Greene nearing ‘pen duty; Pache optioned

ATLANTA — Braves manager Brian Snitker isn’t ruling out the possibility of adding Shane Greene to his bullpen within the next few days.

“I think there’s always a chance,” Snitker said prior to Wednesday’s game against the Nationals at Truist Park. “We just need to get him to the ballpark.”

After making his third scoreless appearance for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday, Greene was slated to go through his normal pregame running and throwing exercises on Wednesday. His recovery from those activities will influence when he could join Atlanta’s bullpen.

Braves president of baseball operations and general manager Alex Anthopoulos was present on Tuesday night, when Greene allowed one hit and recorded a strikeout in a scoreless inning against Jacksonville. The 32-year-old has tallied five strikeouts and issued just one walk over 3 1/3 scoreless innings for Gwinnett.

“His velocity was good and his stuff was good,” Snitker said. “We’ll just kind of see where he’s at, at the end of the day.”

Greene was a free agent until signing with the Braves on May 9. Activating him after just three appearances, none of which have been made with less than three days’ rest, would seemingly be rushing him.

But given the state of their bullpen, that is a risk the Braves might be willing to take.

As expected, top prospect Cristian Pache was optioned to Gwinnett after limiting his Minor League rehab assignment to just one game. Really, all this does is provide the young outfielder a chance to take all the time he needs to make the necessary offensive developments to be successful whenever he returns to the Majors.

Pache has been on the injured list twice this year. He was bothered by a strained groin in April. His most recent stint was caused by right hamstring inflammation.

“He needs to hit and play every day,” Snitker said. “It wasn’t happening here prior to him getting hurt. Now that he’s missed significant time, he needs to get in a regular routine.”

Pache is ranked as the game’s No. 11 prospect by MLB Pipeline. But while his potential is significant, he appeared to be overmatched as he hit .111 with a .358 OPS in 68 plate appearances for Atlanta this season.

Adam Duvall’s oblique injury in Game 1 of last year’s National League Championship Series forced the Braves to make Pache their everyday center fielder, despite the fact that he had just four previous plate appearances at the Major League level. He proceeded to go 4-for-22 with a double and a homer during the best-of-seven series against the Dodgers.

“We just assumed because he had a decent NLCS that he was going to be ready for this fight, and he’s not,” Snitker said. “So, hopefully he can get it going down there.”

The Braves decided to push Ian Anderson back a day to start Friday’s series opener against the Dodgers. The club hasn’t officially announced who will start Thursday’s series finale against the Nationals. But it will likely be Bryse Wilson.

With this adjustment, Atlanta could use Anderson, Charlie Morton and Max Fried as its starters for this weekend’s series against the Dodgers.