Church joins the list of injured Braves
Ryan Church has spent the past week serving as a capable replacement for Nate McLouth in center field. But the versatile outfielder found himself as a member of the growing list of injured Braves players, who were unavailable for Saturday night’s game again the Marlins.
Church played through the lower back discomfort caused by an aggravated his sacroiliac joint during Friday night’s series opener against the Marlins. But when he returned to Turner Field on Saturday afternoon, he found himself battling spasms and a discomfort level that could keep him sidelined until at least Tuesday.
“It was coming on during one of the games in New York and I was just trying to grind through it,” Church said. “But it’s starting to (spasm) now.”
An aggravated sacroiliac joint has also prevented Garret Anderson from manning the left field position during the first two games of this weekend’s series. Anderson will begin swinging a bat again on Sunday and might alsobe available for Tuesday night’s series opener against the Padres.
“It’s one of those things that’s just a day-to-day type of thing,” said Church, who like Anderson has dealt with this ailment in the past.
With Church, Anderson and McLouth unavailable, the Braves starting outfield on Saturday consisted of Reid Gorecki in center, Omar Infante in left and Matt Diaz in right. Infante, who hadn’t previously started in the outfield this year, was replaced at second base with Kelly Johnson.
While Martin Prado returned to Turner Field on Saturday and said he was feeling better, it still appears that it will be at least Tuesday before he’s cleared to resume his duties as the starting second baseman. Prado, who was diagnosed with exertional headaches, is scheduled to visit Dr. Richard Berstein on Monday.
The Braves were also without Brian McCann during Saturday night’s game. Braves manager Bobby Cox gave McCann the opportunity to choose whether he wanted to have his day off on Saturday or Sunday.
Considering that the Marlins are starting Ricky Nolasco on Sunday, McCann may have made the right choice. The All-Star catcher has seven hits, including two doubles and two homers, in 22 career at-bats against Nolasco. But he’s just 1-for-8 in his career against Chris Volstad, who started Saturday’s game for the Marlins.
McLouth would like to start running to test his strained left hamstring. But the Braves have decided it would be best for him to wait a few more days. The 28-year-old center fielder is eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 31.