• 52°

Major Leagues: Braves shaking things up

Associated Press
ATLANTA — Mired in an eight-game losing streak, the Atlanta Braves decided to shake things up before Tuesday night’s game against St. Louis.
Right-hander Kris Medlen was shipped to Triple-A Gwinnett, but not for anything he’s done. The Braves want him to stretch out his arm so he can bolster the rotation, which is a bit of a mess with Mike Minor struggling, Randall Delgado not doing much better and former All-Star Jair Jurrjens already demoted to the minors.
Medlen showed up at Turner Field, ready to take his usual role in the bullpen, only to find out he was being shipped to the team’s suburban Atlanta farm club. He will report Wednesday and expects to get his first start a couple of days later.
“I’m going to go home, sit on the sofa and have a beer,” Medlen quipped, saying he planned to watch the Braves-Cardinals game on television.
That wasn’t the only change. Jose Constanza was called up from Gwinnett and immediately inserted into the lineup as the left fielder. Also, he was batting ninth — ahead of starting pitcher Delgado — in a further attempt to end the team’s longest losing streak in more than two years.
“You’ve got to try to push the envelope as much as you can,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Here we are. We’ve lost eight. Why not?”
When Medlen is ready to return, he’ll likely take the spot of either Minor (2-4, 6.98 ERA) or Delgado (2-5, 4.53 before Tuesday’s game).
Minor pitched well in spring training and got off to a solid start, going 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in his first four starts. In his last six appearances, however, the left-hander is 0-3 with 9.95 ERA, having allowed 43 hits, 35 earned runs and 12 homers in 312/3 innings. Delgado’s numbers are better, but he lasted less than six innings in seven of his first nine starts.
“You can’t guarantee anybody anything in this game,” Gonzalez said.
But he’s also looking to settle his shaky team, which was leading the NL East before the losing streak. Gonzalez met with the players privately before the game for what was essentially a pep talk.
“I wanted to remind them we’re a good club,” the second-year manager said. “Sometimes, you’ve got to remind them. Sometimes, they forget.”
The Braves are turning to the versatile Medlen (1-1, 3.49, one save) because he looks better than some of the other pitching options. Jurrjens has yet to regain his All-Star form, going 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA in his first six starts at Triple-A. Julio Teheran, one of the team’s top prospects, got knocked around for six runs (four earned) in three innings during a start Monday night for Gwinnett.
Constanza was a surprising spark for the Braves in 2011, hitting .303 with seven stolen bases. But he failed to make the team in spring training and went to Gwinnett, where he was batting .288 with eight stolen bases.
Just a few days ago, Gonzalez indicated that he wanted to leave Martin Prado in left field, saying it wouldn’t be fair to move him all over the field. But with the injuries and losses piling up, the manager had a change of heart.
Constanza took over in left and Prado moved to third base in place of Chipper Jones, who is on the disabled list. The Braves also were missing first baseman Freddie Freeman, who didn’t start for the fourth game in a row because of vision problems. In addition, backup catcher David Ross was slowed by a strained right groin and reserve outfielder Matt Diaz was battling strep throat.

Comments

Comments closed.

Granite Quarry

Granite Fest makes a comeback with music, vendors and fun for kids

Education

State budget process could mean big gains or loss of funding for schools

Business

Biz Roundup: Downtown Salisbury vying for $25,000 cash prize

Kannapolis

Kannapolis native serves as a member of U.S. Navy’s ‘Silent Service’

Local

Snyder promoted to deputy city clerk

Crime

Woman arrested for flashing rear end at Sheriff’s Office after previous charges overturned

Lifestyle

Hall wins bronze medal in SilverArts

Clubs

Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post 342 holds 75th anniversary celebration

Business

Salisbury-based Integro Technologies acquired by Kaman Distribution Group

Lifestyle

World War II veteran, longtime Rowan County farmer, celebrates 100th birthday

Local

Rowan commissioners will discuss body cameras for bailiffs, arrowhead donation, plumbing fix for lead levels

Business

Downtown move gives Salisbury Eyecare and Eyewear chance to expand offerings, add new doctor

Nation/World

Clinton recovering from infection 

Crime

Teen charged in shooting at Mount Tabor High School held without bond

Nation/World

Marine officer receives reprimand for Afghanistan criticism

Elections

Beasley top fundraiser in third quarter for Senate race

Farm & Garden

Nearly 1-ton pumpkin sets record at state fair

High School

High school football: Loeblein throws record six TD passes for Falcons; Cavs, Hornets romp

Nation/World

UK lawmaker stabbed to death in terrorist act

Crime

Cooleemee man arrested after trading gunfire with Davie County investigators in Rowan

Elections

Salisbury council candidates list crime reduction, hiring a new city manager among city’s top priorities

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with trio of vehicle break-ins

Coronavirus

Catawba College will require COVID-19 vaccinations in 2022

Local

City selects Sada Stewart Troutman as new Downtown Salisbury Inc. director