ATLANTA (AP) — Kung Fu Panda has made the opening day roster for the Atlanta Braves.
The team made a flurry of moves Saturday to complete its 26-man roster, which included selecting the contract of nonroster infielder Pablo Sandoval.READ MORE: Rising Sea Level Threatens Stinson Beach Neighborhoods
The 34-year-old Sandoval is a two-time All-Star and 2012 World Series MVP looking to revive his career in a bench role with the Braves. The portly switch-hitter earned his spot with a strong spring, hitting .429 with four RBIs in 35 at-bats.
Sandoval, whose contract will be upgraded to a one-year, $1 million deal, hit .214 in 84 at-bats with the Braves and San Francisco Giants in 2020. He was added to Atlanta’s postseason roster, going hitless in four plate appearances as the Braves came within one game of reaching the World Series.
The Braves hope Sandoval can return to the form he showed in 2019, when he hit .268 with 14 homers for the Giants.READ MORE: Kaiser Employees Win $11.5 Million Class-Action, Race-Discrimination Lawsuit
Atlanta, which opens the season Thursday at Philadelphia, also selected the contracts of two other nonroster players: infielder Ehire Adrianza and reliever Nate Jones.
Adrianza claimed another opening on Atlanta’s bench by hitting .412 in spring training, with two homers and a team-high 12 RBIs through Friday’s game.
The versatile, 31-year-old Venezuelan, who previously played with San Francisco and Minnesota, will primarily provide depth at shortstop behind Dansby Swanson. Adrianza also has played the other infield positions as well as the outfield during his career.
Infielder Jason Kipnis, a two-tine All-Star trying to make the Braves as a non-roster invitee, was released.MORE NEWS: Bay Area Teams Ready to Welcome Fans But Impact of Fake Vaccination Cards Is Unknown
In addition, the team outrighted outfielder Abraham Almonte to the alternate training site, designated outfielder Phillip Ervin for assignment and placed pitcher Touki Toussaint on the 60-day injured list with a right shoulder strain.