LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Gwinnett Braves, in conjunction with the Atlanta Braves, have announced several transactions affecting the Gwinnett 25-man roster today. Third baseman Joe Leonard has been promoted to Gwinnett from Double-A Mississippi and outfielder Andy Simunic has been signed as a free agent and assigned to Gwinnett.
The two new additions replace outfielder Todd Cunningham, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 4 with a left thumb sprain, and outfielder Derrick Mitchell, who was transferred to Double-A Mississippi.
Leonard, 25, batted .246 (28-for-114) with three doubles, seven RBIs and two stolen bases in 36 games for the M-Braves. He returns to Gwinnett where he spent all of 2013, batting .230 with 22 doubles, three triples, 35 RBIs and one stolen base in 119 games. Leonard led all International League third basemen with a .965 fielding percentage last season.
Selected by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2010 June draft out of the University of Pittsburgh, Leonard is batting .249 with 83 doubles, nine triples, 21 home runs, 195 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 428 minor league games.
Simunic, 28, was the 17th round selection of the Houston Astros in the 2008 June draft out of the University of Tennessee. He batted .276 with 59 doubles, eight triples, 11 home runs, 161 RBIs and 64 stolen bases over parts of seven seasons in the Astros' organization. Simunic played 30 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, batting .263 (25-for-95) with five doubles, one home run, 10 RBIs and one stolen base. He was released by the Astros on June 1.
Cunningham was batting .280 (60-for-214) with 12 doubles, two home runs, 29 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 54 games prior to suffering the injury. He has not played since June 2 at Rochester. Mitchell batted .217 (20-for-92) with five doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs and three stolen bases in 42 games with the G-Braves. On May 9 at Lehigh Valley, he became the first player in Gwinnett club history to homer three times in a game, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
The Gwinnett Braves and the Columbus Clippers conclude the four-game series on Friday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Right-hander Gus Schlosser (3-2, 4.94) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves, while the Clippers will counter with right-hander Kyle Davies (2-3, 4.30). Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call beginning at 6:50 PM on wdun.com, GwinnettBraves.com, Tune-In Radio and the MiLB First Pitch app. The game will also be televised on the MeTV network, WSB-TV Channel 2.2 with broadcasters Mike Morgan, Dave Lezotte and Van Earl Wright.
Friday's game is sponsored by 12Stone Church and features Post-Game Fireworks, presented by Fox 5 Atlanta and Dollywood - the perfect Smoky Mountain family getaway. Tickets are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com to purchase.