The Braves may not make another splash before the trade deadline tomorrow, but they are going to improve significantly, beginning today. The team announced A.J. Minter has been added to the active roster after being on the 15-day IL. Nicky Lopez, who the club acquired in a trade yesterday with the Royals, has also been added to the active roster. In a couple of corresponding moves, AJ Smith-Shawver has been optioned back to Gwinnett, and Charlie Culberson has been designated for assignment.
The #Braves today returned LHP A.J. Minter from his rehabilitation assignment and reinstated him from the 15-day injured list, after optioning RHP AJ Smith-Shawver to Triple-A Gwinnett following yesterday’s game.
Additionally, the club reported INF Nicky Lopez to Atlanta and…
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 31, 2023
The Braves bullpen learned a lot about itself over the last couple of weeks with so many arms on the IL. Joe Jiménez has emerged as a legitimate option in the late innings and so has Kirby Yates, while other arms, such as Collin McHugh, may no longer be considered in high-leverage situations. Getting Minter back is a massive addition, and an even more vital piece to the pitching staff is expected to return at the end of the week, as Max Fried is scheduled to start in Chicago against the Cubs.
Nicky Lopez also takes Charlie Culberson’s spot on the roster. Charlie Clutch is a fan favorite, but he was more of a placeholder that has only appeared in one game this season. Lopez can play all over the infield and provides elite defense, even if his bat leaves a lot to be desired.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire