Kawakami recalled from Gwinnett; Martinez optioned

After three weeks in Triple-A Gwinnett to get stretched out, Kenshin Kawakami returned to the Braves bullpen Monday where he will serve as the long reliever and spot starter in case of an injury.

Kawakami went 0-1 with a 4.29 ERA in five starts for Gwinnett, allowing 10 earned runs in 21 innings but striking out 22 and walking only five.

“He pitched well down there,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “The results weren’t always great, but as far as his stuff, his curveball was real good. He’s been working on the slider, to use as another weapon, and he made progress in that area.”

Kawakami lost his starting job to Kris Medlen after going 1-9 with a 4.48 ERA in 15 starts for the Braves. When Medlen went down with season-ending elbow surgery earlier this month, Kawakami had pitched just once in nearly six weeks in the Braves bullpen. While he was in Gwinnett getting stretched out, left-hander Mike Minor emerged as a new force in the rotation in Medlen’s place, sending Kawakami back to the bullpen.

To make room for Kawakami, the Braves optioned right-hander Cristhian Martinez to Gwinnett the day after he pitched four key relief innings in the Braves’ 7-6 comeback win over the Marlins. Martinez had a 3.05 ERA in 13 appearances for the Braves, with only one walk and 15 strikeouts.

This way, the Braves got a fresh arm, and Martinez will be back after Gwinnett’s season ends Sept. 6. But it didn’t make telling him any easier.

“He’s pitched great and he’s a great kid,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Having to send down the star of the game (from Sunday) is hard. But we’ll get him back on the 7th. I wish it was the 1st but we can’t.”

Normally a player has to stay in the minor leagues for 10 days unless there’s an injury. Since Gwinnett has only seven games left after Monday, Martinez can return on Sept. 7.

18 comments Add your comment

Tim Tebow

August 30th, 2010
7:15 pm

Tim Tebow

August 30th, 2010
7:19 pm

do u like mexican food DOB

Tim Tebow

August 30th, 2010
7:19 pm

im prety sure carrol likes em alot


August 30th, 2010
7:24 pm

I guess this move was made for the playoffs, but I would rather have Martinez pitching in relief in the playoffs than K. I guess his contract had something to do with it as well.

J Clay

August 30th, 2010
7:43 pm

Makes no sense….if going to send down 1 it should Kyle Stinkworth

David O'Brien

August 30th, 2010
7:51 pm

Tebow, I can only deduce that you haven’t been around the ol’ blog for long. Yes, loves me some Mexican food, as evident by my streak of 11 consecutive days eating it on the L.A.-Arizona-Minnesota trip earlier this season. Oh, man, that was some good stuff.

Bob Horners Broken Wrist

August 30th, 2010
8:39 pm

I really don’t care how much I paid for a fashionable shirt. Once I decide its ugly I don’t wear it unless I absolutely have to.


August 30th, 2010
8:56 pm

I agree with J Clay.What not send Kyle Farns-worthless down? He can’t lose the game
for you in Gwinnett.Hopefully the rest and then the re-conditioning has straightened KK out.


August 30th, 2010
10:44 pm

Sent out the wrong guy.

Brian O'Blivion

August 30th, 2010
10:46 pm

What the heck is a “Tebow”?

Howie Bedell

August 30th, 2010
10:51 pm

Why is Wren determined to make KK a useful pitcher? He has never been a relief pitcher and hasn’t shown that he can be. Is he going to replace Lowe as the fifth starter?


August 30th, 2010
11:16 pm

Could KK be insurance in case Lowe is hurt?I would hope the Braves have a better option down on the Farm than KK.GO BRAVES ….Martinez deserved better,but what the heck,bizness as usual.


August 31st, 2010
12:17 am

Sure hope to see Craig Kimbrell, Stephen Marek, and Freddie Freeman get the call asap to give us a much needed boost out of the pen and off the bench.


August 31st, 2010
6:59 am

Martinez wasn’t going to be ready to pitch again for a few days and KK was the next logical replacment for long relief. Like him or not, he has a major league paycheck and experience. He may end up getting 3 or 4 starts too…depending on Lowe’s status.


August 31st, 2010
7:41 am

K K is getting paid a whole lot of money and management doesn’t want to admit that they made a mistake with him so they are bringing him back – again. This has been a very lucky year for the Braves. They are hoping some of that luck rubs off on KK. I expect they want him to look good so they can trade him.


August 31st, 2010
7:58 am

i’m pretty sure i’ve read some articles written by baseball stat nerds that prove that even though he’s not great, KK has outperformed D Lowe. I’m not expecting Lowe to be the ace (even though he’s paid like one), but he needs to do better. Surely there’s no way we see D Lowe or KK in the playoff rotation at all.

Maybe splitting up Huddy and Lowe in the rotation is a good idea? Afterall their pitching styles are similar. Huddy’s a lot better, and teams get to see Lowe’s similar, lesser “stuff” usually the night after Huddy. Is that an advantage for them?

Stoned Mountain

August 31st, 2010
8:16 am

I hope Cristhian comes back and gets a decent shot. He’s 28, no kid, and has been striving for seven years to get established. He looks like he is really working hard with determination, and he showed poise the other day in the long middle relief. Keep your chin up, dude.

John Leonard Omar 233

August 31st, 2010
1:28 pm

We are in first place,so it sounds hollow to criticize this move,but it seems management makes these scratch your head moves all the time.

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