's right; it's always changing. It probably will again. Soon and often.
But for tomorrow's season opener this is what the Class AAA team got and didn't get.
The biggest surprise, if that's possible, is shortstop Andrelton Simmons absence. In a moderate fight with Tyler Pastornicky for the shortstop spot with the Atlanta Braves, Simmons appeared to have a good shot of starting in Class AAA and the final decision wasn't made until this morning to start him in Mississippi.
In his place is Greg Paiml, a former Birmingham Baron, who spent last night literally in between Class AA and AAA in Birmingham and drove to Gwinnett this morning. He got a jersey, but didn't have nameplate this morning.
The former Alabama player hit just .217 a year ago for the Barons, a team he was the bat boy for growing up, so he'll most likely be reserved to bench duty. But what do I know?
The rest of the infield seems set to start. Ernesto Mejia at first, Drew Sutton at second, Josh Wilson at short and Joey Terdoslavich at third.
The outfield includes last year's G-Braves all-star Stefan Gartrell, Luis Durango, Jordan Parraz, Cory Harrilchak and the recently-acquired Christian Marrero.
Catcher J.C. Boscan is joined by Jose Yepez who played last year with Class AAA Tacoma and Shawn McGill begins the year on the disabled list.
No surprises for the pitchers. Julio Teheran lost his battle for the No. 5 spot in Atlanta and Todd Redmond returns for another Class AAA season.
Redmond, a 10-game winner a year ago, gets tomorrow's start after posting a 2.92 ERA in a team-high 169 2/3 innings a year ago. Teheran pitched Sunday, meaning he could be available as early as Friday.
Other returners, or at least those who stopped by Gwinnett, from last year include Jaye Chapman, Erik Cordier, Yohan Flande, Cory Gearrin, Jose Lugo and Ben Swaggerty. Peter Moylan begins the year on the Gwinnett disabled list.
Here is the full roster:
Pitchers RHP Buddy Carlyle RHP Jaye Chapman RHP Eric Cordier LHP Yohan Flande RHP Cory Gearrin LHP Dusty Hughes RHP Eric Junge LHP Jose Lugo RHP Peter Moylan* RHP Todd Redmond RHP Jason Rice RHP Adam Russell LHP Ben Swaggerty RHP Julio Teheran
Catchers J.C. Boscan Shawn McGill* Jose Yepez
Infielders Ernesto Mejia Greg Paiml Drew Sutton Joey Terdoslavich Josh Wilson
Outfielders Luis Durango Stefan Gartell Jordan Parraz Cory Harrilchak Christian Marrero