Braves call up slugging prospect Riley with Inciarte sidelined


The Atlanta Braves selected the contract of prospect Austin Riley from Triple-A Gwinnett Wednesday after outfielder Ender Inciarte landed on the 10-day injured list with a lumbar strain in his back, the team announced.

Riley will make his major-league debut Wednesday when the Braves host St. Louis. He'll bat sixth and play left field.

The 22-year-old - ranked as the Braves' No. 4 prospect and 34th-best in baseball by MLB Pipeline - has been teeing off in the minors this season, batting .299/.377/.681 with 15 home runs, 10 doubles, and 39 RBIs in 37 games. His most recent long ball was a grand slam on Tuesday.

Riley was drafted as a third baseman, but the Braves converted him to the outfield this season after signing Josh Donaldson and already having Johan Camargo on the depth chart. The position change is relatively new, however, as Riley's only played four games in left field so far.

Atlanta is planning to use Riley primarily in the outfield, though he will play third on Donaldson's days off, according to David O'Brien of The Athletic.

With the call-up, Riley is expected to gain Super 2 status, which would earn him salary arbitration a year earlier than normal.

Inciarte, the team's primary center fielder, left Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals with lower back tightness. In his absence, Ronald Acuna Jr. is expected to get the bulk of playing time in center field with Riley playing at the corner spot.

In addition to the moves involving Riley and Inciarte, the Braves also recalled right-hander Touki Toussaint from Triple-A. Left-hander Jesse Biddle, who appeared in 15 games for Atlanta this season, was designated for assignment.

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