The Braves have signed reliever Scott Williamson to a minor league contract and sent him to Triple-A Richmond.
Williamson is a nine-year major league veteran. The right-hander was in camp with the San Francisco Giants this spring, but he was released after pitching two games and posting a 13.50 ERA. Williamson had walked three and struck out one.
Atlanta was looking to replace Phil Stockman, who was called up to the big leagues Friday, on the Richmond roster. They had also demoted Brad Nelson to Double-A.
The 32-year-old Williamson started his career with Cincinnati in 1999. He was the National League Rookie of the Year after posting a 2.41 ERA with 19 saves and 107 strikeouts. After having Tommy John surgery in 2001, he bounced back and had a 2.92 ERA in 63 games for the Reds in 2002. Williamson was traded to the Red Sox in July of 2003 and spent a season and a half in Boston.
Williamson pitched for the Cubs in 2005 but battled arm trouble and pitched in only 17 games. In the middle of 2006 Chicago traded him to the Padres, where he struggled in 11 games. Last season Williamson pitched in 16 games for Baltimore, where he had a 4.40 ERA with eight walks and 16 strikeouts in 14.3 innings pitched.
Williamson had surgery after the 2006 season to remove to large bone chips from his right elbow. The Braves are hoping he is healthy and can be an option for the Atlanta bullpen sometime this summer.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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