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Braves call up Wilson, Minter for 'pen depth

@mlbbowman
September 3, 2019

ATLANTA -- Further enhancing their bullpen depth for the stretch run, the Braves added right-hander Bryse Wilson and former closer A.J. Minter to their expanded roster before Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays. Initially the Braves planned for Wilson and Minter to stay with Triple-A Gwinnett through at least

ATLANTA -- Further enhancing their bullpen depth for the stretch run, the Braves added right-hander Bryse Wilson and former closer A.J. Minter to their expanded roster before Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Initially the Braves planned for Wilson and Minter to stay with Triple-A Gwinnett through at least the early portion of the International League playoffs. But after long reliever Josh Tomlin completed two innings in Monday’s win over Toronto, there was an immediate need to put Wilson back on Atlanta’s roster.

Along with serving as a long-relief option, Wilson could be used as a middle reliever or a spot starter, if the Braves reach a point where they want to give Mike Soroka or Max Fried extra rest as they near the end of their first full Major League season.

Wilson, ranked as Atlanta’s No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, posted an 0.90 ERA while limiting opponents to a .524 OPS over his final six starts for Gwinnett. The 21-year-old hurler struggled in three of the four starts he made for Atlanta this year. But his late-season success at the Triple-A level combined with efficient command might prove valuable as a middle-relief option.

With the desire to stay away from closer Mark Melancon, top setup man Shane Greene and Tomlin on Tuesday, the Braves also felt the need to add Minter, who posted a 4.50 ERA over the 12 innings he pitched after being optioned back to Gwinnett at the start of August. Opponents produced a .794 OPS against him over this span.

Minter spent most of April as Atlanta’s closer. But the 26-year-old southpaw now stands as a long shot for the postseason roster. His most recent stint at Gwinnett did not produce much confidence that he’s made necessary improvements. He allowed a .404 on-base percentage while producing a 7.24 ERA over 34 appearances for Atlanta earlier this year.

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