Braves release SF Giants 2007 1st-round pick after attempted transition to pitching

Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

SF Giants 2007 first-round pick Charlie Culberson attempted to reinvent himself as a pitcher with the Atlanta Braves. However, that process has been put on hold after he was released by the club, per the team's transaction log.

Braves release SF Giants 2007 1st-round pick after attempted transition to pitching

The Braves have an affinity for a handful of players. It feels like Culberson is part of that group along with Adam Duvall and Jesse Chavez. Of course, Duvall is returning for his third stint with the Braves this season, whereas Chavez signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox in the offseason but did not make the team. He landed a guaranteed deal with the Braves over the weekend.

Culberson is in that same mold. He has had two, separate stints with Atlanta. This included a 2023 run where he spent nearly two full months on the active roster and collected just one plate appearance. The Braves had more lineup continuity than any team in baseball last year, so there were just no at-bats for Culberson.

Of course, Giants fans know Culberson well from a footnote in franchise history. He was shipped to the Colorado Rockies before the 2012 trade deadline in exchange for veteran utility bat Marco Scutaro.

Scutaro became a key cog in the Giants' 2012 championship run. He registered a .326 batting average with San Francisco following the trade and earned NLCS MVP honors as well.

On the other hand, Culberson has carved out a long career as a utility infielder, most notably with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Braves. Being a utility player is a tough role that does not lend itself to long careers, but the 35-year-old has appeared in parts of 11 major league seasons.

Culberson has tallied a .680 OPS in that time and has experience all around the diamond and in the outfield. That type of versatility has helped him continue to find work.

However, finding a new team may be even tougher to do if he is trying to reinvent himself as a pitcher. The righty arm yielded six earned runs across two innings of work with the Braves in camp. He did not originally receive a camp invite but was called up from minor league camp when the need arose.

Culberson told Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required) that he does not intend to retire. Whether he finds a new team or not, there is a good chance that the veteran player finds a way to make an impact in the game even after his playing days are over.