By George Henry/The Associated Press
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves acquired shortstop Paul Janish in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will be in the lineup when veteran pitcher Ben Sheets makes his first start of the season Sunday against the New York Mets.
Atlanta sent minor league right-hander Todd Redmond to Cincinnati for Janish, who has a .981 fielding percentage in 283 career games at shortstop.
“He’s a proven defensive talent,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “And we felt like, for our club, that was the most important aspect of the acquisition.”
To make room for Sheets and Janish, the Braves will send Randall Delgado to Triple-A Gwinnett and place shortstop Jack Wilson on the 15-day disabled list.
Gonzalez said Delgado will start for Gwinnett on Monday and pitch the second game of the Braves’ doubleheader next Saturday in Washington.
“It was a tough decision between him and (Mike) Minor, but the last couple of starts with Minor we felt that there was some progress being made there,” Gonzalez said following Atlanta’s 8-7 victory over New York. “Things change in a hurry but that’s how we’re going right now.”
The 33-year-old Sheets hasn’t appeared in a major league game since he started Oakland’s 2-1 loss to Boston on July 19, 2010. The right-hander is 90-92 with a 3.79 ERA in 241 career starts over nine seasons with Milwaukee and Oakland.
Atlanta traded for Janish after it lost starting shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a broken right little finger last Sunday. The rookie is likely to miss at least four weeks.
The 29-year-old Janish has a .221 batting average with seven homers and 70 RBIs in 324 big league games. He has spent the entire 2012 season at Triple-A Louisville, hitting .237 in 49 games.
Wren said the Braves had a list of three or four guys they were scouting since Simmons’ injury. Gonzalez indicated rookie Tyler Pastornicky, who was recalled from Richmond before Saturday’s game, was not a candidate to reclaim the job he lost due to weak defense.
“We were the pursuers, so you can’t necessarily dictate the timetable,” Wren said. “We thought Janish was the best defensive shortstop out there that we could acquire. He was the No. 1 guy on our list.”
Redmond is 69-56 with a 3.57 ERA in eight minor league seasons. The 27-year-old right-hander, who was assigned to Louisville, went 6-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 18 starts for Gwinnett this season.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said the trade gives the club some pitching depth in the minors. The Reds have used only five starters through the first 87 games this season, a franchise record.
Cincinnati’s pitching staff has kept the Reds in contention in the NL Central. The staff ERA of 3.39 was Cincinnati’s best at the All-Star break since 1990.