As planned, the Braves activated rookie left-hander Mike Minor on Sunday and optioned rookie reliever Craig Kimbrel back to Triple-A Gwinnett. Minor will make his fourth start Tuesday against the Mets.
The Braves optioned Minor to their Gulf Coast League team on Friday and recalled Kimbrel for the third time, so they could have an extra arm in the bullpen for two days. The hard-throwing rookie pitched Friday.
“I didn’t unpack, so that makes it easier,” Kimbrel said, smiling as he cleared out his locker by tossing a few things into his large duffel bag.
Minor didn’t actually report to the Gulf Coast league team. It was a procedural move to open a roster spot, and he was optioned to the Gulf Coast League team because its season ended Saturday, making him eligible to return to the Braves right away.
The Braves had to activate him Sunday, a day after the Gulf Coast League season ended.
Kimbrel, 22, will be among the Braves’ September callups, but won’t be eligible to return until Sept. 7, after Gwinnett’s season ends.
“I wish he could [return sooner],” said manager Bobby Cox, who reiterated that Kimbrel figures prominently in the Braves’ future.
Kimbrel has a 1.74 ERA with 22 saves and 76 strikeouts in 51-2/3 innings at Gwinnett, and a 0.96 ERA with 17 strikeouts (with 11 walks) in 9-1/3 innings for Atlanta.