Minor League Notes

The Atlanta Braves released five minor leaguers Sunday as they continue to get their minor league rosters ready for completion before they break camp later this week.

  • The Braves released five minor leaguers on Sunday including pitchers Mike Mueller, Blake Cross, Roberto Nieves, Luke Franzenburg, and infielder Juan Downing.

  • Mike Mueller was the Braves 16th round pick in the 2002 draft out of Auburn University. He pitched in Rome and Myrtle Beach last season. The righty was 0-2 with a 5.57 ERA in 20 games for Myrtle Beach and 0-3 for Rome with an ERA of 5.64 in 15 games.

  • Cross was an undrafted free agent signed last summer out of the University of North Carolina - Wilmington. He spent the 2004 season in the Gulf Coast League and went 3-3 in 17 relief appearances and had a 2.96 ERA.

  • Nieves was a 7th round draft pick in 2001 draft out of Puerto Rico. He was 1-5 in 21 games for Rome last season, but had 40 walks in 33 innings pitched.

  • Franzenburg was signed as a non-drafted free agent last summer out of Mount Mercy College in Iowa. He pitched in 12 games between Rome and the Gulf Coast League and compiled a 3.50 ERA.

  • Downing had been in the organization for three years. He played in only 17 games last season between Rome and Myrtle Beach and had only 3 RBI in 56 at bats.

  • The AAA and AA teams played Houston's top two farm clubs Sunday at Disney's complex. Kyle Davies pitched for Richmond and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits over five innings, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Lefty reliever John Foster pitched one perfect inning in relief.

  • In the AA game Jeff Francoeur and Carlos Duran both homered for Mississippi. Macay McBride, returning to the starting rotation, started for the Braves and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits over 4 innings with 2 walks and 3 punch outs. Rico Rodriquez got lit up in relief, but righty Ryan Basner pitched 2.1 perfect innings to relief Rodriquez.

Bill Shanks has a new book coming out next month on the Braves' scouting and player development philosophies called Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. He can be reached at thebravesshow@email.com.

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