ATLANTA -- Now that Johan Camargo has established himself as the Braves' primary third baseman, Rio Ruiz will return to Triple-A Gwinnett to extend his development as an everyday player.
Before Thursday night's game against the Giants, the Braves announced Ruiz had been optioned to Gwinnett and Jace Peterson had been recalled. Peterson's return enhances the defensive versatility on Atlanta's bench.
"It's not going to do [Ruiz] any good at his age and where he's at in his career to sit up here and pinch-hit," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "That's kind of where it's morphed to. Camargo is doing good and I'm going to give him the share of the playing time right now."
When Adonis Garcia was placed on the disabled list with a left finger injury that will sideline him two months, Ruiz was the favorite to serve as Atlanta's primary third baseman. But as Camargo has proven more reliable with the glove and bat, he has earned this role.
Ruiz went hitless in his past 13 at-bats and hit .175 while compiling a .551 OPS over 31 games. The 23-year-old rookie started just two of the past six games. He will now have a chance to serve as Gwinnett's everyday third baseman.
Peterson's capability to play each of the infield and outfield positions gives the Braves the versatility they lacked while carrying Ruiz.
"When you've got a straight left-handed bench player [Ruiz], you'd rather have the guy with more versatility and Jace is doing well," Snitker said.
Peterson hit .194 with a .552 OPS over 123 plate appearances before being optioned to Gwinnett on June 2. The 27-year-old utility player earned his way back as he batted .338 with a .927 OPS in 80 plate appearances against International League opponents.
"I'm really not trying to prove anything, I'm just trying to go play baseball," Peterson said. "I want to get back to doing things the way I know I can do them and get some confidence back. When I was here, I didn't do a good enough job and wasn't consistent enough with my at-bats. It was good for me to get down there and work on some timing things."