Braves Announce Non-Roster Invitees To Spring Training Camp

Friday, January 11, 2013
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- Evan Gattis, Sean Gilmartin, Alex Wood and J.R. Graham headline the list of 21 non-roster players who have received an invitation to participate in the Braves' big league Spring Training camp.

While Gattis will come to camp with the hope of landing a spot on the Opening Day roster as a backup catcher or outfielder, Gilmartin, Wood and Graham will have the opportunity to prove why they are some of the top pitching prospects in the Braves' system.

This year's other notable non-roster invitees include slick-fielding shortstop Nick Ahmed, veteran infielder Blake DeWitt and outfielder Todd Cunningham.

Interestingly, Joe Terdoslavich is listed with Cunningham and Jordan Parraz as this year's non-roster outfielders. Terdoslavich was viewed as Chipper Jones' potential replacement when he came to his first big league Spring Training last year. But his defensive struggles led him to spend a majority of last year as Double-A Mississippi's first baseman.

Gattis will arrive at Spring Training looking to build on the success he created while spending the past few months in the Venezuelan Winter League. The 26-year-old catcher hit .303 with 16 home runs and a .595 slugging percentage in 53 games with Zulia.

Gattis' success in Venezuela added to the confidence he gained while combining to hit .305 with 18 home runs and a .995 OPS in 74 Minor League games last year. His numbers might have been even more impressive had he not injured his left wrist soon after being promoted from Class A Advanced Lynchburg to Double-A Mississippi.

With the potential that Brian McCann could miss most of April while recovering from shoulder surgery, Gattis could begin the season as Atlanta's backup catcher. If he proves that he can hit big league pitching, the Braves could also decide to give Gattis some time in left field.

DeWitt appears to be another non-roster invitee with some hope to gain a spot on the Opening Day roster. The 27-year-old infielder has played more than 400 Major League games with the Cubs and Dodgers. He has the ability to play second base, third base and either of the corner outfield spots.

This will be the first big league camp for Graham, who has been considered by some scouts to be the organization's top pitching prospect. The 22-year-old right-hander combined to go 12-2 with a 2.80 ERA in 148 innings with Lynchburg and Mississippi last season.

The Braves took Wood with their second-round Draft pick in June and then watched him go 4-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 13 starts with Class A Rome. Wood, a hard-throwing 21-year-old left-hander from the University of Georgia, recorded 52 strikeouts and issued 14 walks in 52 innings.

Gilmartin, the Braves' top selection in the '11 Draft, impressed with the poise he displayed during his first big league camp last year. The polished 22-year-old left-hander then compiled a 3.84 ERA in 27 combined starts with Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett.

Ahmed's stock appeared to rise as he displayed his solid defensive skills in the 2012 Arizona Fall League. A hard-nosed shortstop who has been compared to Jeff Blauser, Ahmed hit .269 and recorded 40 stolen bases while spending the 2012 season with Lynchburg.

Cunningham spent last summer displaying some of the hitting skills the Braves projected when they took him in the second round of the '10 Draft. While hitting .309 with a .767 OPS in 120 games with Mississippi, he also created confidence that has enough range to play any of the three outfield positions.

Below is a list of all of this year's non-roster invitees:

Pitchers (9): LHP Ryan Buchter, LHP Yohan Flande, Gilmartin, Graham, LHP Dusty Hughes, RHP Wirfin Obispo, LHP Daniel Rodriguez, RHP Gus Schlosser, Wood

Catchers (6): Luis De La Cruz, Gattis, Matt Kennelly, Matt Pagnozzi, Braeden Schlehuber, Jose Yepez

Infielders (3): Ahmed, DeWitt, Joe Leonard

Outfielders (3): Cunningham, Terdoslavich, Parraz

---- Source: MLB.com

Joe Terdoslavich
Joe Terdoslavich
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Photo Gallery: Lady Mocs Tennis Team Falls To Samford

Brave Beat Mets Friday, 6-0.

NEW YORK -- Only a high pitch count prevented Aaron Harang from bidding for history on Friday night at Citi Field. But after he'd delivered seven hitless innings, the Braves preserved his gem with a late-inning eruption that allowed them to cruise to a 6-0 win over the Mets. David Wright's two-out single in the eighth inning ended the Braves' bid to notch the first combined ... (click for more)

Bus Driver Will Not Face Charges In Tragic Bus Accident

Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan announced in a Friday afternoon press conference that the investigation into the death of six-year-old Zackery Bryant at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been officially declared complete and that there will be no criminal charges. Zackery died tragically on Monday morning after being hit by a school bus after stepping off. According to Sgt. Sturdivan, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Nudge By Angel Kilbride

Way above us, high in the heavens, a handsome angel everybody calls Ben yelled to Saint Peter on Thursday and told him, “Better send me a couple of rubies and maybe an amethyst … Dad’s crown just got bigger.” To you such a scenario may sound silly and foolish but Bill Kilbride, a dynamic genius who has just been named as president-elect of Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce, knows ... (click for more)