After more than two weeks of depending on a bevy of rookie pitchers in the bullpen, the Braves continued to add veterans when they promoted right-hander Peter Moylan from Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday.
The move comes two days after the Braves signed veteran free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson. Moylan and Jackson were added to the roster as rookies Ryan Kelly and Jake Brigham were sent down to Gwinnett because of ineffectiveness.
Moylan, 36, returns to the majors after missing the 2014 season because of a second Tommy John elbow surgery. He pitched for the Braves from 2006 and 2012 and was with the Dodgers for 14 games in 2013.
“For me, this is more fulfilling than being called up for the first time after everything that has happened over the last four or five years,” Moylan said. “It’s been a long road.”
This is the latest comeback attempt for Moylan. He was out of baseball for nine years when the Braves signed him following a strong showing for his native Australia in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. In addition to the two Tommy John surgeries he’s had procedures on his shoulder and back.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez immediately pressed Moylan into service in his return to the team. The game was tied with no one out and a runner at first base when Moylan entered in the eighth inning.
He retired No. 2 hitter Aaron Hill and slugger Paul Goldschmidt to end the inning.
“If I had to sit any longer than I did I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it,” Moylan said. “I like to get that one out of the way and now I can move on.”
Moylan made his Braves debut in 2007 and had a 1.80 ERA in 80 appearances. He missed most of the 2008 season while recovering from his first Tommy John surgery then had a franchise-record 87 appearances in 2009.
From 2006 to 2012 with the Braves Moylan posted a 2.59 ERA over 260 2/3 innings. He had a 6.46 ERA in 15 1/3 innings with the Dodgers.
The Braves signed Moylan to an unusual two-year contract in March. He was to be a player-coach for their rookie league team this season and then go to spring training with the Braves in 2016. But the Braves promoted him to Gwinnett in June after he performed better than expected during extended spring training.
Moylan is the 29th player used out of the bullpen by the Braves this season. he posted a 3.14 ERA over 28 2/3 innings with Gwinnett.
“You look at the reports and his velocity is up and he’s healthy, (so) give him a chance,” Gonzalez said.
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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC