Braves recall Perez, option Kohn to Triple-A

Braves recall Perez, option Kohn to Triple-A

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves added a versatile arm to their staff prior to the start of Wednesday's series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies and their impending nine-game, 10-day road trip, recalling right-handed pitcher Williams Perez.

The 6-0, 185-pound Perez, who turns 24 on May 21, will be making his first appearance in the Majors and will be the sixth pitcher to make his Major League debut coming out of the bullpen in 2015.

The native of Acarigua, Venezuela, was the Gwinnett Pitcher of the Month for April, and was 2-0, with a 1.33 ERA (four earned runs in 27 innings pitched) in five starts at the time of his call-up.

His success comes on the heels of his 2014 season, in which he was the Double-A Mississippi Pitcher of the Year, going 7-6, with a 2.91 ERA, allowing 119 hits in 133.0 innings over 26 appearances (25 starts), striking out a team-high 94 while walking 39.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez plans to use Perez out of the bullpen to start, ideally in longer roles, but isn't counting out the occasional start.

"We're just going to do it like the old days," said Gonzalez. "That possible sixth starter, seventh starter, we have to develop him out of the bullpen. Every chance you get you give him a couple of innings here, three innings there. If you need a spot start he's the guy, if there's a long rain delay or a starter comes out early he's the guy that's going to get three or four innings."

Perez last pitched on Sunday, starting Gwinnett's 8-1 win over Toledo at Coolray Field. He allowed one unearned run and six hits in four innings, striking out five, while walking two. He threw 46 of his 79 pitches for strikes and could have gone longer, but Atlanta had Gwinnett purposely curtail the appearance in anticipation of the call up.

Perez also did not throw his usual bullpen session on Tuesday and would be available to go in the series finale with the Phils, according to Gonzalez.

Although he was 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA in Spring Training (nine runs, all earned on 14 hits in 6 ⅓ innings), Perez was on Gonzalez's radar. The Atlanta skipper said he looked beyond the numbers and liked Perez's stuff coming out of the spring. He liked him even more after talking with Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker on Tuesday night.

"[Snitker] loves him," said Gonzalez. "He said, 'Fredi, you're going to love his competitiveness. He throws the ball over the plate. He's got a good sinker, works fast.'"

Atlanta optioned reliever Michael Kohn to Gwinnett to make room for Perez. Kohn did not allow a run or a hit in 4 2/3 innings in six appearances, but walked six while striking out four.

Jon Cooper is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.