David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Braves left-hander Paul Maholm has been cleared to make his first minor league rehab start on Saturday with Low-A Rome. He’s expected to throw about 90 pitches over six innings and may be allowed to rejoin the Atlanta starting rotation immediately after if the outing goes smoothly.
The Braves are stocked currently with good young starting pitchers and will probably have to shift one to the bullpen to make room. But that’s a problem that every major league team would want to have — not something to fret over.
Atlanta entered play Tuesday with a massive 14-game lead in the National League East standings.
The Braves’ 3.22 combined staff ERA ranks second in the majors, behind only the Pirates (3.16).
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.
Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.
The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.