Struggling Braves accidently call up a player who's not eligible

The Atlanta Braves are off to a major-league worst 5-18 start entering Sunday's game against the Cubs. So the Braves were looking for a spark from the minor leagues after sending down right-hander Chris Withrow.

Veteran utility man Emilio Bonifacio looked to be the logical choice, hitting .333 in Triple-A Gwinnett. Sounds simple enough? One problem though – Bonifacio was not eligible to be called up until May 7.

Atlanta released him from his major-league deal April 6 then re-signed him to a minor-league contract four days later. The Braves have to wait until May 7 to call him back up -- 30 days after he was initially cut.

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"It's sort of a convoluted rule from MLB," Braves assistant general manager Billy Ryan told Mark Bowman of

"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."

It's just been that kind of season for the Braves.