Braves affiliates start Thursday

Mike Foltynewicz gets the start on opening day for the Gwinnett Braves.

The Gwinnett Braves will kick off the season Thursday night at 7:05 pm ET with the Durham Bulls in town. Mike Foltynewicz, acquired by the Braves from Houston in the Evan Gattis trade, will make his debut. "Folty" pitched well in spring training and almost won a job on the big league roster. Last year Foltynewicz got 16 games in relief for the Astros to get his first taste of the big leagues.

Mississippi starts at home, as the Braves host the Tennessee Smokies at 8:00 pm ET. Jason Hursh, who is returning to Double-A to start the season, will pitch for the Braves. Hursh was 11-7 last season in 27 games (26 starts) for the M-Braves. The Braves want him to do well there again before getting called up to either Gwinnett or maybe even Atlanta.

It's the first game for the Carolina Mudcats as a Braves affiliate. Yean Carlos Gil will get the ball for the first game as Salem provides the competition. Gil was in big league camp this spring after going 7-6 last season for Rome. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

And the Rome Braves will send Max Povse, last year's third round draft pick, to the mound as Asheville hits State Mutual Stadium. Povse had a 3.42 ERA in his 12 games (11 starts) for Danville last season. The game begins at 7:00 pm ET.

Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at

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