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The Daily Chop: Will Smith activated, Nick Markakis walk-off and more

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MLB: JUL 07 Braves Summer Camp Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves cut their roster down to 28 players on Thursday and got a key piece back as reliever Will Smith was activated from the injured list. The Braves signed Smith to a three-year, $40 million deal this offseason but he was among the players who tested positive for COVID-19 during intake screening. Smith’s addition should strengthen a bullpen that has been impressive over the first 13 games.

Coming into Thursday’s game, Atlanta’s relievers had thrown more innings than the starting group while posting a 2.79 ERA (2.76 FIP) in 58 innings.

To trim the roster to 28 players, Atlanta optioned catcher Alex Jackson and reliever Chad Sobotka. The team also designated outfielder Scott Schebler for assignment.

More Braves news

Nick Markakis came through in a big way with a walk-off homer in his first game back to give the Braves a series win over the Blue Jays.

Cory McCartney examines how the Braves can try and patch the giant hole in the rotation after Mike Soroka was lost for the season.

Tyler Matzek has been a big part of Atlanta’s successful bullpen and has a remarkable story as well. His comeback this season hasn’t been discussed enough.

MLB News

Major League Baseball announced all of the rescheduled dates for the games that were postponed over the last week.

Carter Stewart headed to Japan looking to establish himself but the pandemic has added another set of obstacles.

Finally, the Nationals designated Emilio Bonifacio for assignment on Thursday. Bonifacio saw limited action over the first couple of weeks of the season striking out twice in three plate appearances.