As reported first on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network, the Atlanta Braves acquired another bat for the stretch drive late Thursday night getting left-handed hitting outfielder Daryle Ward from the Washington Nationals for pitching prospect Luis Atilano.
Ward was hitting .311 with 6 home runs and 19 RBI in 104 at bats. The 31-year-old Ward has played six games at first base and 12 in the outfield for the Nationals. He's hitting .341 in 91 at bats against right-handed pitchers and is 14-47 (.298) as a pinch-hitter with 3 home runs and 10 runs batted in.
Atilano pitched this season for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He was 6-7 in 19 games (18 starts) with a 4.50 ERA before having Tommy John Surgery in early August. Atilano was the Braves' first round pick (35th overall) in the 2003 Amateur Draft.
Ward is the son of former Twins' outfielder Gary Ward. He started his career with the Astros in 1999 and played four seasons in Houston. He was with the Dodgers in 2003 and then with the Pirates for two seasons before joining the Nationals this year. Ward was Pittsburgh's starting first baseman last season and hit .260 with 12 home runs and 63 RBI.
The Braves will use Ward as a left-handed pinch-hitter off the bench for the final month of the season.
This is the 12th trade (in 8 different seasons) John Schuerholz has made in the month of August in his 15 years as Atlanta's General Manager.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look at the Braves’ traditional front office philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves’ Radio Network. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.