WASHINGTON -- The question about how the Braves would make room for newly acquired reliever Luis Ayala on their 25-man roster was answered on Friday when Cristhian Martinez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain.
Martinez felt some discomfort in his shoulder while he was preparing to pitch the ninth inning of Wednesday night's 8-0 win over the Marlins. The 31-year-old right-hander traveled back to Atlanta on Thursday to be evaluated by the team's doctors.
"We were going to pitch him in the ninth inning of the Miami game," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He threw about 10 or 11 pitches and then turned around and told [bullpen coach Eddie Perez] his shoulder was bothering him a little bit, so we shut him down."
Gonzalez said early indications were that Martinez would simply need a couple weeks of rest. Martinez has served as the long reliever in Atlanta's bullpen since the 2011 season.
Ayala was acquired from the Orioles in exchange for a Minor League pitcher on Wednesday, and the 35-year-old right-hander pitched a scoreless seventh inning during Friday night's game against the Nationals at Nationals Park. He combined to post a 2.40 ERA while making 118 appearances for the Yankees and Orioles during the 2011 and '12 seasons, and was 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in two games with Baltimore this year.
"We got reports from some of our scouts who have seen him," Gonzalez said of Ayala. "We feel comfortable using him."
Gonzalez will continue to utilize Luis Avilan, Jordan Walden and Eric O'Flaherty as closer Craig Kimbrel's primary setup men. With Jonny Venters sidelined for an undetermined time with a sprained left elbow, Ayala will add some proven depth to the bullpen.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.