Change of Plans: AJ Smith-Shawver re-joins the Braves

MLB: JUN 04 Braves at Diamondbacks

As of yesterday, AJ Smith-Shawver was scheduled to pitch in his second rehab assignment start for the Gwinnett Stripers. However, that plan has now changed. He’s on his way to Arizona and will be added to the Braves active roster.

AJ Smith-Shawver last pitched for the Braves on May 23rd. It was his first start of the season for the major-league club, and it went well, as he surrendered no runs over 4.1 innings. Unfortunately, Smith-Shawver hit the IL soon after with an oblique injury.

On July 3rd, Smith-Shawver’s rehab assignment began in High-A Rome, where he pitched a couple of innings, giving up just one run with four strikeouts. That rehab assignment was scheduled to transfer to Gwinnett this evening, but the Braves appear to have other plans, likely meaning he will be used in relief if they need him. He certainly hasn’t built up enough stamina to start a game so soon.

Which begs the question, how do the Braves believe AJ Smith-Shawver can best help the team this season? It’s hard to imagine they want to halt his development as a starting pitcher so early in his career, but perhaps they think his stuff can best help the club down the stretch out of the bullpen. It’s an intriguing decision, and I’m sure we will learn more about the thought process ahead of tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Photo: Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire


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