The Atlanta Braves cut ties with struggling closer Bob Wickman Friday, designating him for assignment.
The move came a day after Wickman surrendered a game-winning two-run home run to the Reds' Adam Dunn. Wickman is 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA and 20 saves in 26 chances.
Manager Bobby Cox did not reveal his new closer, which could be one of several pitchers. He said Rafael Soriano would probably serve in the ninth-inning role tonight but that "anybody out there would be a possibility. We just want to go a different way."
The manager spoke before the Braves, who had lost three in a row, began a three-game series against the Saint Louis Cardinals. He said Wickman had "not lately" pitched to expectations.
The Braves also recalled right-handers Jose Ascanio from Double-A Mississippi and Joey Devine from Triple-A Richmond. Infielder Martin Prado was optioned to Richmond.
The 38-year-old Wickman saved his 20th game on August 15th against the Giants, a night after blowing his sixth save. He has eight career 20-save seasons, including three in a row.
Wickman was 38-for-45 in save opportunities with a 2.88 ERA since joining the Braves on July 23rd, 2006. Cox said Wickman made the trip with the team from Cincinnati before the Braves made the move.
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