Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez got a chance to mingle with the minor leaguers on Monday night when he went to Gwinnett to watch Jair Jurrjens pitch six innings in a rehabilitation start. He sat in the stands flanked by first round pick Mike Minor and top pitching prospect Julio Teheran.
Safe to say his impressions of Teheran have been good.
Gonzalez said he was translating for Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell who sat on Teheran’s right hand side and was hinting that it won’t be long before Teheran is in the big leagues and dressing up for the Braves chartered flights.
“Roger was kidding him, ‘You have a suit, a sports coat?’” Gonzalez said. “He goes ‘No.’ ‘You better get one.’ He’s looking at me like ‘What do you mean I better get one?’ ‘Meaning you’re going to be up here; you may help us sooner rather than later.’”
Another Gwinnett Brave who can’t stop making a big impression on Gonzalez is first baseman Mauro Gomez. It was just two weeks ago when Gomez hit a walk-off home run in an exhibition game at Turner Field in his first at-bat in front of the major league coaches. On Monday night, with Gonzalez looking on, Gomez sent a homer up the berm in straightaway center field off former major leaguer Mark Hendrickson.
“When we left last night, I came here and talked to Frank (Wren) about him,” Gonzalez said. “‘Tell me more about this Gomez guy.’ And that’s what you want to do as a minor league minor. Have people talk about you.”