Well, the Braves have made a bunch of moves, which will have little bearing on their ability to win tonight’s game one way or another.
The #Braves today acquired C Kevan Smith from Tampa Bay for cash considerations. Smith is active for tonight’s game and will wear No. 52.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 19, 2021
The club also activated LHP Grant Dayton from the 10-day injured list and designated C Jeff Mathis for assignment today, after optioning LHP Tucker Davidson to Triple-A Gwinnett following last night’s game.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 19, 2021
Kevan Smith is apparently the club’s new backup catcher for the time being, and represents the fifth catcher active with the team already this season. He’s appeared in parts of every major league season going back to 2016, has a 91 career wRC+, and 0.7 fWAR across 715 PAs. A seventh-round pick in the 2011 amateur draft, he’s kind of an offensive backup catcher, with a league-average xwOBA to date but pretty disappointing framing stats. The Braves will be his fourth organization: he was claimed off waivers by the Angels in October 2018, became a free agent ahead of the 2020 season, and played DFA/roster chicken with the Rays until being DFAed by them again a few days ago. Smith has 5 PAs this season, and had 38 PAs with a 136 wRC+ for the Rays last season.
The Smith move bumps Mathis off the active roster. Pressed into service after both Travis d’Arnaud and Alex Jackson went down with injury, Mathis did not reach base in 9 PAs as a Brave.
Tucker Davidson makes his way down to Gwinnett after a pretty good start last night. The Braves are re-adding relief “help” in the form of Grant Dayton, who had a minor thigh injury. Dayton’s actually pitched reasonably well in mostly mop-up duty this year, with a 123/83/94 pitching triple-slash. As has been the case for many Braves arms, he’s been done in by a low strand rate. Amusingly, he has the fourth-highest pitching WPA on the team, after Huascar Ynoa, Will Smith, and Ian Anderson.