The Atlanta Braves announced trio of roster moves Wednesday that removes three players from their 40-man roster. Atlanta outrighted reliever Ben Heller and infielder Andrew Velazquez to Gwinnett. They also announced that outfielder Sam Hilliard was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. All three players are arbitration eligible this offseason.
The #Braves today outrighted RHP Ben Heller and INF Andrew Velazquez to Triple-A Gwinnett. Additionally, OF Sam Hilliard was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 1, 2023
Atlanta currently has eight players on the 60-day injured list that will need to be added back to the 40-man roster five days after the World Series ends, so more roster moves are coming over the next week.
Hilliard saw plenty of playing time early on while Michael Harris was out with a back injury. He appeared in 40 games while hitting .236/.295/.431 with three home runs in just 78 plate appearances. Hilliard brings an intriguing mix of power and some speed, but struck out 42.3% of the time while maintaining a .389 BABIP. He finished the season on the 60-day injured list with a heel injury.
The Braves acquired Heller from the Rays in June. He appeared in 19 games while posting a 3.86 ERA and a 5.02 FIP in 18 2⁄3 innings.
Velazquez appeared in 54 games with the Angels before signing with the Braves in September to add some more infield depth to the organization. He never appeared in a game at the major league level with Atlanta.