Braves make a pair of surprising re-assignments to their Spring Training roster

Position races will only intensify as the Braves roster now sits at 42.
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

As we begin to enter the second full week of March positional battles in Spring Training will only continue to intensify as the Braves set their 26-man roster. They made an announcement today re-assigning three players, two of which just may surprise you.

Braves option Ray Kerr and J.P. Martinez

The Braves announced that they have optioned players Ray Kerr and J.P. Martinez to Triple-A Gwinnett, while Ken Giles was re-assigned to minor league camp. LHP Ray Kerr was acquired back on December 15 from the San Diego Padres, along with Matt Carpenter, for outfield prospect Drew Campbell.

It was clear that Alex Anthopoulos wanted to add left-handed options for the bullpen, after AJ Minter was the main option last year, and Kerr was one of Alex's favorites. A 29-year-old lefty who spent time away from baseball, Ray possesses a big arm, averaging 96 MPH on his 4-seam fastball along with a curveball and changeup.

J.P. Martinez was acquired back in January from the Rangers for RHP prospect Tyler Owens. While he struggled in the big leagues for Texas, J.P. put together a great line of .298/.418/.543 in Triple-A and remains a good outfield depth option for the Braves should they need one.

Braves re-assign Ken Giles to Minor League Camp

While the decision to option Ray Kerr was surprising in that he was an arm the Braves traded for, the fact that he had options made it completely understandable and expected, especially with the Braves having so few spots available. That being said, not only was the signing of Ken Giles surprising, but his re-assignment to Minor League Camp was even more so.

Giles, a great arm, has struggled with injuries for the past two years - giving him mainly playing time down in the minors which haven't seen the best out of him (8.55 ERA in 2023) but there's no denying the talent in the arm. He appears healthy but struggled a bit with his command in yesterday's spring training action against the Boston Red Sox. It will be interesting to see if he stays within the organization or if he eventually asks for his release for the opportunity to latch up with a big-league team.

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