The Braves released right-hander Aaron Blair on Thursday to open a 40-man roster spot for outfielder Peter Bourjos. They also optioned outfielder Dustin Peterson back to Triple-A.
Bourjos was ineligible to be recalled Monday because 30 days hadn’t passed since he was outrighted to Triple-A. Peterson was promoted instead.
With Ronald Acuna on the disabled list, the Braves were also short on center field options. Bourjos provides insurance there, while Peterson was limited to the corners.
“It got to the point where, you start thinking about when Nick (Markakis) got clipped the other day,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “If something happened to Ender (Inciarte), we don’t have anyone to play center. Ronnie gives you that pad when he’s here, but since he’s been gone, we’ve kind of been running bare there if Ender has to come out of the game. So Pete gives us an option.”
Blair, 26, was out for the season following shoulder surgery in April. The injury was a product of “wear and tear,” according to Snitker.
The former prospect posted a 5.09 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 56 walks in 127-1/3 innings. He made just one start in the majors.
Blair was acquired from the Diamondbacks in the infamous Shelby Miller deal, in which the Braves also received outfielder Ender Inciarte and shortstop Dansby Swanson in December 2015.
Blair arrived at spring training having lost 40 pounds, hoping improved conditioning would help him factor more into the Braves’ plans.
In 16 major-league starts, Blair owns a 7.89 ERA across 73 innings.
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