Despite marked improvement over the past few weeks, the Atlanta Braves revamped their bullpen’s outlook on Sunday by calling up two arms from Triple-A Gwinnett and trading for another prospect. Atlanta acquired Astros Triple-A left-hander Mitchell Lambson for cash considerations.
The 24-year-old has never pitched in the majors, but he’s posted quality numbers in the minors and will immediately be added to Atlanta’s list of relief options. Lambson has posted a 2.60 ERA at both minor-league stops this season (Double-A Corpus Christi, Triple-A Fresno) and he’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA at every professional level since his first year in the minors.
A 19th-round draft pick in 2011, the Arizona State product was an upcoming Rule 5 Draft candidate for Houston and could not find a big-league roster spot.
In Atlanta, he could receive his opportunity.
The Braves bullpen, though improved, still owns the fourth-worst ERA in baseball through 240 innings of work. Following a 4-0 loss to the Phillies in extra innings on Sunday afternoon, the front office demoted Nick Masset and Dana Eveland in order to call up David Carpenter and Arodys Vizcaino — the latter fresh off an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
Additionally, the PED suspension of lefty Andrew McKirahan is set to end on July 20, while young starters like Manny Banuelos could also see time in relief. In short, there are plenty of options.
Vizcaino and Carpenter will be the 21st and 22nd relievers that manager Fredi Gonzalez has used in 2015.
Where Lambson fits into the equation is unclear, but it’s a certainty that the team is searching for bullpen stability as it tries to push back into the NL East picture.