The Braves have selected the contract of left-hander Chris Rusin, as per the team’s official Twitter account. To create space on both the 30-man active roster and the 40-man roster, Atlanta designated right-hander Jhoulys Chacin for assignment.
Atlanta signed Chacin to a one-year, Major League contract back on July 21, as the club was looking to add some additional rotation depth due to Cole Hamels’ injured-list stint and Felix Hernandez’s opt-out. Chacin ended up making two relief appearances for the Braves, both against the Mets — the first was an impressive performance of 3 2/3 scoreless innings on July 26, and the other took place just last night, with Chacin surrendering four earned runs over 1 1/3 innings of work.
The Braves had clearly seen enough following yesterday’s outing, and Chacin now finds himself potentially back on the free agent market in short order. Given that teams are always in need of pitching depth, it’s possible Chacin could find another deal elsewhere, which could mean he’d be joining his fifth different organization in less than a year’s time.
Chacin has already appeared for seven different teams over his 12 MLB seasons, and also been part of the Indians and Twins organizations without ever suiting up for them in a big league game. Minnesota was Chacin’s most recent stop before signing on with the Braves, as the Twins inked Chacin to a minor league deal over the offseason but released him less than a week before their July 24th opener.
It wasn’t long ago that Chacin was a solid and durable rotation member, as he posted a 3.69 ERA while averaging 186 innings for the Padres and Brewers over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Things turned badly for Chacin in 2019, however, as a big spike in his home run rate (an unsightly 2.2 HR/9) resulted in a 6.01 ERA over 103 1/3 frames for Milwaukee and Boston.
Rusin is also looking for a rebound, as his strong 2017 season as a member of the Rockies bullpen was followed up by a rough 2018 (6.09 ERA in 54 2/3 innings) and then a 2019 that saw him appear in only two MLB games, thanks to both back problems and a demotion to the minors. Upon becoming a free agent after the season, Rusin signed with the Braves on a minor league deal, so his arrival on the active roster will ensure some form of (prorated) guaranteed salary.
The 33-year-old offers the Braves some versatility, as Rusin has worked as a swingman in the past, though he will more likely be used in a long relief capacity. Rusin joins Grant Dayton, A.J. Minter, and Tyler Matzek as left-handed options out of the Atlanta pen.