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Sobotka (ab strain) to IL; Braves recall Dayton

@mlbbowman
April 29, 2019

ATLANTA -- Right-handed reliever Chad Sobotka's inconsistent rookie season was put on hold Monday, when the Braves placed him on the injured list with a left abdominal strain suffered while throwing 31 pitches during Sunday afternoon’s win over the Rockies. With Sobotka sidelined, the Braves recalled left-handed reliever Grant Dayton,

ATLANTA -- Right-handed reliever Chad Sobotka's inconsistent rookie season was put on hold Monday, when the Braves placed him on the injured list with a left abdominal strain suffered while throwing 31 pitches during Sunday afternoon’s win over the Rockies.

With Sobotka sidelined, the Braves recalled left-handed reliever Grant Dayton, who has posted a 1.69 ERA and recorded eight strikeouts while not issuing a walk in 5 1/3 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett this season. The 31-year-old is back at the Major League level for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery toward the end of his 2017 season with the Dodgers.

Braves manager Brian Snitker’s options at closer have become less attractive as this season has progressed. Arodys Vizcaino underwent season-ending shoulder surgery after four appearances. A.J. Minter’s attempt to cement himself in the role further faded when he allowed four ninth-inning runs Saturday night and then surrendered hits to two of the three batters he faced in Sunday’s ninth inning.

Luke Jackson has established himself as the only reliable arm in Atlanta’s much-maligned bullpen. Jackson worked two scoreless innings on Saturday, and on Sunday he recorded the first non-three-inning save of his career when he cleaned up Minter’s mess by retiring the final two batters. He has made 12 consecutive scoreless appearances (13 innings).

But because this weekend’s workload made both Minter and Jackson unavailable for Monday night’s series opener against the Padres, Snitker was leaning toward giving the potential closing duties to Jacob Webb, who has completed three innings over a grand total of the five career appearances logged over the past couple weeks.

Unfortunately, this is the way things have unraveled for the Braves’ bullpen. Sobotka looked like a potential future closer when he produced a 1.88 ERA over his first 14 career appearances last year and earned a postseason roster spot. But the big right-hander’s fastball and slider combo has not been as effective this year, as he has issued nine walks and surrendered 13 hits while posting a 8.25 ERA through 12 innings.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.