ATLANTA -- As the Braves opted to give Travis d'Arnaud an additional day to prepare, there was again reason to wonder if things might have been different for reliever Shane Greene had he had a chance to complete normal preparations.
Greene posted an 8.47 ERA, surrendered a .301 batting average and allowed opponents to reach base at a .386 clip in 19 appearances this season. The 32-year-old right-hander missed Spring Training and remained a free agent until signing with Atlanta on May 8. He made just four appearances for Gwinnett before being placed on the Braves' active roster.
“I’ve said many times, you don’t realize how important Spring Training is until you don’t have it,” manager Brian Snitker said prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Reds.
The Braves patiently hoped Greene would improve. But he surrendered an .875 OPS in six appearances after the All-Star break and had not been used since retiring just half of the six batters he faced against the Brewers on July 30.
“Hopefully, he can get picked up, catch on with somebody and throw,” Snitker said. “It’s just been unfortunate that there haven’t been innings for him here.”
Minter returns looking to prove he has improved since being sent back to Gwinnett with a 4.86 ERA. He retired just three of the eight batters he faced after the break. But he earned his way back by working 7 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out 10 of 25 batters he faced over seven appearances for Gwinnett.
“The main thing with him was just to hit that proverbial reset button for A.J., to just give him a little mental [break],” Snitker said.
Instead of activating d’Arnaud on Tuesday, the Braves opted to give him a chance to play one more rehab game for Gwinnett. The veteran catcher has been sidelined since May 1 with a torn ligament in his left thumb.
“I don't know if we ever really had a definitive plan,” Snitker said. “We were going game by game and checking in with him to see how he felt and where he thought he was with his timing and all that. So, we're hoping everything goes good today. I'll be really surprised if he's not back in the lineup tomorrow.”