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Braves call up Lane Adams in search for bench production

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The Atlanta Braves will give longtime minor-leaguer Lane Adams an opportunity to improve its beleaguered bench production.

The franchise promoted the 27-year-old outfielder from Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday afternoon and designated utility option Chase d’Arnaud, a staple on the 2016 roster, for assignment. Adams signed a minor-league contract with Atlanta in December.

A former 13th-round draft pick by Kansas City in 2009, Adams spent the better part of nine minor-league seasons with the Royals, Yankees and Cubs. (Trivia note: He was taken seven spots ahead of Cardinals star Matt Carpenter.) He made his MLB debut with Kansas City as a September call-up in 2014, but only played in six games and went hitless in three plate appearances.

The 2017 campaign was Adams’ third at the Triple-A level, though it was easily on track to be his best before the promotion. Adams, a right-handed bat, was hitting .333/.352/.588 with four home runs and six stolen bases through 13 games.

Bench concerns grew louder throughout spring training and manager Brian Snitker has yet to find quality offensive options in late-inning situations.

Braves hitters have reached base just five times in 32 pinch-hit appearances this season. Discounting American League teams, which rarely turn to pinch-hitters due to the designated hitter, no other franchise has gotten less production out of its bench this season, particularly considering starting catcher Tyler Flowers has contributed to the bulk of the production.

As the Braves wait on former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard to find a rhythm at Triple-A — a move that seems more likely with every passing game — Adams steps in looking for the first consistent stretch of playing time in the majors in his career.

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