Chavez, Pillar highlight non-roster invitees to Braves camp

Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Pillar reacts after crossing home plate on a single by catcher Luke...
Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Pillar reacts after crossing home plate on a single by catcher Luke Maile in the tenth inning to drive Pillar home and defeat the Kansas City Royals in the second game of their baseball double header, in Toronto on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)(WIBW)
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:55 PM EST
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(AP) - Pitcher Jesse Chavez and outfielder Kevin Pillar highlight 26 players with minor league contracts invited to spring training by the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old Chavez had been effective as a long reliever out of the Braves’ bullpen the last two seasons, going 3-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 46 appearances over two stints with the team a year ago.

Chavez re-signed with the Braves in the offseason, giving the team another low-risk option in an already deep bullpen.

The 34-year-old Pillar is looking to bounce back from a fractured shoulder that sidelined him for most of last season. He played in just four big league games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and spent time at Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he batted .315 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs.

Pillar, who would receive $3 million if he makes the Braves, is looking to earn playing time in left field. Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario are both coming off disappointing seasons.

Twelve of Atlanta’s invitees have previous major league experience, including four who have played for the Braves: Chavez, pitcher Danny Young and infielders Ehire Adrianza and Adeiny Hechavarría.

The Braves also invited several of their top prospects to camp, led by left-handed pitcher Jared Shuster.

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 16, with the full squad on Feb. 21.