Braves shuffle roster, sign recent division rival infielder as bounce back candidate

Atlanta has a new look rotation and bench after their roster moves on Friday.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

While the most important news for the Atlanta Braves (so far) on Friday was the news that AJ Smith-Shawver is headed for the injured list, it was far from the only news. In fact, the Braves have been down right busy heading into their matchup with the Pirates on Friday.

There was a lot of debate as to who the Braves would start in Friday's contest and also how they were going to manage their infield with Austin Riley still nursing an intercostal strain. Well, the Braves decided to answer all of those questions all at once with quite the Friday news dump that was highlighted by Ray Kerr's return to the Braves and Atlanta's signing of infielder Joey Wendle to a major league deal.

Braves News: Atlanta does massive roster shuffle to bring up Ray Kerr to start and sign Joey Wendle

Okay, there is a lot to unpack here. Kerr had just been sent down to Gwinnett, but because the Braves had an injury, the usual rules about a guy having to wait after getting optioned don't apply here. Atlanta had previously stated that they were interested in converting Kerr to a starter, so it will be interesting to see how long the Braves let Kerr go today given that he last threw on May 19.

That left the infield to sort out. Luke Williams is a nice player who has some utility, but the Braves never play him and Joey Wendle has some real upside to pair alongside Zack Short while Riley is out. Wendle was an All-Star with the Rays back in 2021, but has struggled more recently including an 18 game stint with the Mets which saw him slash .222/.243/.250 in 37 plate appearances.

The latter move is purely to gain some more infield depth that took a bit of a hit when the Braves moved on from Luis Guillorme. Now, Atlanta doesn't have to hope that Zack Short continues to walk multiple times a game to be useful and add a veteran backup infielder without having to actually lose anybody.

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