Lane Adams returned to the big leagues for the first time since 2014 when he received the call from the Braves last season. It's a great story of perseverance, as he spent his age-25 and age-26 seasons riding buses at Double-A and Triple-A in the Royals, Yankees and Cubs organizations. Whether he'll get another chance in 2018 remains to be seen, however, as there are warts under his .275/.339/.468 line, including a 30.3 percent strikeout rate and surprisingly poor splits against lefties in very limited chances against them. The Braves have top prospect Ronald Acuna ready to go at some point early in 2018, leaving Adams to battle for a part-time role with other veterans as the fourth or fifth outfielder during spring training. As long as Acuna, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis are all healthy, Adams figures see very limited playing time.
Adams is considered one of the leading candidates to act as the Braves' Opening Day left fielder with the expectation that Ronald Acuna will be optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett when spring training concludes, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. In addition to Adams, December pickup Preston Tucker is a contender for regular action in left field to begin the season, but neither player looks on track to see consistent at-bats throughout the campaign. After slashing .344/.393/.548 in 54 games with Gwinnett a season ago, Acuna has nothing left to prove in the minors, so his probable assignment back to the Triple-A club would be strictly for service-time purposes and would allow the Braves to gain an extra year of club control for the phenom. In that scenario, Acuna would likely be recalled later in April, at which point Adams would settle back in as the Braves' fourth outfielder. Adams' poor playing-time outlook probably only makes him worth interest in NL-only settings as a late dart in drafts.
Adams is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Phillies. Adams started the last four games in the Braves' outfield, but he will be held out Saturday after going just 1-for-13 over that span. Jace Peterson will get the start in left field in Adams' place.
Adams mashed a pinch-hit solo homer in Thursday's 6-2 loss to the Cubs. Adams took starter Kyle Hendricks deep in the seventh inning. He continues to serve mostly in a bench role despite slashing .288/.351/.462 at the plate.
Adams was called up by Atlanta prior to Saturday's game against Philadelphia. Adams joins the big-league club in a corresponding move to Matt Kemp's placement on the DL (hamstring). The outfielder has logged 34 appearances for Atlanta in 2017, batting .241/.267/.379 with one home run and eight RBI. He figures to provide a little depth for the team moving forward and could see some starts while Kemp is out.
Adams was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. The demotion shouldn't come as a huge surprise, as the outfielder has seen scarce playing time recently and Arodys Vizcaino (finger) is set to return from the DL in a corresponding move. Adams, who has been with the Braves since June 7, is slashing .241/.267/.379 over 29 major-league at-bats this season and will likely see more playing time down in Triple-A, where he was hitting .268 before being recalled.