Braves bring up Rafael Ortega, Patrick Weigel optioned to AAA


On Tuesday, the Braves selected the contract of outfielder Rafael Ortega and optioned RHP Patrick Weigel to AAA Gwinnett.

Atlanta finally decided to add a position player to their shortened bench with Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley, and Nick Markakis all on the IL. The team had been rolling with an extra member in their bullpen, but Weigel has yet to throw a pitch at the major league level.

Outfielders have had plenty of early success when joining the Braves from Gwinnett. We all remember Austin Riley’s remarkable month to start his big league career before he fell off a cliff. And Adam Duvall returned to the majors on an absolute tear for about a week before coming down to planet earth. Given the injuries and the overall lack of production from Atlanta’s outfield, the Braves are hoping Ortega can provide a similar boost – even if it is short-lived.

The Venezuelan journeyman has had three separate stints in the majors, but none that have lasted for a full season. Ortega was last seen on the Marlins in 2018, where he slashed .233/.287/.271 in 143 plate appearances. He only has one career home run, which came back in 2016, but he’s hit 21 of them this year in Gwinnett to go along with his .285 batting average and .898 OPS.

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