Jesse Biddle and Wes Parsons returned to the Braves bullpen Tuesday. The team designated lefty specialist Jerry Blevins for assignment and earlier optioned Kyle Wright to Triple-A to make room.
Biddle, who was a key southpaw in last season’s bullpen, hit a major slump before his stint on the injured list (right thigh contusion/right groin strain). He walked nine over his past eight appearances (5-2/3 innings), including two with the bases loaded.
Opponents had 14 hits against Biddle over his 11-1/3 innings. The Braves hoped his time away would serve as a mental and physical refresher. Biddle made four rehab appearances in Triple-A, walking just one in 5-1/3 innings. Braves manager Brian Snitker said reports on Biddle’s outings were positive.
“It was real good,” he said. “He threw the ball really well. So it’s good to get him back. He was anxious and we’ll work him back in the mix.”
Parsons made the opening-day roster thanks to a brilliant spring. But he was demoted to open a spot for Blevins after walking eight in 10-1/3 innings. He provides another multi-inning option.
The Braves acquired Blevins from Oakland in late April. He produced five scoreless appearances in six tries, though in his final he was tagged for four runs in Los Angeles. The Braves would like to retain Blevins in Triple-A, but he could be claimed by another team.
“(We just didn’t feel like we needed) to carry two situation lefties,” Snitker said. “Jesse can go two or three innings, he’s effective against right-handers. Mainly that more than anything. Jerry did a great job for us. I’d be real surprised if someone didn’t latch on to him.
“It gives us more flexibility in the bullpen with how it’s set up now. And we got (Blevins) because we didn’t have that lefty, and now guys are starting to come back. Like I said, he did a great job, and I wish him well. Who knows, maybe he ends up back here.”
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