The Braves made a slew of roster moves on Saturday, which included selecting the contracts of infielders Pablo Sandoval and Ehire Adrianza and reliever Nate Jones. The team also optioned pitcher Bryse Wilson, infielder Johan Camargo and catcher William Contreras to the alternate training site.
Atlanta also designated outfielder Phillip Ervin for assignment, released infielders Jason Kipnis and Jake Lamb, outrighted outfielder Abraham Almonte to the club’s alternate training site and placed right-hander Touki Toussaint on the 60-day injured list with a right shoulder strain.
Sandoval and Adrianza will be bench players to start the season. Both players were productive during Spring Training. Manager Brian Snitker is impressed with Sandoval the person, who has the pedigree of winning World Series titles with the Giants. Adrianza can play all four infield positions and has experience at the corner-outfield spots.
“Pablo has come in and played well,” Snitker said. “I love the way he has went about [his business]. He is a very professional player, the way he does things. He just played well. We were looking for a left-handed bat off the bench and he fits the bill better than everyone else that we had.
“We love the depth Adrianza provides. He came in battling for a job and won a job. The way he played — defensively and swinging the bat — he is an accomplished Major League player. He had a really good camp and made the club.”
Camargo, Contreras, Ervin and Kipnis didn’t make the club because the Braves are going with a four-man bench, which includes outfielder Ender Inciarte and catcher Alex Jackson. Snitker said the bench could go up to five players later in the season. For now, the Braves will have an extra reliever out of the bullpen — which includes Jones, who didn’t allow a run in 6 1/3 innings.
Contreras showed he could handle the bat, but he needs to play every day, according to the skipper.
“He is getting better. He still has some defensive work to do,” Snitker said about Contreras. “He will be sitting on game-planning and things like that. Just keep developing. We see him as a front-line guy.”
Wilson had a great spring, but was told the Braves didn’t need a fifth starter to start the season.
“He has options,” Snitker said about Wilson. “When a guy has options, that’s valuable. We will continue to keep him stretched out. He will be one of the guys we will look at when we do need the fifth starter, which will be the second time around.”
Almonte struggled this spring and the Braves are hoping he will be productive in the Minor Leagues.
Toussaint was having a great spring before the shoulder injury. There isn’t a timetable on when he will return to action.