Minor League Notes

BravesCenter's Bill Shanks has some exclusive notes from the Braves minor league system.

  • Richmond outfielder Esix Snead is still bothered by a quad strain. He might be activated last this week. Billy McCarthy is back on the Richmond roster after missing several weeks with an ankle injury. Scott Pratt has been placed on the DL with a strained oblique muscle.

  • Buddy Hernandez is also due off the Disabled List this week. Buddy has been bothered by some elbow and forearm soreness. The Braves disabled him just as a precaution.

  • Outfielder / First baseman Andy Barkett, who played with the Richmond Braves back in 2000, has been re-signed by the Braves and is playing in Extended Spring Training. Barkett was with Detroit in AAA last season (.283 with 19 homers and 66 RBI in Toledo). The 30-year-old left-handed hitter was originally signed by the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent by in 1995. He's also played in the Pirates and Mariners organizations. Barkett got 46 major league at bats with Pittsburgh in 2001 (.304 with a home run and 3 RBI). He played his college ball at N.C. State.

  • Mike O'Keefe, who had the game-winning home run for Richmond on Sunday afternoon, will probably eventually play for the AA team in Mississippi. O'Keefe was released by the Red Sox a few weeks ago and picked up by the Braves. He spent last season in AA Portland for the Red Sox and hit .248 with 19 homers and 68 RBI. The 26-year-old left-handed hitter was originally drafted by the Angels in 1999.

  • Former Braves' farmhand Mike Porzio is back in the organization. The left-handed pitcher last pitched in the big leagues in 2003, when he started three games for the Chicago White Sox. Porzio was with the Braves in 1998, when they signed him as a minor league free agent. Atlanta traded him later that summer to the Rockies in the Greg Colbrunn trade. Porzio would then go on to pitch for the Rockies in 1999 (sixteen games in relief). He's got two more sessions left in Orlando at Extended Spring Training and then he's off to either AAA or AA.

  • The Braves plan on piggybacking Macay McBride and Matt Wright in the Mississippi rotation for the next several week.

  • The Braves signed Gerry Oakes in the middle of March. Oakes is a left-handed pitcher that was released by the Indians in spring training. He's a big guy, 6'4", and he has good stuff. Oakes has been in the Brewers and Twins systems in the past. He'll probably go to Rome as a reliever at some point later this season.

  • Mike Thompson has been signed as a non-drafted free agent. Thompson hasn't pitched in a year after twirling for a junior college in Michigan two years ago. He'll probably pitch in the Gulf Coast League.

  • Former big-league reliever Jay Powell is reportedly throwing "nasty stuff" down at Extended Spring Training. Powell is on track with his rehab from shoulder surgery and should be ready to head out to AA Mississippi sometime between May 10th and the 15th. If Powell's rehab goes well in AA, he could be a candidate for the Atlanta bullpen if needed later this summer.

  • Mark Jurich, who was hit in the face in a fielding drill back in the middle of March, is headed down to Orlando in the next few days to begin his road back. Jurich has been restricted in his workouts since his facial surgery, but the doctors have cleared him to begin his rehab. The Braves hope he'll be ready to go to Rome in 3-4 weeks. Jurich was having an outstanding spring when he suffered his injury.

  • Right-hander Gonzalo Lopez underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last week and will be out for the next 12 months. Lopez was a non-roster pitcher in big league camp back in March but was bothered by tendonitis. Now the Braves know he had a serious injury. Lopez is still only 21-years-old, so the organization hopes he can come back and still be an effective pitcher.

  • Jo Jo Reyes and Steve Russell, two pitchers who were with Rome in 2004 and had Tommy John Surgery, are both on track in their recovery. The Braves hope both of them can be ready to go to either Danville or Rome in late June or early July.

  • Word from Extended Spring Training is that Adam Parliament is doing very well. The tall right-handed hitting outfielder was the Braves 26th round pick out of El Paso Community College last season. He has tremendous power. Parliament will go to Rome if there is any room or perhaps more likely Danville when their season starts in mid-June.

  • And finally, sources say Elvis Andrus is STILL impressing coaches down at Extended Spring Training. The 16-year old phenom will play for the Gulf Coast League Braves starting next month.

Bill Shanks has a new book coming out later this month on baseball scouting and player development with the Braves as the main focus. "Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team" will be on the book shelves May 23rd. You can reach Bill at thebravesshow@email.com

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