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Lane Adams opts for free agency; Acuna call-up clogs outfield

Outfielder Lane Adams elected to become a free agent rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Adams and relief pitchers Rex Brothers and Josh Ravin all cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A on Wednesday, but as veterans they had the right to choose whether to accept the assignment or opt for free agency. 

Adams chose the latter, obviously figuring he had a better chance to play at the major league level with another team than with the Braves, who now have three outfielders who’ll play all nine innings virtually every day after this week’s call-up of phenom Ronald Acuna to play left field. Acuna joined two-time Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte and veteran right fielder Nick Markakis.

As a 27-year-old rookie in 2017, the speedy Adams got his first chance at significant playing time in the big leagues, batting .275 with a .339 OBP, .468 slugging percentage and five homers in 122 plate appearances over 85 games and was 10-for-10 in stolen base. 

He quickly developed a penchant for pinch-hitting despite a lack of previous experience in the role, going 12-for-45 (.267) with two homers as a pinch-hitter in 2017 and ranking fourth in the majors with 12 pinch RBIs, the most by a Brave since 2010.

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He had seen scant playing time early this season as Preston Tucker handled left field – and totaled three homers with 18 RBIs -- until Acuna arrived. And with Acuna now in left, Tucker is the primary pinch-hitter and backup corner outfielder.

Adams was used mostly as a pinch-hitter and late-innings substitute and was 4-for-17 (.235) with one homer, four walks and four strikeouts before he was designated for assignment April 19 when the Braves needed a roster spot for pitcher Matt Wisler to come up from Triple-A to make a start.

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