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Braves activate Flowers, recall Whitley, option Wisler, DFA Perez

Busy Friday pre-game for the Atlanta ballclub.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

As the Braves prepare to take on the Phillies in Philadelphia later this evening, they’ve made a series of roster moves to bolster their club.

To briefly recap:

Tyler Flowers was injured in his very first plate appearance of the season and missed nearly all of the season’s first month with oblique discomfort. He returns to the active roster after a highly successful 2017 that saw him hit for a 120 wRC+ and provide 2.5 fWAR in 370 plate appearances. By Baseball Prospectus’ WARP metric, which incorporates pitch framing, Flowers was the 10th-most valuable position player in baseball last year, despite getting only about half as many plate appearances as the other leaders on that list.

Carlos Perez is being designated for assignment to make room for Flowers’ return. Acquired shortly after Flowers’ injury in exchange for Ryan Schimpf, Perez filled in for Flowers in true third-string catcher fashion, putting up a .143/.182/.143 batting line (-11 wRC+) in 22 plate appearances. The Braves now have 10 days to trade, waive, release, or outright Perez. (He was out of options, and thus cannot simply be sent down to the minors.)

Matt Wisler made his second start for Atlanta earlier this week and failed to replicate the unexpected success of his first outing. Wisler’s second foray into the rotation was a poor five-inning, four-run effort in which he walked three and struck out none. With an off-day on Monday, the Braves can take some time to evaluate their best fifth starter option going forward. Wisler, he of the current 127 career ERA- and 124 career FIP-/xFIP-, will likely be right back up to meet another spot start or spot relief need for the Braves.

Chase Whitley will be placed on the active Braves roster for the first time in his career. Whitley was a candidate for the bullpen out of Spring Training but missed his chance after succumbing to a staph infection. The right-hander has been rehabbing across a few minor league levels and most recently made a brief start for Gwinnett in which he pitched three and one-third hitless innings, allowing just a walk and striking out three. Whitley has been fairly average at run prevention for his career (112 ERA-, 96 FIP-, 104 xFIP-), spanning 74 total appearances and 17 starts. He will give Brian Snitker another right-handed relief option that can pitch multiple innings alongside Shane Carle.

The Braves kick off their series against the Phillies later tonight (7:05 pm ET start). They have not yet announced whether Flowers will be in the starting lineup over Kurt Suzuki.

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