The Braves will get some bullpen help Sunday when Scott Proctor arrives from Triple-A Gwinnett, where the veteran has finally regained his form after two elbow surgeries.
Proctor has a 1.06 ERA and three saves in 14 appearances for Gwinnett, and has recorded 24 strikeouts in 17 innings while allowing just 10 hits and five walks.
The 34-year-old right-hander was released by the Braves at the end of spring training, then re-signed on April 3 to a minor-league contract. Because he was released, the Braves couldn’t add him to their major league roster until May 15.
When Proctor re-signed, it was with an agreement that if another team was interested in adding Proctor to its major league roster before May 15, the Braves would work out a trade to let him go to a team if he wanted to.
He has pitched so well at Gwinnett that at least two major league teams came calling. The Braves told Proctor they would work out a deal if he wanted to go, but also assured him that they would bring him to the majors on May 15 if he opted to stay. Proctor decided to stay with the Braves.
Re-signing him now looks like a wise move by the Braves, whose bullpen is running a little thin due to Peter Moylan’s bulging disc — he’ll have back surgery next week — and Scott Linebrink’s struggles.
Proctor was one of baseball’s top setup men in 2006-2007 with the Yankees and Dodgers, but a heavy workload those seasons likely contributed to his subsequent elbow problems.
He had flexor-tendon surgery in October 2008, then ligament-transplant elbow surgery in May 2009. After missing the entire ’09 season with Florida, Proctor signed with the Braves.
He struggled last season with a 7.08 ERA in 31 appearances for Gwinnett and 6.35 ERA in six late-season appearances with Atlanta. The Braves believed that he still had plenty left and only needed more time to regain his form.