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Walden returns; Wood optioned to Triple-A

DENVER -- The Braves optioned Alex Wood to Triple-A Gwinnett to create a roster spot for Jordan Walden, who was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday afternoon.

While Walden will now make a much-welcomed return to the Braves bullpen, Wood will spend the next couple of weeks stretching out in preparation to rejoin Atlanta's starting rotation.

Wood will likely be back at the big league level by the time the Braves play a doubleheader against the Phillies on June 28. But the 23-year-old left-hander could return sooner if one of the current members of Atlanta's rotation suffers an injury or gets traded.

While with Gwinnett, Wood will have a chance to regain the endurance he has lost since last making a start on May 4. He has spent the past five weeks in Atlanta's bullpen. Before transitioning to a relief role, he allowed two earned runs or less in six of the seven starts he made.

Walden posted a 1.59 ERA, limited opponents to a .171 batting average and struck out 39 percent of the batters he faced in the 13 appearances he made before straining his left hamstring during that same May 4 game against the Giants.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for