Nationals release Luis Ayala

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The Nationals have released veteran reliever Luis Ayala after signing him to a minor-league contract in early February.

Ayala has actually been remarkably effective over the past three seasons, posting a 2.58 ERA in 164 total innings despite being in his mid-30s and looking more or less washed up previously.

However, his raw stuff has long since ceased being impressive and the Nationals’ bullpen is a tough one to crack considering both the depth and quality of relievers, so Ayala ultimately might be better off latching on somewhere else.

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Report: Braves to promote Ronald Acuña

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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MLB.com’s Mark Bowman confirms a report from Daniel Álvarez Montes of EVTV Miami that the Braves are calling up outfield prospect Ronald Acuña from Triple-A Gwinnett.

The move is obviously much anticipated and expected, as Acuña is considered the top prospect in baseball among those who hadn’t been called up to the majors yet. Acuña has had a slow start with Gwinnett, as he’s batting only .215/.301/.277 in 73 plate appearances. However, he has turned things around somewhat in recent days, batting .379 with a double and a homer since April 17.

Acuña should be in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Reds and he should be a lineup regular going forward. The expectations are high for Acuña, who signed with the Braves as an international free agent in July 2014.