R-Braves game notes
TODAY'S GAME: The first of a four game series and the first of eight meetings, four at The Diamond. The Braves were 4-4 vs. the Bisons last season, 2-2 at The Diamond. The Braves are 32-45 all-time vs. the Bisons. These clubs meet on Opening Day for the second straight season. The Braves won their opener at Buffalo in 2005. The Braves were fourth in the South last season (56-88). The Bisons won the North by seven games last year (82-62)
MEET THE NEW BOSS: Brian Snitker takes over from Pat Kelly as Richmond's manager. He managed the Braves Double-A club for the past four years. Snitker played in Richmond in 1978. He is the fifth former R-Braves player to manage the club. Snitker has been with the Braves as a player, coach, or manager since 1978. He has a career record of 1,083-1,059. Derek Botelho moves up from Danville to take over as pitching coach. Rick Albert returns as coach. Mike Graus moved up from Double-A to take over the trainer position.
THE BALLCLUB: The Braves start the season with an active roster of 23 (11 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders, and four outfielders). There are 14 players on the club who spent time in Richmond last season. Only one member of the squad, RHP Peter Moylan, does not have Triple-A experience. The R-Braves went 3-8-1 in their 12 game spring training schedule.
THANKS FOR STOPPING: The Braves are already busy on the roster front. RHP Ken Ray and RHP Joey Devine, who were assigned to Richmond out of spring training, were called up today by Atlanta. RHP Eric Schmitt, who was scheduled to start the year on the DL will now join the active roster. Richmond has four players on the DL who are not with the club: C Eddie Perez, 1B Andy Barkett, RHP Buddy Hernandez, and RHP Carlos Almanzar.
THE OPENER: The Braves play their 41st International League opener today. Richmond is looking for their third straight opening day win and fourth in the last five years. The Braves are 14-26 all-time on Opening Day. The Braves are 5-6 in openers at The Diamond. They are looking for their third straight home Opening Day win as well.
WE ARE THE WORLD: Three members of the Braves played in the World Baseball Classic in March (Scott Thorman for Canada and Damian Moss and Peter Moylan for Australia). The tournament featured 11 former R-Braves, four of whom were on the Canadian team. Richmond's Opening Day roster for '06 includes players from the U.S., Dominican Republic, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
WHAT OFF SEASON?: Seven members of the Braves played winter ball. Thorman played in an Olympic qualifying tournament for Canada. Carlos Mendez and Carlos Duran helped Caracas to the Venezuelan title. Cesar Crespo helped Carolina to the Puerto Rican crown. Jonathan Schuerholz played for the Arizona Fall League champion Phoenix Desert Dogs. Tony Pena played in the Dominican League and Brayan Pena led his league in hitting in the Dominican.
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- R-Braves game notes - Gwinnett Stripers
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