Braves add INF Pablo Sandoval to 40-man roster

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

The Braves didn’t see much of Pablo Sandoval when he joined the team late last season, but he impressed enough that the team brought him back to camp for a tryout. Sandoval’s roster bid officially became a success Saturday.

As part of a flurry of transactions, the Braves added Sandoval to their 40-man roster. The three-time world champ joined infielder Ehire Adrianza and reliever Nate Jones as non-roster invitees to earn spots.

Sandoval, 34, has had an outstanding exhibition season. He’s hit .429/.463/.978, which includes a three-hit game Friday. While he can handle both corner infield spots, Sandoval wasn’t going to make the team for defensive purposes, so he had to excel with the bat. He beat out Jake Lamb for a spot. Lamb, who was on the 40-man roster, was released Saturday.

“Pablo has done it,” manager Brian Snitker said. “The way he’s come in, the professionalism, what he adds in the clubhouse, the presence he has, the respect he has from everybody, and the fact he can still hit. He’s what you’re looking for. He’s a guy who can sit around and stay ready.”

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In other moves, the Braves designated outfielder Phillip Ervin for assignment. They also released veteran infielder Jason Kipnis, another accomplished non-roster invitee who spent the spring trying to win over the club.

The Braves’ bench is set to include infielders Adrianza and Sandoval, outfielder Ender Inciarte and backup catcher Alex Jackson. The team is going to start with smaller bench so it can carry an expanded bullpen.

The Braves open the season Thursday at Philadelphia.