The Braves shook up their roster a bit today by designating utilityman Emilio Bonafacio for assignment and optioning infielder Jace Peterson and right hander Matt Wisler to Triple-A. To fill their spots on the 25-man they called up infielder Johan Camargo and activated lefty Eric O’Flaherty and third baseman Adonis Garcia from the DL.
The Garcia/O’Flaherty moves were expected. The Bonifacio DFA was somewhat surprising given that the Braves have put up with low production from him for some time. Indeed, he seemed like one of those guys teams just keep around despite their offensive futility due to their defensive flexibility. Thing is, defensive versatility is not the same as defensive proficiency and no teams are likely to put up with the .171/.210/.211 line Bonifacio has sported for the Braves over the last two seasons.
As for Garcia: his being called up while his replacement at third, Rio Ruiz, remains with the team is somewhat interesting. Ruiz is not a good defender but he’s younger than Garcia and it would seem that the Braves just want to get a longer look at him in the bigs. The lefty Ruiz and righty Garcia will likely split time in a platoon going forward.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.
Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.
While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.