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Braves announce first round of roster moves

MLB.com @mlbbowman

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Providing another example of how significantly their farm system has improved over the past two years, the Braves unsurprisingly included Jason Hursh, one of their former top pitching prospects, among their first round of roster moves.

Before Wednesday's game against the Phillies, the Braves announced Hursh had been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, and right-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle was optioned to Double-A Mississippi. The only other 40-man roster member affected by this round of moves was right-handed reliever Daniel Winkler, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Providing another example of how significantly their farm system has improved over the past two years, the Braves unsurprisingly included Jason Hursh, one of their former top pitching prospects, among their first round of roster moves.

Before Wednesday's game against the Phillies, the Braves announced Hursh had been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, and right-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle was optioned to Double-A Mississippi. The only other 40-man roster member affected by this round of moves was right-handed reliever Daniel Winkler, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list.

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Video: ATL@WSH: Hursh K's Goodwin for first career strikeout

The non-roster invitees reassigned to Minor League camp included catchers Joe Odom and Kade Scivicque; outfielder Dustin Peterson; right-handed pitcher Rhiner Cruz and left-handed pitchers Sam Freeman and Adam Kolarek. Peterson will be spending the next two months recovering from left hamate bone surgery.

The Braves brought Winkler to camp with the assumption he would begin the year on the disabled list as he recovers from the fractured elbow he suffered while pitching against St. Louis last April.

With these moves, the Braves now have three open spots on their 40-man roster and 49 active players in camp.

Selected by the Braves in the first round of the 2013 Draft, Hursh and Lucas Sims were Atlanta's top two pitching prospects before the team began overhauling its previously weak farm system after the 2014 season. But the 25-year-old right-hander is no longer included among MLBPipeline's Top 30 Braves prospects.

Hursh allowed six hits and four earned runs over the three innings completed during Grapefruit League action this season.

Biddle spent the past couple weeks providing indication he still has the high upside potential he possessed when the Phillies took him in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. The Braves acquired the 25-year-old reliever from the Pirates during last year's Spring Training, while he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He recorded a pair of strikeouts during the scoreless inning completed in his only appearance this year.

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

Atlanta Braves, Jason Hursh