Braves Rumors: Marcell Ozuna trade, first-round pick promoted, call-ups looming

Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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AJ Smith-Shawver, Atlanta Braves
AJ Smith-Shawver, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) /

Braves Rumors: A.J. Smith-Shawver, Vaughn Grissom promotions looming?

Earlier this week I wrote an article detailing three prospects Atlanta should call up before September. A.J. Smith-Shawver and Vaughn Grissom were both on that list, and both performed admirably in Gwinnett’s latest win over the Charlotte Knights. Grissom went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks, while Smith-Shawver gave up just three runs in six innings of work.

Smith-Shawver arguably has a place on the Atlanta roster when it does expand come September, as the Braves will need some pitching depth. Whether they use him as a starter or relief pitcher remains in question, but he’s too talented to keep in Gwinnett when he can help the big-league squad right now. As I noted in my piece, it’s smart for Anthopoulos and Snitker to be cautious with Smith-Shawver, who is a major piece of Atlanta’s future. He’s expected to start next season on the big-league roster barring a setback in spring training.

As for Grissom, that’s a bit more complicated. Grissom was thought to be a major trade piece for the Braves around the deadline, but they opted to hold onto him in the end. Grissom’s bat is MLB-ready, but he struggles defensively. Atlanta traded for middle infielder Nicky Lopez at the deadline, which puts Grissom’s looming spot on the big-league roster in question. Does Alex Anthopoulos view him as a depth piece, or will he stay in Gwinnett to receive regular reps at shortstop or elsewhere?