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Braves roster moves: Kevan Smith acquired, Dayton activated, Mathis DFAed, Davidson sent down

The roster fringe merry-go-round continues

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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