Delgado Showing Braves Were Wise To Keep Him





ATLANTA—Logic suggests that a pitcher would make his Triple-A debut before he accomplished the same feat at the major league level. Needs in Atlanta altered that path for righthander Randall Delgado, who showed in his first outing at Gwinnett why general manager Frank Wren was unwilling to include him in a deal at the trading deadline.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Delgado tossed six shutout innings and struck out nine Charlotte batters for the G-Braves on Aug. 6. The start was his first in Triple-A but his 100th in the minor leagues since he signed out of Panama as a 16-year-old in 2006. Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage came away impressed with Delgado's debut against a veteran Knights team.

"He's got very good stuff and he seems to be very mature for a guy his age," Brundage said of the 21-year-old Delgado. "He's as good as advertised, and he has a chance to pitch in some meaningful games here. It's a good situation for everyone involved."

Delgado emerged as one of the top young pitchers in the game midway through the 2009 season at low Class A Rome. He spent most of the first four months of 2011 at Double-A Mississippi, overcoming inconsistency and pitching well despite not winning a decision after June 30.

Delgado went 5-5, 3.84 with 110 strikeouts in 117 innings with the M-Braves. He struggled at times with his command but made significant strides with the quality of his pitches. His fastball resided in the low 90s while topping out at 96 mph, and he mixed it with an improving changeup and a solid curveball.

Some scouts expressed concern earlier this season about Delgado's reduced velocity and occasional issues with his control. The Braves, however, believe those hurdles were part of his making adjustments and were necessary in order to have success at higher levels. Delgado has said the key to his success is staying focused over the course of the contest without worrying about the big picture.

Wigwam Wisps

• The Braves promoted first-round pick Sean Gilmartin to Rome on Aug. 6 after he made his professional debut earlier that day in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Against the Yankees' GCL team, the lefthander allowed two earned runs and three hits in two innings of work.

• After pitching six games in the GCL and once with high Class A Lynchburg, righthander Brett Butts worked his way back to Mississippi after returning in July from the Tommy John surgery he had during the 2010 campaign.