Richmond Braves Report

Here's a look at how the Richmond Braves are doing heading into the month of June.


The Braves start the month of June in Canada tonight at 6:05 taking on Ottawa. Kevin Barry (1-2, 3.94 ERA) will go for Richmond. The Braves are now 30-20 on the season, six games up on Durham in the International League's South Division. After going 15-5 in the first month of the season, Richmond was 15-15 in May.

Yunel Escobar will not be able to travel to Canada due to not having a green card. You can't get a work permit to go to Canada if you do not have a green card. But Escobar continues to shine in his first season in Triple-A. He is sixth in the International League with his .333 batting average, and in the month of May Richmond's shortstop hit .351 and drove in 17 runners. If the Braves decide to place Chipper Jones on the disabled list today, Escobar may get the call to the big leagues and won't have to worry about not going to Canada.

The month of May was not kind to Billy McCarthy, who hit .154 (12-78). And since returning from Atlanta catcher Brayan Pena, who actually played left field Thursday night for the Braves, has struggled a bit. Pena is hitting .171 (7-41) since coming back from the big leagues.

Richmond's pitching staff leads the International League with a 3.13 team ERA. The staff has allowed only 25 home runs in its first 50 games, the lowest total in the league.

With Thursday's retirement of lefty reliever Rheal Cormier, southpaw Will Startup may become even more important in the big picture. If the Braves decide they need another lefty in Atlanta's bullpen, Startup may get the first shot now with Cormier gone. Startup is following up a strong second half last season with a productive first two months. He's 0-1 and has a 3.22 ERA in 20 games, 18 hits allowed in 22.1 innings, eight runs allowed, 10 walks, and 23 strikeouts. Lefty hitters are only hitting .217 off Startup so far this year.

And Jeff Bennett's return from Tommy John surgery continues to go well. He has had five straight scoreless appearances (over seven innings) and between six games in AA and his 12 games in Richmond Bennett's overall ERA is 3.81.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at

Atlanta Dugout Top Stories