Hale impressed Braves before getting sent down

JUPITER, Fla. — David Hale was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett late Wednesday, but not before the pitching prospect left a good impression with Braves officials.

The Marietta native had three strikeouts with one walk in two hitless innings Wednesday, including consecutive strikeouts after the Marlins got the potential tying run on third base with one out in the ninth inning.

“He’s got some good stuff,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Getting out of that jam… He’s got pitchability. He’s got some quality pitches. He elevated the fastball, he can sink it. He’s been impressive.”

Hale, 25, was a third-round draft pick in 2009 out of Princeton University. In his first major-league camp, he allowed six hits and three runs in nine innings over five appearances, with four walks and eight strikeouts.

“We’ve got guys at Triple-A now that have been impressive in spring training,” said Gonzalez, naming pitchers Hale, Sean Gilmartin, J.R. Graham, Gus Schlosser and Aaron Northcraft.

Schlosser and Northcraft were dropped from the camp roster in the first round of cuts Tuesday (Northcraft was optioned to Double-A Mississippi). Graham has pitched seven scoreless innings (five hits) over four appearances in his first big-league camp.

Gilmartin has allowed 12 hits and six runs in eight innings of three Grapefruit League games including one start. He had a strong showing Wednesday in a spring-training prospect game in St. Petersburg, giving up just one hit and two walks with three strikeouts in four scoreless innings against prospects from major league teams that train in Florida.