The Braves have a coming burst of relievers scheduled to return when rosters expand Saturday.
Shane Carle, Peter Moylan and Brandon McCarthy, all out on rehab assignments, should rejoin the club when MLB permits teams to carry 40 players, rather than the usual 25, on Sept. 1.
Manager Brian Snitker anticipates four or five immediate pitching promotions. That group will include the aforementioned trio, along with Bryse Wilson and/or Touki Toussaint. Both prospects will eventually rejoin the Braves for the final month, though there roles are unclear beyond occasional starts and reliever roles.
Kolby Allard, 20, was promoted back to the majors Wednesday, with the Braves optioning Chad Sobotka to Triple-A. The move prevents Allard from accruing 20 days in the minors since the franchise began optioning him, therefore it will retain his option.
Allard and Sobotka will enter 2019 with three options remaining. Both will be with the team during its September stretch run. Pitching prospect Kyle Wright, whom the Braves selected No. 5 overall in last season’s draft, has been working out of the bullpen in Triple-A and remains a possible addition to the bullpen.
In the meantime, Allard provides length for the bullpen in the coming days. Snitker pointed to such while referencing Jesse Biddle and Luke Jackson, former innings-eaters who are now relied on in higher pressure situations.
“We’ve been using Jesse and Luke in more of the high-leverage situations now,” Snitker said. “Kolby’s gassed up. We’re looking at getting through until Saturday (roster expansion). He provides length that Jesse and Luke were giving us. Now we’re using them in bigger spots and they’ve been producing, too. We get through Saturday and we’ll reload and we should be OK.”
The Braves added catcher Rene Rivera and first baseman Lucas Duda from the Royals. Both would fill the Braves’ two open spots on the 40-man roster. The team will have to maneuver to add further depth, potentially including veteran utilityman Ryan Flaherty, third-base prospect Austin Riley and Wright.
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