The Braves announced Wednesday that they’ve designated right-hander Shane Carle for assignment in order to open a 40-man roster spot for righty Jeremy Walker, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Gwinnett. Right-hander Wes Parsons was optioned to Gwinnett to clear a spot on the 25-man roster.
Carle, 28 next month, is only months season removed from a 2018 season that saw him finish the year with a 2.86 ERA in 63 innings of work, although he looked quite unlikely to repeat that production moving forward. Carle averaged just 6.1 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 last season, surviving in large part due to a deflated .258 average on balls in play and excellent fortune in terms of home runs allowed (0.29 HR/9, 4.2% HR/FB).
Carle’s end-of-season numbers were buoyed by a particularly hot start to the season; however, after posting a 0.69 ERA in his first 26 innings, the righty came down to Earth with a 4.38 ERA and an unpalatable 24-to-21 K/BB ratio in his final 37 innings of work.
This season has been a particularly ugly one for Carle. In 9 1/3 big league innings he’s allowed 10 runs, walked nine batters and hit three more while striking out just six. His Triple-A results haven’t been much more encouraging, as he’s limped to a 5.13 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 46 percent ground-ball rate. To Carle’s credit, he’s had the BABIP pendulum swing the other direction against him with Gwinnett, as he’s seen hitters bat .356 on balls put into play against him. He’s still limiting homers (0.54 HR/9) in amid talk of juiced balls in one of the most hitter-friendly seasons the International League has ever seen.
Carle has an option remaining beyond the 2019 season, so a club in need of some bullpen help could certainly take a look at him as middle relief depth. The Braves will spend the next week trying to trade him but could also try to pass him throughout outright waivers (although last season’s success and the remaining option make him a decent bet to be claimed).
As for Walker, 24, he carved up Double-A opponents this season before a brief 11-inning stopover in Gwinnett. The 2016 fifth-round pick is now slated to make his MLB debut on the heels of 69 2/3 innings of 2.84 ERA ball and a 71-to-8 K/BB ratio between Double-A and Triple-A.