Nothing is going right for the Atlanta Braves this season. Not even routine transactions.
After Saturday's game against the Chicago Cubs was rained out, the Braves optioned right-hander Chris Withrow to Triple-A Gwinnett, and called up veteran utility man Emilio Bonifacio. The 31-year-old's been tearing up the International League with a .333/.384/.379 line, and arrived in Chicago ready to play Sunday.
There was just one problem: Bonifacio wasn't eligible to be called up.
Because the team released Bonifacio from a major-league contract on April 6 and then re-signed him to a minor-league deal four days later, he's ineligible to be on Atlanta's active roster until May 7 - 30 days after he was first cut. The team only discovered the error when Major League Baseball told them after the move was announced.
"It's sort of a convoluted rule from MLB," Braves assistant general manager Billy Ryan told Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
"I've never seen a guy get released from a big league deal, re-sign with the same team and end up in the big leagues a month later. It's kind of out of the ordinary."
While the Braves will eventually call up another bat to fill the gap until Saturday, they'll have to make do with just 24 players for Sunday's game, as Withrow already left Chicago to join Gwinnett.
The players that remain in Atlanta's clubhouse will try and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.