Braves News: Atlanta Braves Option Forest Wall, Recall Luke Williams

Today the Atlanta Braves recalled super utility man Luke Williams.
Today the Atlanta Braves recalled super utility man Luke Williams. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A few hours after Atlanta Braves recalled infielder Vaughn Grissom, they added more depth by selecting utility man Luke Williams and optioning outfielder Forest Wall.

It seems the Atlanta Braves swapped Wall for Williams, hoping to add a bat more likely to hit Major League pitching while retaining a pinch-runner capable of swiping a bag or scoring from first on a ball in the gap. Williams checks all of those boxes.

Luke Williams

The Phillies selected Luke Williams as a shortstop in the third round of the 2015 amateur draft. He made his Major League debut on June 8, 2021, and appeared in 58 games as a super-utility player. Since then, he’s played as a super-utility man for the Giants, Marlins, and Dodgers.

The Atlanta Braves claimed him off waivers in June and assigned him to Gwinnett. Since joining the Stripers, Williams’ started three games at third and played two innings at first, but he’s primarily become a corner outfielder accruing 304 innings over 36 games in left and 54 innings over seven games in right.

In his last 16 games, Williams batted 258/.395/.436/.830 with three homers and a triple despite a below-average .271 BAbip. He stole 5 bases in 6 attempts, stuck out 11 times, and walked 13 in 76 PA. How that translates to MLB I don't know, but with Lopez playing every day, Williams adds a switch-hitting utility man with speed to manager Brian Snitker’s bench.  

Grissom Playing Time

It doesn’t seem that Grissom will replace Lopez any time soon. Snitker told Mark Bowman that he wasn’t concerned with giving Grissom a lot of PA.

Snitker didn’t say Grissom wouldn’t play, but if he does, he’ll likely play second. Arcia’s playing Gold-Glove caliber shortstop, and Lopez posted a Major League leading 25 OAA and 19 RAA at shortstop in 1232 innings at short in 2021, and a 6.0 fWAR that was good for fifth in baseball among all shortstops.

Atlanta Braves Make Two Minor League Moves

Late this afternoon, the Mississippi Braves announced a promotion from their slugging first baseman/ DH.

The Braves selected Lugbauer in the 21st round of the 2014 amateur draft, and he’s been destroying baseball ever since. However, strikeouts have always hindered his promotion.

This year with Mississippi, Lugbauer’s batting .279/.385/.635/1.020, with 22 homers and 13 doubles, while striking out 94 times and walking 34.

On August 11, the Atlanta Braves released the right-hander so he could pursue an opportunity to play in Asia. Later that day, Blewett signed with UN-Lions of the CPBL.

That’s a Wrap

The Atlanta Braves swap of Williams for Wall looks like they're trying to grab the hot hand without sacrificing versatility. As they head into postseason play, they want to do what’s possible to avoid injuries and continue to win games.

If Williams can continue to hit as he did for Gwinnett, he and Grissom improve the team’s chances of winning home-field advantage for postseason play.