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Braves select contract of AJ Smith-Shawver, designate Lucas Luetge for assignment

The Braves are promoting one of their best pitching prospects to the majors.

San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves Photo by Brett Davis/Getty Images

In a surprising move, the Atlanta Braves have selected the contract of right-handed pitching prospect AJ Smith-Shawver and have designated reliever Lucas Luetge for assignment.

It has been a meteoric rise for Smith-Shawver, who was Atlanta’s seventh round pick in the 2021 draft. He spent all of the 2022 season at Low A Augusta, but has advanced through the upper minors this season to land in the majors. He has made just seven starts between Rome, Mississippi and Gwinnett allowing just 19 hits and four runs combined in 33 innings. He has 45 strikeouts and just 12 walks over that span. It isn’t clear at this point as to what role Smith-Shawver might fill, but it seems as though he may at least start out in the bullpen.

The Braves acquired Luetge from the Yankees this past offseason and the 2023 season has been a struggle so far where he has allowed 15 hits and 11 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

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