A day after the Triple-A Gwinnett lost in the International League championship series, the Braves added three players from the Gwinnett team to the expanded September major league roster including third-base prospect Rio Ruiz in his first call to the big leagues.
Rookie pitcher Tyrell Jenkins was also recalled from Gwinnett and veteran infielder Emilio Bonifacio had his contract selected from Gwinnett. To create spots on the 40-man roster for Ruiz and Bonifacio, the Braves moved catcher A.J. Pierzynski (hamstring strain) and pitcher Rob Whalen (shoulder fatigue) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
This ends any speculation on whether Pierzynski will play again this season. The 39-year-old catcher went on the DL last week for the second time in a month, and the general consensus was that he’d played his last game, although some thought he might return to suit up at some point during the final homestand and perhaps get an at-bat to tip his cap to a fan base appreciative of what he’s done in two seasons for the Braves.
But with the move to the 60-day DL, he’s done for the season. The 19-year-old veteran and two-time former All-Star hasn’t said if he’s going to retire, but most observers believe he will after enduring a career-worst season in which he hit .219 with two homers, 23 RBIs and a .547 OPS in 81 games.
In his first season with the Braves in 2015, Pierzynski was voted Brave of the Year by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America after hitting .300 with nine homers, 49 RBIs and a .769 OPS in 113 games.
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