1000 for BMac: Brian McCann picked up career hit 999 and 1000 last night.
So long, enjoy the sausage: Juan Francisco was finally traded. He ends up with Milwaukee, and the Braves get a minor league lefty reliever back named Tom Keeling. He reminds me of the reliever the Braves got for Scott Diamond from the Twins, a guy named Billy Bullock. They both have low batting averages against, but issue a lot of walks, so they have high ERAs. The fact that the Braves got a warm body in exchange for Francisco is a win, especially a warm body who, if he figures out his control and maintains his velocity, could be a nice role player in the bullpen. As he’s moved up the minor league ladder and faced tougher competition Keeling has improved each year, so that’s a good sign.
So long and thanks for all the Sea Bass: The apparent casualty of Francisco joining the Brewers is another former Braves player, shortstop Alex Gonzalez: “The #Brewers have asked for waivers for the purpose of the unconditional release of infielder Alex Gonzalez (41g, .177, 1hr, 8rbi).”
First Juan: “Doug Melvin says on WSSP radio that Francisco will be a first baseman for Brewers. Not surprising. Brewers were desperately looking for 1B.” Do you think he can do a Freeman-style leg split? I wonder if the two teams discussed Ernesto Mejia or Joey Terdoslavich, both of whom could play first base.
More trades a-comin: “Frank Wren just told us on INSIDE PITCH that they’ll be looking to trade for bullpen help between now and the trade deadline”
Gattis, Gattis: Evan Gattis won the National League Rookie of the Month award for May, the second consecutive such award he has won this year. He was good in April (.250/.310/.566), but he was a man possessed in May (.317.362/.683). So far in June though, he’s 0-for-6 with 2 walks. Jason Heyward was the last Brave to win the award two months in a row when he did it in April and May of 2010.
Black eye in the sky: If you’re a DISH subscriber, then lately you’ve probably noticed that you can’t watch all the Braves games you want to watch, and you’re about to miss just about every weekend game for the rest of June. Here is the official statement from FOX regarding the blackout: “DISH’s response to its customers that it’s doing all it can to resolve the situation is simply not true. While FOX Sports South has been able to reach an agreement with every other television provider in the metro Atlanta area, DISH has not even engaged in any kind of a negotiation with respect to these additional Braves games.” Time to ditch the you-know-what.
AWOL All-Star: You can vote online (link to ballot) for your favorite Gwinnett Braves for the triple-A All-Star team. As much as minor leaguers are shuffled around the system it’s hard to lock down who to put on the ballot. Pitcher Tim Corcoran is listed on the ballot, but Corcoran just got shipped to extended spring training (aka roster limbo). LHP Cole McCurry was on the Mississippi roster until Monday, when he was promoted back to Gwinnett.
D-Rod to DL: Gwinnett lost. LHP Daniel Rodriguez was placed on the disabled list with a left elbow strain. Rodriguez was signed out of the Mexican League last year, but has not fared well in his first full season in the US, posting a 5.77 ERA due mainly to a ton of walks (38 in 53 innings).
Beachy: Mississippi won. Brandon Beachy made the start up the road in Chattanooga. 5IP, 6H, 3R, 1BB, 4K, 1HR. The home run was a solo shot hit by the opposing pitcher, former Braves prospect Kyle Cofield, who was traded in December of 2010 for Scott Linebrink.
Braves sign Atkins: RHP Mitch Atkins was signed by the Atlanta Braves and assigned to Double-A Mississippi. from 2009 to 2011 he appeared in 7 games for the Cubs and made 3 starts for Baltimore. He was at AAA in the Nationals system last year, and was pitching in the Independent Atlantic League this season. His line in last night’s game: 3IP, 2H 0R, 0BB, 2K.
Heff week: Hillcats won. OF Robby Hefflinger was named the Carolina League Player of the Week. He went 10-for-25 (.400) with 2 doubles, 5 HR, 8 RBI, and 7 runs scored.
Seeing a game in Augusta, GA: A great minor league blog, Ben’s Biz Blog, visited Lake Olmstead Stadium in Augusta, Georgia, for a GreenJackets game. While they are a Giants minor league affiliate, they are in the Sally League, and the Rome Braves play there several times a year. It’s a great stadium, and Ben gives a terrific rundown for how to see and enjoy a game there.
New Augusta stadium: There are efforts to build a new baseball stadium in Augusta.
Minor Locke: Mike Minor locks horns with Jeff Locke tonight at 7:10 on SportSouth. Locke was drafted by the Braves in the 2nd round in 2006, and was a part of the trade to Pittsburgh for Nate McLouth.
Speaking of Pittsburgh Nate: “Nate McLouth has more stolen bases (19) than the Braves (18). He’s been caught just once.”
How he got the name El Oso Blanco: “I know probably 50-60 percent Spanish at some point, playing in Venezuela for two years,” Reid said. “I was talking with a taxi driver, we were heading back from the field, and somehow, ‘Oso blanco’ came up — white bear, polar bear, oso polar — and sure enough, it stuck. Me and some of the other Americans got it going with the Latinos, and it took off.”
0024: Finally, if you haven’t seen the new MLB Fan Cave video, Secret Agent Oso Blanco, then watch it now.