Braves option Marte to make room for 13th pitcher

Updated: June 25, 2005, 12:07 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The Braves optioned third baseman Andy Marte to Triple-A Richmond on Saturday and recalled right-hander Roman Colon, giving Atlanta a 13-man pitching staff.

Colon was called up from Double-A Mississippi to start Saturday against Baltimore.

Marte was brought up on June 6 when Chipper Jones was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a foot injury. The rookie had been playing behind Wilson Betemit at third base and hit .200 with no homers and three RBIss in 35 at-bats.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said he has to overstock his bullpen because two starting pitchers -- Colon and Jorge Sosa -- are converted relievers who can't be counted on for more than five innings. Another addition to the rotation, rookie Kyle Davies, also has had difficulty making it past five or six innings.

"We have no off days until the (All-Star) break," Cox said Saturday. "If we get five innings every start, we're doing good."

The Braves have three starting pitchers on the disabled list: John Thomson, Tim Hudson and Mike Hampton. Another starter, Horacio Ramirez, is questionable for his next start with a groin injury.

Cox said Marte "doesn't deserve to go" but the Braves have had strong play from Betemit, who entered Saturday's game hitting .323.

The Braves are left with one utility infielder, Pete Orr.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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