Juan Jaime’s inability to throw strikes finally cost him his job with the Braves.
The team designated Jaime for assignment and placed him on waivers on Monday. The move came a day after the right-hander walked two batters and was charged with the decisive run in the Mets’ 4-3 victory.
To take Jaime’s place on the roster, the Braves called up rookie right-hander Sugar Ray Marimon from Triple-A Gwinnett. Gonzalez said Marimon will be used as a long reliever, freeing Gonzalez to use rookie Cody Martin in a more prominent bullpen role.
Jaime also had control issues while making 18 appearances for the Braves in 2014 and during spring training this year.
“You feel like in a major league game there is going to be places during the course of a lineup where you can throw strikes and get somebody out and be effective,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “If they don’t do that, it’s tough to carry a guy like that.”
Marimon, 26, was in the Royals’ organization the past eight seasons and has no big-league experience. He is a second cousin of Braves right-hander Julio Teheran and the two grew up together in Cartagena, Colombia.
Gonzalez said Marimon earned a shot because of sharp outings during the Grapefruit League and three scoreless innings pitched for Gwinnett on Thursday. Marimon allowed no hits and with two strikeouts.
Martin, 25, has been impressive in his first week in the big leagues with no hits or runs allowed with seven strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. Gonzalez had been reluctant to Martin more often because he was the only pitcher in the bullpen available for long relief.
With Marimon’s arrival, Gonzalez now can use Martin without that limitation.
“We will take a guy out of the pressure cooker and throw him in the fire and see how he reacts,” Gonzalez said. “I feel confident (in ) Cody because he throws the ball over the plate, he commands his fastball. He’s got a good chance.”
Jaime’s two walks on Sunday were the first issued this season by the Braves’ bullpen. Jaime walked nine batters in 12 1/3 innings pitched for the Braves in 2014 while posting a 5.84 ERA and issued 11 walks in 8 2/3 innings during Grapefruit League play.
“The way the lack of offense, trending down, if you can’t throw a ball over the plate it’s hard to defend,” Gonzalez said. “You are giving the opposition a chance to get on base without really doing anything. It’s not a short sample. It’s not like one outing or two outings. I don’t want guys to think, ‘Hey, you have a bad outing, you get shipped out to Gwinnett.’”
Gonzalez said the Braves hope Jaime will clear waivers and accept a minor-league assignment with the Braves.
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