Braves make surprising demotion to Gwinnett following doubleheader

Spencer Schwellenbach Braves hat Ray Kerr Owen Murphy

With 15 games in 14 days, the Braves shuffled around their roster yesterday. The first move came after Game 1 when they announced Bryce Elder was optioned to Gwinnett. That decision was fairly expected following Elder’s abysmal start on Sunday night against the Padres. The next one was a little more surprising following Game 2, as the Braves announced they also optioned Ray Kerr to Gwinnett.

In a corresponding move, the Braves recalled Daysbel Hernandez, who was the team’s 27th man for yesterday’s doubleheader and pitched a scoreless inning in relief.


While in the majors, Ray Kerr made four appearances for the Braves, recording a 2.89 ERA with a 9.6 K/9 over 9.1 innings. He was more than impressive, capable of going multiple innings and flashing a high-90s fastball from the left side with a devastating curveball. So much so, that Brian Snitker hinted after Sunday’s game that the Braves might try him out as a starter, presumably to replace Bryce Elder. 

That’s the primary reason why this move comes as a bit of a surprise. Daysbel Hernandez is more than deserving of a shot at the major-league level. He’s been dominant in Gwinnett, owning a 1.65 ERA and 12.1 K/9 over 16.1 innings. He could be a real weapon for the Braves out of the bullpen, but the team is going to need a couple of arms to make spot starts later in the week, and Ray Kerr seemed like a prime candidate.

Perhaps that still happens. Roster manipulation is part of the game, but whether Kerr is back by the end of the week or not, his impact in Atlanta is only beginning.

Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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