6:32 PM ET
ATLANTA — Billy Hamilton feels like Christmas came early.
After being let go by one of baseball’s worst teams, Hamilton joined the first-place Atlanta Braves on Tuesday to help with their push for the playoffs.
“It’s a great feeling,” Hamilton said in the clubhouse at SunTrust Park before the opener of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins. “I had chills going down my body when they called me the other morning and told me I had been claimed by the Braves.”
Hamilton was designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals on Friday after a dismal season for both him and the rebuilding team. He was hitting .211 with no homers and 12 RBIs.
The Braves claimed Hamilton off waivers to bolster their injury-plagued roster, which is missing outfielders Nick Markakis, Ender Inciarte and Austin Riley, along with shortstop Dansby Swanson. All are on the 10-day injured list, and only Riley seems close to getting back on the field.
For now, Hamilton will play a role off the bench, serving as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner. He had 18 stolen bases for the Royals.
Hamilton will take whatever playing time