Braves activate Acuna, put McCarthy on DL

Braves prospect Ronald Acuna hit his first career homer.

The Braves made a series of roster moves Thursday, including bringing rookie standout Ronald Acuna off the 10-day disabled list and placing veteran starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy on the 10-day DL for right knee tendinitis.

They also recalled right-hander Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett and optioned right-hander Wes Parsons back to Gwinnett after he spent one day in the majors.

Parsons was brought up from Gwinnett on Wednesday morning in case the Braves needed someone to pitch multiple relief innings in an early-afternoon game against the Reds. He didn’t get in the game, which would’ve been his debut.

Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Wednesday the team planned to activate Acuna before Friday’s series opener at St. Louis, provided the outfielder got through his final scheduled injury rehab game at Gwinnett without any issues Wednesday.

Acuna has been on the DL with a sprained ACL in his left knee and contusions of the lower back and left knee since a frightening incident May 27 at Boston when his cleat stuck in the dirt after he crossed first base on an infield hit, hyperextending the knee grotesquely but not causing any major injury that he and most observers initially feared.

There had been no mention before Thursday of a knee issue with McCarthy, who was scheduled to start Saturday against the Cardinals. But a team official said it’s something McCarthy has dealt with off and on this season and that it flared up this week.

The Braves need a starter for Saturday and would have rookie lefty Max Fried lined up on regular rest if they bring him up from Triple-A to make that start.

While Mike Foltynewicz could be bumped up a day from his planned Sunday start to pitch Saturday and still be on regular four days’ rest, the Braves prefer to give their starters an extra rest day when they can. So it seems more likely he’ll stay on schedule to start Sunday.

One thing is certain: They won’t have highly regarded prospect Kolby Allard make his debut Saturday, since Allard pitched Tuesday for Gwinnett and would be on short rest if he pitched Saturday.

McCarthy is 6-3 with a 4.92 ERA in 15 starts. He won Sunday against the Orioles, lasting five innings and allowing three runs and five hits including a pair of home runs.

The Braves had lost each of his previous four starts and McCarthy had a 5.40 ERA in that span with 26 hits, including six homers allowed in 21-2/3 innings. He’s pitched fewer than six innings in five of his past six starts.