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One month later, Ciriaco gets callup

Versatile infielder impressed in spring, but Maybin trade kept him off Opening Day roster

ATLANTA -- Pedro Ciriaco impressed as a non-roster invitee in Spring Training, so much so he joined the Braves on their flight to Miami before Opening Day.

But a late trade with the Padres that brought Cameron Maybin to Atlanta sent the utility man down to Triple-A Gwinnett.

"The way he played in Spring Training, he made the club," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Ciriaco. "And the way everything turned out, we had to send him down to Triple-A. But he's back now, and we'll use him the same way."

The Braves called Ciriaco up Saturday and optioned left-handed pitcher Ian Thomas to Triple-A Gwinnett. Thomas pitched 3 1/3 innings for the Braves, posting a 2.70 ERA with three strikeouts and three walks.

To clear room for Ciriaco on the 40-man roster, the Braves moved left-handed pitcher Mike Minor to the 60-day disabled list. Minor has been dealing with a problem in his shoulder.

Ciriaco found out about the move after Gwinnett's 15-1 win over Toledo on Friday night.

"I'll be ready for every opportunity and wherever they need me, I'll be ready to step up and do something to help the team win ballgames," Ciriaco said Saturday afternoon.

In 20 games with Gwinnett, Ciriaco hit .234 with a home run and seven RBIs. The 29-year-old has batted .270 in 188 Major League games with four teams.

Gonzalez said having a versatile player like Ciriaco will give the Braves more options off the bench.

"It's a team that there's a lot of options there," Gonzalez said. "And we use them to our advantage, and we use them to get guys playing time. So again, he earned it in Spring Training. He's doing OK in Triple-A. We'll use him."

Aimee Sachs is a contributor to
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