Atlanta Braves infielder Gordon Beckham has played almost 900 MLB games in his career and had last appeared in Single-A in 2008 – until last week, when a rehab stint through the minor leagues took him to the Carolina Mudcats for three games.
After recovering from a June 1 hamstring injury, Beckham played nine total games for the Braves’ rookie-league, advanced-A and triple-A affiliates before being recalled to Atlanta on Friday.
With Carolina, the 29-year-old reached base on nine of his 12 at-bats, going 5-for-8 with four walks and three RBIs. He also had a huge impact in the stands – the Mudcats, averaging 3,039 fans per game otherwise, drew an average of 6,103 to Five County Stadium for Beckham’s three appearances.
Trea Turner called up to MLB
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Just two days after finishing his Triple-A “homecoming” series in Durham, former N.C. State star Trea Turner was called up from the Syracuse Chiefs to the MLB’s Washington Nationals.
Turner finished his time with Syracuse on an eight-game hitting streak, going 5-for-14 with four runs scored during his three games against the Bulls. He then scored twice Thursday against Norfolk before the transaction was announced Friday afternoon.
At the time of the call-up, Turner ranked first in the International League in runs scored (61) and stolen bases (25) as well as seventh in batting average (.302).
“You don’t have any control when that day’s going to come, when that opportunity is going to present itself, so you just have focus on things you can control, and that’s … playing the game the right way,” Syracuse manager Billy Gardner Jr., told the News & Observer on Tuesday about Turner’s call-up situation.
Evidently, he followed that advice.
New Bulls pitcher debuts
Relief pitcher Casey Coleman, a veteran of 90 MLB games, signed a minor-league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday and was assigned to Durham.
That same night, he debuted with the Bulls, although it was an appearance to be forgotten – Coleman, 29, allowed four hits and three earned runs in one inning as part of a 9-1 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Previously this season with the Triple-A Tacoma (Wash.) Rainiers, Coleman had earned a perfect 2-0 record and picked up four saves with a 2.08 ERA in 39 innings pitched. He most recently appeared in the majors with the Kansas City Royals in 2014, pitching 12 innings over 10 appearances.
Coleman also has plenty of major-league blood in his family: his grandfather pitched in MLB from 1942 to 1955, primarily with the Philadelphia Athletics, and his father pitched in MLB from 1965 to 1979, earning a 1972 All-Star Game nomination with the Detroit Tigers.
Greensboro Grasshoppers off to hot start
After hovering around .500 during the first half of the Single-A South Atlantic League season, the Greensboro Grasshoppers – an affiliate of the Miami Marlins – have begun the season’s second half on a torrid streak.
Sporting a 12-3 record as of Friday, the Grasshoppers find themselves on top of the Northern Division behind the arm of Chuck Weaver, whose 2.37 ERA and 9-4 record both rank among the best in the league.
Greensboro will play road series at Greenville, S.C., and Kannapolis, N.C., this week after wrapping up a seven-game homestand on Sunday.