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Braves notebook: Campillo a 'huge' addition to Braves rotation

POSTED: June 29, 2008 5:02 a.m.

ATLANTA — Jorge Campillo has made eight starts, enough for the Atlanta Braves and their opponents to agree: The rookie is for real.

Campillo gave up four hits and two runs in seven innings on Wednesday to lead the Braves to a 4-2 win over Milwaukee.

Campillo is 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA. He has made 22 appearances, including 14 in relief, and now has a firm grip on a rotation spot.

"He's been huge," Chipper Jones said Wednesday. "We've been able to count on him to at least give us a quality start every time out. At least six or seven innings.

"He's gonna keep us in the game. He's a smart pitcher. He knows how to change speeds, keep guys off-balance. Even when they know the off-speed pitch is coming, they still can't hit it."

Campillo, 29, spent the last three years in the Seattle organization. He appeared in only eight games, including one start, from 2005 through 2007.

Two of Campillo's three wins have come against the Brewers.

"He has been tough on a lot of people, not just us," said Milwaukee manager Ned Yost. "He has very good stuff, a good changeup and good arm control."

Campillo, a native of Tijuana, Mexico, recorded six strikeouts without a walk on Wednesday. Ryan Braun struck out in his first two at-bats.

"People who throw hard make mistakes more often," Braun said. "People with pinpoint control don't make that many mistakes.

"That means everything, when a guy comes out and throws the way he did today."

Campillo, using teammate Jair Jurrjens as a translator, said he is "really confident" in all his pitches.

"He's legit," said Braves manager Bobby Cox.

Braves sign 18 picks

The Braves have signed right-handed pitcher Ezekiel Spruill, a second-round pick, and 17 more draft picks, including their fourth and fifth overall selections, right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel and catcher Braeden Schlehuber, respectively.

Spruill, drafted from Kell High in Marietta, was the second of two second-round picks and the team's third overall draft pick, behind Brett DeVall, a left-handed pitcher from Niceville (Fla.) High School, and Robert Stovall, a left-hander from Hokes Bluff (Ala.) High School. DeVall signed with the University of Georgia before he was drafted by the Braves.

Other draft picks who signed include: RHP Paul Clemens; LHP Brett Oberholtzer; RHP Kyle Farrell; LHP Richard Sullivan; RHP Ross Francis; SS Travis Adair; 3B Jason Hanson; OF William (Layton) Hiller; SS Robert Brooks; SS Tyler Barnett; RHP Daniel (Casey) Hodges; SS Shayne Moody; OF Calvin Culver; OF Chris Shehan and RHP Adam Bullard.

The Braves also signed two non-drafted players, first baseman Ryan Voelkel out of Green River Community College and outfielder Mike Elkerson from Abilene Christian University.

Rehab roundup

Center fielder Mark Kotsay was 0-for-4 as the designated hitter in his first game with Double-A Mississippi on Tuesday night. Kotsay, who has been out since May 26 with a lower back strain, is expected to play four or five games in his injury rehabilitation assignment.

Kotsay was set to start in the outfield on Wednesday night.

Infielder Martin Prado, who was placed on the disabled list on May 5 with a sprained left thumb, is schedule to begin his rehab assignment at Mississippi on Thursday.

Mike Hampton was scheduled to pitch three to four innings in his second rehab appearance for the Gulf Coast League Braves on Thursday.

Hampton has been on the disabled since March 30 with a strained left pectoral and hasn't pitched in the majors since 2005.



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