With Spring Training now in full swing, many teams are continuing to make moves to fill out their camp rosters. The Braves added Jake Lamb yesterday, and were active once again today, this time via the waiver wire.
The #Braves today claimed OF Phillip Ervin off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. The Braves 40-man roster is now full.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) February 22, 2021
The Braves claimed Phillip Ervin off waivers one day after signing Lamb and outrighting Travis Demeritte to Triple A. The addition of Ervin now gives the Braves a full 40-man roster at the moment. Bringing Ervin into the fold continues a recent trend for Atlanta of bringing in names such as Lamb, Demeritte, Jason Kipnis and others as a way to create options this Spring to find bench pieces and outfield depth by the time the regular season starts.
Over 660 career plate appearances, Ervin has produced a .247/.322/.406 triple slash line and a .728 OPS. On a more positive note, he does have a career .811 OPS and .347 wOBA against southpaws in his career, including a 1.038 OPS against left-handers in 95 plate appearances in 2019. He certainly seems to have a bit of intrigue as organizational depth and as a specialist against southpaws in a platoon situation at the big league level.
Though he may not be a clear asset, his defensive numbers have improved over his four year career, especially in the corner outfield position. With only Ronald Acuna Jr., Marcell Ozuna, Ender Inciarte, and Cristian Pache as reasonable Opening Day outfield options for the Braves, Ervin certainly provides needed depth in case of injuries going forward. Though he may not even be on the 40-man roster once the season starts, Ervin is worth a Spring Training look to see if the Braves can benefit from unlocking some hidden potential that could be useful at some point this season.