Veteran utility man Aviles designated a day after being acquired from Tigers
By Pat James
ATLANTA -- In addition to the much-anticipated promotion of top prospectDansby Swanson from Double-A Mississippi, the Braves made several other roster moves on Wednesday afternoon.
With A.J. Pierzynski heading to the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, fellow catcher Tyler Flowers was activated. In addition, Atlanta designated Mike Aviles for assignment just one day after the Braves acquired him and catching prospect Kade Scivicque from the Tigers in exchange for Erick Aybar. Both moves helped clear the way for Swanson to make his Major League debut on Wednesday vs. the Twins.
When Flowers landed on the DL on July 15 with a fractured left hand, his return timeline was expected to be four to six weeks. But his hand was not placed in a hard cast, which allowed him to avoid atrophy and accelerated his rehab.
Flowers began his rehab assignment on Thursday, and he went 3-for-13 across four games with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Braves, Class A Rome and Triple-A Gwinnett.
With Flowers returning as Atlanta's starting catcher, Anthony Recker will continue to serve as the primary backup with Pierzynski sidelined. Recker has made a good impression with the team since Flowers' injury, batting .326 in 16 games.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said earlier this week the team had toyed with the idea of carrying three catchers upon Flowers' return, but that plan will be delayed for now with Pierzynski on the DL.
The 39-year-old Pierzynski struggled throughout the first half of the season, but he has recently shown signs of life at the plate, hitting .254 with two homers and seven doubles in his 18 games played since the All-Star break.
Aviles, meanwhile, had less luck shaking his season-long slump in Detroit. The utility man had a slash line of .210/.258/.269, but his defensive versatility could help him garner interest from another team.
Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.