Minor League Preview - April 3

Here's a preview of today's Opening Day games around the Braves minor league season.


The Braves start their final season in Richmond Thursday when they host Rochester at the lame duck Diamond. Buddy Carlyle will get the nod as the Opening Day starter when he throws the first pitch at 4:00 pm ET. Carlyle started nine games in Richmond last season before he joined the Atlanta rotation and was 5-2 with a 2.59 ERA. Glen Perkins, who pitched a bit in the Twins' major league bullpen last season, gets the call for the Red Wings.


Dan Smith will get the opening night assignment when the Braves play in Huntsville on Thursday night. Smith started last season in Mississippi and was 4-2 with a 1.94 ERA before being promoted to Triple-A Richmond. The lefty had a very impressive spring training and is in great shape after losing 20 pounds over the winter. Game time is 8:05 pm ET.


The Pelicans have today off but will take an 11-hour bus ride up to Wilmington, Delaware to start the season on Friday night against the Blue Rocks. The Pelicans have their first home game on April 11th at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach.


Jeff Locke will get the start tonight at State Mutual Stadium as the Braves take on the Charleston RiverDogs. The lefty was outstanding last season in the Appalachian League posting a 7-1 record with a 2.66 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 61 innings. Locke will oppose Dellin Bentances, one of the Yankees' best pitching prospects.

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 thebravesshow@email.com.

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