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Braves Sign Joey Wendle – MLB Trade Rumors

The Braves announced a series of moves today, signing a center fielder Joey Wendle and remember the left Ray Kerr. In the accompanying movements, the infielder Luke Williams optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett while a right-hander AJ Smith-Shawver he was placed on the 15-day injured list with a left oblique fracture. The club already has a 40-man spot in Wendle. Smith-Shawver was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain, the team told reporters (link by Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). The team did not provide any kind of timetable, but Toscano writes that the oblique type of Grade 2 usually requires the absence of six to eight absences.

Wendle, 34, is a veteran player who signed with the Mets at the start of the season, a one-year contract with $2MM guaranteed. He was kept in a limited role, only getting into 18 games during his six weeks with the Mets, stepping up to the plate 37 times in that stretch. He hit just .222/.243/.250, which is a continuation of his 2023 violence with the Marlins, as he hit just .212/.248/.306 last year.

The Mets released him earlier this week and are making headlines about Wendle’s remaining salary. Atlanta will only be responsible for the league minimum for as long as Wendle is on their roster, with that amount deducted from what the Mets are paying.

Atlanta has been rotating various players for their role off the bench this year, each of them David Fletcher, Luis Guillorme, Zack Short and Williams to get that job. Short is still on the roster and has been the club’s regular third baseman recently Austin Riley to combat intercostal strain.

By trading Williams down to Gwinnett and adding Wendle, the club added more outfield depth at no cost, given that the Mets covered most of the money and that Atlanta had open roster space to use anyway. Wendle hasn’t been hitting much lately but has a lot of experience in the three infield spots to the left of first base, as well as taking a bit of the outfield corners. He’s generally gotten solid grades wherever he’s played and could give Atlanta starting glove depth all over the diamond, while Williams could get regular playing time on the farm.

On the other side of things, Atlanta got thrown into their plans a bit over the weekend. Saturday’s game against the Padres was rained out and pushed into Monday’s doubleheader. In Sunday’s game, Bryce Elder he was burned for six earned runs in three innings, forcing Kerr to come in and pitch 3 1/3 innings, followed by two more pitchers and Williams walking the mound.

The elder was appointed before the doubling so that the club could bring in two new arms, one of which will be the “27th man” on Monday. That allowed Atlanta to raise both Darius the Vines again Daysbel Hernández. In these two games, five different relievers were used, leaving the bullpen well taxed. Kerr was selected to return the roster to 26. Because of the double title, each Chris Sale, Reynaldo López, Charlie Morton again Fried Max started over a period of three days from Monday to Wednesday. With Elder selected, they had to move Smith-Shawver back to start yesterday’s game and now Kerr will take the ball today in a likely bullpen game. Pitchers generally must wait 15 days after being selected before being reinstated, but an exception is made when someone else enters the IL.

Atlanta appears to be extending Kerr of late, either by design or necessity or both. His four games in the majors this year went one inning, two innings, three innings, then three and a third. Overall, he has a 2.89 earned run average in 9 1/3 innings, striking out 27% of opponents without issuing a walk.

That’s a small sample size but perhaps interesting enough that Atlanta has been riding the hot hand for a while. Smith-Shawver will miss at least 15 days with this injury as well Spencer Strider it’s been out for a year. The senior was recently selected after posting a 6.46 ERA in five starts this year. Huascar Ynoa again Ian Anderson they are injured in children. Allan Winans again Dylan Dodd each has a 4.50 ERA in Triple-A this year but with uninspiring peripherals.

Kerr was a baby starter back before the pandemic but has been free since. His numbers as a pitcher are eye-catching, as he struck out 27.9% of the batters he faced in the majors, between his time with San Diego and Atlanta. In 134 minor league innings from 2021 to now, he has a 3.69 ERA, a 33.4% strikeout rate but a 12.9% walk rate. Maybe Atlanta can make another early success story like they did with López this year, or maybe this will be the start for Kerr, which could depend on how he looks against the Pirates today.

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