Infection will sideline Diaz for an extended period

Yunel Escobar was back in the Braves lineup on Saturday night.  But it could be at least another three weeks before manager Bobby Cox is able to utilize Matt Diaz again. 

Diaz has spent the past three weeks bothered by the same right thumb infection that sidelined him during the final weeks of last season.  When he began bleeding and showing signs of an infection after a pinch-hit at-bat on Friday night,  the Braves determined it was time for him to be further evaluated. 

Noted hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie will remove a foreign substance from Diaz’s right thumb during a surgical procedure on Wednesday.  While the recovery time is undetermined, Cox knows it will be June before the veteran outfielder is playing again. 

“It will be weeks,” Cox said. “They have to go in there pretty deep.” 

With Diaz unavailable, Eric Hinske will likely see a lot more playing time in left field.  Brent Clevelan has been promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to at least temporarily serve as an extra outfielder. 

Clevlen, who hit .259 with a homer and 14 RBIs in 26 games with Triple-A Gwinnett this year, was a high school teammate of former Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson, who is in town this weekend with his D-backs teammates. 

The Braves told Clevlen that he was going to the Majors at about 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and approximately one hour later he was getting ready for his new assignment at Turner Field.   He made the 30-minute drive to downtown Atlanta in a car he borrowed from right-handed reliever Stephen Marek, a childhood friend who was recently promoted to the Gwinnett roster.

To make room for Escobar, the Braves sent shortstop Brandon Hicks back to Gwinnett.  Hicks will now spend the next few weeks and months proving that he can develop a swing that would enable him to prove how valuable he can be from a defensive standpoint at the Major League level. 

BRAVES LINEUP vs. D-backs  5/15/2010

Prado 4
Heyward 9
Chipper 5
McCann 2
Glaus 3
Hinske 7
Escobar 6
McLouth 8
Hanson 1    

19 Comments

Ok, so Bobby read the blog last night and decided after reading my post to flip flop Hinske and Escobar, just so I would be wrong with the line up prediction.

I want to preface this comment by saying that I believe that J-Hey should hit third. Since it isn’t likely to happen, I want to give you a couple of reasons why it is a good thing for him to bat second.

1. More at bats. He will get at least one more AB per game.
2. He draws a lot of walks, and is one of the few threats on the Braves team to steal a base. This sets up Chipper, Mac and Glaus.
3. When the bottom of the order gets on base, and the pitcher sacrifices, you have Prado (if he remains the lead-off hitter) then Heyward to get them home. They can’t pitch around Prado. In essence he becomes the clean up hitter for the bottom of the order.
4. Prado – then Heyward maximizes the at bats for the two best hitters on the team.

Thanks Brandon Hicks! You contributed well pinch running and late defense. Good luck, Brent Clevlen. Get well soon Matt Diaz!

I wonder how much Clevlen will get used? Hicks was only a PR in his short time here, I hope we get to at least see Clevlen..

this team has no officially come around. i just hope we arent regretting such a hopeless start wen we miss out on the wild card by 3 games at the end of the year. even if we lose tonite, its nice to see our hitters hitting the ball hard and making good at bats

If Brian McCann can see so much better in the daylight, how come he sits out day games and not a night game?

You bring up a good point, btbus. It’s standard to rest the starting catcher on a day game after a night game. However, I rarely see any team, much less the Braves, start the backup catcher in the night game and send out the starter in the ensuing day game. It’s worth a shot every once in a while.

All that aside, no one can be upset with the Braves’ offensive output today. I’d keep McLouth low in the order as he seems to produce better there.

Wow, Martin what a day. You move the guy around in the order how does he respond, just a 4 hit day. I think he is a legitimate .325 hitter and he definitely hits in the clutch, can go to all fields and hits for power when it’s needed. He is a really solid ball player. He and Heyward kept this team from falling apart when everyone was hitting so pitifully. He and Heyward would be neck and neck in team MVP in my eyes right now. He deserves to be an all star, let’s get voting boys.

I agree bill…it is nice to have a discussion on this board that is positive since we are beginning to turn this ship around. If I had to pick a team mvp at this point I would pick Prado only because he has played all season (heyward was hurt for a bit) and he has been great in the field, but you are certainly right by mentioning that they kept the ship afloat. I can’t help but think that the hot bat by Glaus lately has certainly given us a formidable lineup. We just need to hope Chipper and BMac come around. Another point would be what a pickup Eric Hinske has been. Our “bench players” have been very very valuable. And, lastly, hopefully McLouth is coming around, he’s been playing good defense from what i’ve seen and seems to be comfortable at the bottom of the lineup, which is fine by me because I think it fits him a little better than leadoff.

Heres one way to change the lineup have the pitcher bat in the 8 hole and either mcclouth or heyward bat in the 9 hole like how Larusso does his line up in Saint Louis.

How about no…
… and it’s “La Russa.” LaRusso was the last name of the main character in the original Karate Kid movies.

Papilgee, you can’t acknowledge anything ncbravefan spews out. He’s just as bad as that yankeespowerhouse guy. You only encourage him by responding.

I was bored. :-P

Nice Karate Kid reference, btw.

Haha. Funny little stat I just came across…
Slugging %: 1. Tim Hudson (.368) 2. Chipper (.367)

Sure, we can swap Hudson and Chipper in the lineup so we have someone on base when Prado hits. lol

We totally should have gotten rid of Glaus when we had the chance, like most of you suggested..
Ncbraves definitely posts some seriously inane drivel, but I think his ill-informed, ill-devised trade proposals go well with “the sky is falling” rhetoric spouted by some of you on here.
We have the last place Mets for the next 2 games, the perennially miserable Pirates for 6 games, the Marlins for 3, and the red hot Reds at home for 2. If we can win at least 8-10 out of 13 before the Phillies come to town for 3, we could potentially vault back into first. Lowe needs to come through again tonight to set it off, cause tomorrow we have Medlen pitching against Santana.

Rother- RU sure he’s not just throwing “knuckle balls”? U know floaters that keep missing the plate? Viva- I’ll feel safe when we post a 9 game winning streak to match our recent debacle. Speedy- I guess we know why Diaz was slumping so bad, he was playing with a piece of bat in his thumb(ow). What is up with our trainers? Do they talk with these guys(remember Schafer playing with a broken hand half of last season) and no one seems to be able to keep chipper on the field. No matter what happens this season, I will be really glad with the opportunity that the end of this season brings. We can clean house and rebuild an organization that takes care of business.

what could possibly be wro-N-g with the theory of batting the guy who is by far the best run produ-C-cer on the team beh-I-nd the pitcher -S-pot and the two le-A-st li-K-ely guys to get on base in the entire li-N-eup? the added benefit wo-U-ld be that he will easily average an entire ab less than most of the non-produ-C-ers as well, certainly leading to an increase is runs overall…..125 less heyward abs, and almost none with anybody on base certainly looks li-K-e the perfect remedy to not scoring enough runs. i for one -L-ove the idEa of keeping t-H-e pr-E-ssure off of heyw-A-r-D-.
so much baseball strategy occurs between the lines, don’t you think?

Of course, sometimes you have to read between the lines to get the point.

Just a few questions here….
1. Have we heard anything from Valdez? Is he in the country?
2. Was Prado’s family able to come back to the US?
3. Does anyone have the splits last year for McCann pre/post glasses?
4. Didn’t Diaz have the splinter removed last year? If so, I guess they must have left some behind since its still infected.

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