Versatility allows Braves to keep extra pitcher

Atlanta calls up reliever Weber to replace traded Grilli

Versatility allows Braves to keep extra pitcher

ATLANTA -- When the Braves traded right-hander Jason Grilli to the Blue Jays on Tuesday, they once again faced the decision of adding another position player to their roster instead of a pitcher.

But as they've done in similar situations this season, Atlanta chose the latter, opting to promote right-hander Ryan Weber from Triple-A Gwinnett to the bullpen.

With the move, the Braves still carried 13 pitchers and 12 position players entering Wednesday's game against the Giants. But with four players currently on the roster who have played three positions or more this year, manager Brian Snitker hasn't been burdened by not having an extra player available off the bench.

"That helps that situation as we're trying to just kind of stabilize things out of the rotation and in the bullpen," said Snitker about having players who can play multiple positions. "It's never a bad thing. Versatility is really good, and we've got a lot."

Chase d'Arnaud has played the most positions for the team this year, making appearances at second base, third base, shortstop and right field. The other three Braves who have played at least three positions are Gordon Beckham, Daniel Castro and Kelly Johnson.

Because of this versatility, the Braves have kept an extra arm in the bullpen for much of the season. This has been beneficial, as the team's inexperienced starting rotation ranks 23rd in the Majors in innings pitched.

"It's just as young starters are developing and stretching the game out, eventually we can get back to getting the extra player," Snitker said. "That's probably sooner than later even, but right now it's just something we feel comfortable with."

And with so much versatility on the roster, playing without an extra position player hasn't been something to worry about.

Pat James is a reporter for based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.