Braves roster boosted by return of Jorge Soler from COVID list; Dodgers' Andy Burns replaces Just...

ByBradford Doolittle ESPN logo
Thursday, October 21, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and Braves both made changes to their rosters on Thursday, prior to the start of Game 5 of the NL Championship Series.

The Braves got the powerful right-handed bat of Jorge Soler back on their roster. Soler was cleared by MLB's Joint Committee to return from the COVID-19 injury list. Soler tested positive during Atlanta's NLDS series against Milwaukee and was replaced on the roster by outfielder Cristian Pache. Pache was removed from the roster with Soler's return.

Soler hit .269 with 14 homers and 33 RBIs over 55 games for the Braves during the regular season after the club acquired him in a trade deadline deal from Kansas City. He batted leadoff for the Braves late in the season, but Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Soler will be a bench option for Thursday's game.

"He's been working out on his own," Snitker said. "I think he's good to go. That's a great weapon off the bench right there."

Meanwhile, the Dodgers added infielder Andy Burns to the roster in place of starting third baseman Justin Turner, who suffered a season-ending hamstring injury during Game 4 while running to first base on a ground ball.

Burns, 31, played in nine games for Los Angeles during the regular season, going 3 for 11 at the plate with a double. It was his first big league action since he played in 10 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016.

The reason Burns was the pick?

"Just the versatility defensively, the right-handed bat," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

The Braves lead the defending champion Dodgers 3-to-1 in the NLCS and can advance to the World Series for the first time since 1999 with a win on Thursday.