The Braves announced today that left fielder Mallex Smith has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a fractured left thumb that will sideline him for the next eight to 10 weeks. To fill his spot on the roster, the Braves have selected the contract of fleet-footed veteran Emilio Bonifacio from Triple-A.
[Related: Updated Atlanta Braves depth chart]
Smith, 23, came to Atlanta in the 2014-15 offseason’s Justin Upton trade and worked his way onto the big league roster earlier this season when Ender Inciarte hit the disabled list. However, even upon Inciarte’s activation, Smith stuck on the roster. The speedster is hitting .237/.312/.379 with three homers and 14 steals in the Majors this season and has drawn excellent marks from both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating while splitting his time between left field and center field.
Bonifacio will be returning to the Braves for his second stint, having previously spent the second half of the 2014 campaign with Atlanta following a trade from the Cubs. He’s hitting .271/.321/.319 with 22 stolen bases through 252 plate appearances with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate this season. Presumably, he’ll see quite a bit of time in left field, though he’s also plenty experienced at second base and has more than 1000 big league innings at the hot corner, so Atlanta could bounce him around the diamond as needed.