Newest Braves lefty bp pitcher? Ryan Klesko

It was just a navy blue batting practice jersey but former Brave Ryan Klesko was back on the field wearing his old No. 18 throwing batting practice Wednesday.

The Braves asked the left-handed Klesko to give them another lefty arm in bp before facing Nationals left-hander John Lannan Wednesday night.

Klesko has been throwing batting practice for some high school and college teams, as well as the San Francisco Giants during spring training, the team he retired with in 2007. He’s a regular visitor at Turner Field anyway, coming up from his home in Macon.

“I come down on business a lot,” Klesko said. “They said any time you’re in town we’d love to have you.”

Klesko, 39, played first base and left field throughout his 16-year major league career, but he pitched at Westminster (Calif.) High School. He injured his arm pitching for the U.S.A. junior Olympic team or he might have been drafted as a pitcher.

“I can throw breaking balls, curveballs and cutters and game simulation if they need me on occasion,” Klesko said.

26 comments Add your comment

Mike S

May 11th, 2011
6:18 pm

That’s cool. Pic?

bruce

May 11th, 2011
6:21 pm

i think this is cool… good for ryan and good for bravos

bruce

May 11th, 2011
6:22 pm

do they really throw more than straight stuff in bp?

Spanky

May 11th, 2011
6:24 pm

Outstanding! He’s not a bad voice-man either!

LAG

May 11th, 2011
6:32 pm

I’ve long thought they needed a lefty for BP. Let’s see if it helps out.

Huh?

May 11th, 2011
6:39 pm

Macon? What did he do and what judge sentenced him to live in Macon?

Nateforpresident

May 11th, 2011
6:43 pm

what

May 11th, 2011
6:46 pm

What no picture

Dennis Reynolds

May 11th, 2011
6:49 pm

Maybe he can fill in for Heyward

Cleveland Brave

May 11th, 2011
7:01 pm

Miss seeing Thumper at the TED. Nicest guy you’ll ever meet.

Steve H

May 11th, 2011
7:17 pm

Yes, they don’t only throw straight stuff in BP. LOL .. why would they only practice to hit fastballs in batting practice when in games they get everything and the kitchen sink?

[...] In some serious need of outfield depth with Jason Heyward possibly facing a DL stint because of a sore right shoulder, the Braves have turned to former All-Star Ryan Klesko. [...]

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

May 11th, 2011
9:23 pm

How many times has Haywood stiked out tonight?

urban redneck

May 11th, 2011
10:11 pm

wow, this needs a spell check function.

and who’s haywood?

MIBravesFan

May 11th, 2011
11:38 pm

It’s always great to hear about Ryno! :)

billmaier

May 12th, 2011
12:04 am

ryan if you cab thgriough tha tkind of asorment you shouild tak linebrinks place i the bullpena nd lte me pitdch batting practice

gotigers72

May 12th, 2011
1:16 am

Klesko was one of the more fan friendly players when he was a Brave. He would stand in LF during BP and play catch with kids in the stands and was also one of the more accessible players for autographs before games. Loved that guy, and so did my kids.

rc35

May 12th, 2011
8:16 am

Hey! There’s nothing wrong with Macon. Great location, good eating, some museums so nice that Atlanta is always trying to steal them. Well, there IS one thing wrong–they don’t have Class A baseball anymore, but except for that, I’d rather live in Macon than the ATL any day.

maconboy

May 12th, 2011
9:13 am

must not have done anything very bad or they would have sentenced him to Philadelphia ……………

phil

May 12th, 2011
11:00 am

You guys can have Atl and your horrible traffic….

Elsie Tee

May 12th, 2011
11:30 am

Ryan doesn’t live in Macon. He has a hunting lodge in Jones County, outside of Macon and Bibb County. He has several homes, including in his native California. When with the Braves, he and John Smoltz purchased a hunting preserve in Jones County that also has several well-stocked fishing ponds. Smoltz never used the place much, we all know he’s more into golfing than hunting or fishing, and I don’t think he still owns part of the place. But Ryan visited often when he was with the Braves and also fairly regularly after moving on to other teams. Since retiring, he visits a good bit to hunt quail and deer. He even helped former ML players Willie Greene and Rondell White, Jones County natives, with a youth baseball camp they put on a couple of years ago.

VinnyD

May 12th, 2011
11:37 am

For those who don’t know, Jones County is the home of Gray, Georgia between Macon and Milledgeville.

bring back blauser

May 12th, 2011
11:52 am

would be nice if the Thumper got on as a special coach for the team

Skeezix

May 12th, 2011
3:59 pm

Why not use Linebrink to do this. Might as well get some productivity out of him. Just don’t use him in a real game again.

Skeezix

May 12th, 2011
4:01 pm

Klesko was a piece of work in the dugout after he hit a homer.

Chris Snow

May 13th, 2011
8:45 am

Linebrink doesn’t deserve to be in the Major’s. How many games do we have to loose before they figure that out!

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