Due to injuries that were suffered in his collision with teammate Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth has been placed on the Disabled List with concussion like symptoms. The move was made retroactively but the team isn’t sure that McLouth will be ready to go once his time on the DL is up. It was reported on the broadcast that the Braves would use this opportunity to call up last years opening day Center Fielder Jordan Schafer. However, those plans changed as soon as Omar Infante fouled a ball off of his foot in the fifth inning of last night’s loss to Minnesota.
Infante is not expected to go on the DL and should only be out of action for a couple of days but the Braves did not want to get caught with only one shortstop available to play in case something happened to Yunel Escobar. Therefore Brandon Hicks was recalled from Gwinnett instead of Schafer.
More after the Jump
Schafer is coming back from wrist surgery and while he is an excellent defensive outfielder, he still has not reverted back to form yet hitting the ball. His numbers at Gwinnett are underwhelming right now .213 no homers, 4 RBI but the plan was for the kid to go down and get regular at bats. He can’t do that being the fifth outfielder in Atlanta.
Brandon Hicks was also up with the club earlier in the season. He played in only six games earlier this season and received only one at bat. Hicks really has been a disappointment at Gwinnett hitting only .211 with 2 homers and 12 RBI’s on the season.
So with these moves Melky Cabrera will assume the everyday Center Fielder job. He has been hitting better of late as his average has started to creep up. After getting off to a really sluggish start he is up to .256 and has 1 home run and 14 RBI’s. He should view this opportunity as a chance to take the job permanently. While historically Bobby Cox hasn’t let a player lose his job very often due to injury it is no secret that McLouth is struggling big time. If Cabrera can put together a solid few weeks then it will be hard to put McLouth back in ahead of him so he should view this as a golden opportunity.
Gregor Blanco also gets moved up a rung on the ladder and is now the first outfielder off of the bench. He will be a late inning defensive replacement most nights for Eric Hinske.
Braves General Manager Frank Wren did say that once Omar Infante is ready to play again that they would re-evaluate the situation.
The Braves also have another roster decision coming up in regards to minor league pitcher Chris Resop. You might remember Resop as the struggling relief pitcher that the Braves had in 2008. Well he spent some time in Japan and the Braves brought him back as a minor league free agent and he has been lights out since. He recently tossed a one hitter in the minors and has a clause in his contract that guarantees him a call up or his release by June 15th. So if he is not traded expect Jesse Chavez, Craig Kimbrel, or Christian Martinez to be sent back to Gwinnett to make room.