Braves Invite 22 Non-Roster Players To Major League Spring Training Camp

Monday, January 13, 2014
Once a top prospect for the Brewers, Gamel played for the Huntsville Stars a full-season in 2008.
Once a top prospect for the Brewers, Gamel played for the Huntsville Stars a full-season in 2008.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

The Braves announced 22 non-roster players have been invited to participate in their big league camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex this year. Jason Hursh, Edward Salcedo, Tommy La Stella and Matt Lipka are the most notable members of this group who will be participating in big league camp for the first time.

Mat Gamel is another non-roster invitee who will surely draw some attention as he attempts to rekindle the promise he showed before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while playing for the Brewers each of the past two years. If he proves healthy, he could provide valuable depth in Atlanta at both corner infield spots. 

Less than a year after experiencing the thrill of being a first-round selection, right-handed pitcher Hursh is going to spend the early weeks of his first Spring Training rubbing elbows with Major Leaguers in Braves camp. 

This year's other non-roster invitees include left-handed pitchers Daniel Rodriguez, Atahualpa Severino and Ian Thomas; right-handed pitchers Lay Batista, J.R. Graham, Mark Lamm, Cody Martin, Yunesky Maya, Gus Schlosser and Shae Simmons; catchers Matt Kennelly, Steve Lerud, Braeden Schlehuber and Jose Yepez; infielders Gamel, Phil Gosselin, Tyler Greene and Mark Hamilton.

Like they did with Mike Minor and Sean Silmartin after selecting them in the first round out of the college ranks, the Braves are going to give Hursh a chance to spend at least a couple weeks of his first Spring Training with the big leaguers.

After being selected out of Oklahoma State University last summer, Hursh posted a 0.67 ERA in the nine starts he made for Class A Rome. The 22-year-old right-hander, ranked by MLB.com as the Braves' No. 4 prospect, will most likely begin the regular season with Class A Advanced Lynchburg.

While La Stella has been heralded as a candidate to replace Dan Uggla as Atlanta's starting second baseman, his first big league camp likely will simply provide the Braves a chance to get a better sense of how close he is to being big league ready. La Stella hit .343 with an .896 OPS in 81 games with Double-A Mississippi last summer and then batted .290 with a .904 OPS in the 18 games he played during the Arizona Fall League.

Graham is another player who will come to Spring Training with legitimate reason to believe he could get his first call to the Major League level at some point this year. The hard-throwing right-handed hurler made a great impression during his first big league camp last year. His journey toward Atlanta was interrupted by a season-ending right shoulder ailment that sidelined him in late May.

Graham will come to camp looking to prove he is healthy and once again capable of producing a fastball that generated a few triple-digit readings on some radar guns last year. Former Braves Minor League pitching coordinator and current Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace has raved about Graham's great potential.

When the Braves gave Salcedo a $1.6 million signing bonus as an international signee in 2010, they likely did not think he would play four full Minor League seasons before getting his first invite to Spring Training. But Salcedo has struggled at the plate, compiling a .689 OPS in 1,899 professional at-bats, and in the field, where he has continued to struggle since making the move from shortstop to third base.

Lipka's prospect status has also taken a hit since the Braves selected him with their first selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The 21-year-old outfielder was successful with 37 of the 51 stolen base attempts he made while playing his second straight season with Lynchburg last year. But in 1,613 career plate appearances, he has produced a .655 OPS.

----- Source: MLB.com


CCS, Notre Dame, Sale Creek Post Volleyball Wins

The Notre Dame volleyball team beat CSAS  25-23, 25-2 on Monday night.  Notre Dame imrpoves to 13-8 overall and 6-1 in the district.   Notre Dame Stats: Ally Mildenberger: 5 digs Sarah Desai: 16 assists, 1 dig Tess Scobey: 8 kills, 2 aces, 2 digs Mackenzie Johnson: 4 kills, 1 block, Claire VanderWerf: 4 kills, 1 ace, 1 dig Jazzmyne Watkins: 1 kill ... (click for more)

Lee Golf Team Tied For Fourth At Cougar Invitational

The Lee men’s golf team is tied for fourth place heading into the final 18 holes of the 54-hole Cougar Invitational presented by AFLAC on Tuesday.   Lander (S.C.) is the leader after the first two rounds on Monday. The Bearcats put together rounds of 277-287 – 564 (-4). At least five teams are in contention for top honors heading into the last round. North Alabama is two ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Files Petition To Declare 2 Gangs A Public Nuisance

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a petition on Monday asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances. General Pinkston is also "asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood." ... (click for more)

2 Boaters Die In Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning On Chickamauga Lake

Two boaters and their pet were pronounced dead at the scene of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake.  Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga were reported missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day by a concerned family member. The boaters had not been heard from since Saturday. Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Of Course Gangs Are A Public Nuisance

Now, I don't know it all.  Beginning with my parents, folks of all sorts have been actively pointing out my ignorance for more than seven decades now.  So I'm well aware that I don't know it all.  In recent months I've begun to develop an appreciation for the local work of Mr. Neal Pinkston; I've been impressed with several things he's been doing in his official ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Arnold Palmer’s Greatness

This is hardly meant to be flippant but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been in the presence of more great people than anyone you know. I’ve never ranked them, or ever dared to wonder who was the greatest, such as Muhammad Ali or Elvis Presley, but there are two traits that those who reach the highest pinnacle have in common. First, not a one of them was any good at what made them famous ... (click for more)