Salazar has predraft workout with Braves, Giants next

Kerman High pitcher Carlos Salazar flew across country and back all within a 24-hour span to throw 24 pitches before the Atlanta Braves brain trust.

Salazar, a potential first or second-round pick for next week’s MLB Amateur Draft, was among 20 to 25 players who were invited to Atlanta for a pre-draft workout with the Braves on Tuesday morning.

Salazar’s fastball registered as fast as 93 mph, though he’s thrown as fast as 98 during the season, according to Lions coach Jay Preuss.

The Braves have taken a keen interest in Salazar all year, following him throughout his senior season with as many as three scouts.

“They said they really liked what they saw,” said Preuss, who also flew to Atlanta for Salazar’s workout. Unlike Salazar, though, Preuss’ trip was not paid for by the Braves.

“It was about 6 in the morning California time when he was throwing for them, so he wasn’t at his very best; he wasn’t as alert as he’d usually be,” Preuss added. “I spoke to their West Coast cross checker, talked to the assistant GM. They’re very interested in Carlos.”

The Braves aren’t the only ones.

Salazar, who signed with Fresno State, is scheduled to next pitch before San Francisco Giants personnel at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at AT&T Park.

The Milwaukee Brewers also offered to fly out Salazar for a pre-draft workout, but he declined since it conflicted with Kerman’s graduation Thursday.

Nonetheless, Salazar appears to be leaning heavily on going pro and bypassing college baseball.

“They’ll wait till they have to make that decision sometime after the draft,” Preuss said. “If he’s drafted in the first day, I don’t think he’ll be a Bulldog.”

Salazar finished this past season at 10-2 with a 0.09 ERA and struck out 147 in 44 1/3 innings. He was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year for baseball on Tuesday.

San Francisco Giants promote Brett Pill to majors

The Fresno Grizzlies’ hottest hitter is back in a major-league uniform.

The San Francisco Giants recalled first baseman Brett Pill from Triple-A Fresno on Monday morning and optioned outfielder Francisco Peguero back to the Grizzlies.

Pill hit .341 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs in 32 games with the Grizzlies. The 28-year-old’s RBI total lead all of affiliated baseball.

Reports by Giants beat writers suggest Pill could serve as the Giants’ designated hitter during a two-game interleague series starting Tuesday against he Toronto Blue Jays.

Peguero hit .188 (3 for 16) in six games with San Francisco. He is hitting .415 in 16 games with the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies have two more games in Memphis before returning home Thursday night to begin an eight-game homestand against the New Orleans Zephyrs.

They might be Grizzlies

Cole Gillespie, left, played against the Fresno Grizzlies for the last four season. He could be wearing a Grizzlies uniform in 2013.

After whetting your baseball-loving appetites in Tuesday’s post, today we’ll take a closer look at some San Francisco Giants prospects and minor-league free agents that could wind up with the Fresno Grizzlies.

Keep in mind this is all conjecture. No baseball player shows up to spring training hoping they’ll be sent to Triple-A. But in reality the Giants have few openings. By most accounts, there are only three vacancies on the 25-man roster: a backup infielder (to replace Ryan Theriot), a fifth outfielder and relief pitcher.

Of those who played for the Grizzlies last season, Nick Noonan should have a chance at the extra infielder spot while Roger Kieschnick and Francisco Peguero could be the fifth outfielder. The final bullpen slot looks to be a competition between Ramon Ramirez (brought back on a minor-league deal), Chad Gaudin, Jean Machi and perhaps Heath Hembree.

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Baseball events dot Fresno calendar next week

Ryan Vogelsong pitched for the 2001 Fresno Grizzlies, going 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts. He also started the 2011 season with the Triple-A club before getting called up to the Giants and in 2012 started on Opening Day for the team while on a rehab assignment.

Spring training is right around the corner and Fresno also is gearing up for the start of the baseball season.

Next week, the Giants’ World Champions Trophy Tour comes to the Valley with several stops — notably Chuckchansi Park in Fresno on Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. The tour and both the 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies also will be at the Porterville College Gymnasium on Feb. 4 from 5-7 p.m., at the Reedley Community Center on Feb. 6 from 2-4 p.m. and in Sanger, at a site still to be determined, from 6-8 p.m. The tour also will make several other Valley stops, including Merced (Feb. 11), Los Banos (Feb. 12), Modesto (Feb. 19) and Atwater (Feb. 20).

Also next week, the Fresno Grizzlies host the 52nd Anniversary Hot Stove on Feb. 7 at the New Exhibit Hall Convention Center in downtown Fresno. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Guest speakers include team alum and current Giants star Ryan Vogelsong and Tigers star Doug Fister, the Merced native and former Fresno State star who pitched in the World Series this past fall against the Giants.

On Feb. 8, Fister will be inducted into the Fresno State Wall of Fame during the Dugout Club‘s Double Play Dinner at Clovis Veterans Memorial Hall as part of the baseball program’s alumni weekend that includes a golf tournament earlier in the day Feb. 8 and the annual alumni baseball game at Beiden Field at 2 p.m. Feb. 9.

Some season openers of note: The Bulldogs baseball team on Feb. 15-17 against UC Santa Barbara; the Bulldogs softball team hosts the Fresno State Kick-Off on Feb. 8-10 at Bulldog Diamond. The Fresno Pacific baseball home opener is Feb. 8 vs. Cal State Stanislaus. In the JC world, the Fresno City baseball team opens Friday at Sac City.