Gosselin was brought up to the majors on the Sunday prior to the All-Star break to replace Uggla at the end of Fredi Gonzalez‘ bench when Dan was handed a one-day suspension for a violation of team rules (he was late). Under normal circumstances, the Braves probably would have stalled on sending Gosselin back down since the 4-day break gave them amble opportunity to assess the Uggla situation. However, Gosselin was slated to play in the AAA All-Star Game on Thursday, July 16th in Durham, NC… and he actually had to be in AAA to be eligible. So: back to AAA immediately after that Sunday Cubs game.
There’s Rules at Play HereIn the meantime, we now know that Dan Uggla was, in fact, released. That decision wasn’t announced until Friday afternoon (July 18). That led to a complication. While the Braves would have preferred to use Gosselin – batting a robust .344 with an .866 OPS in Lawrenceville – there’s a rule working against him. Once a player is sent to the minors, he must stay there for a minimum of 10 days, barring an injury-replacement situation.
That exception has come into play a few times, and the Braves have used it too: once with Jeff Francoeur, in fact. In July 2008, the Braves – frustrated with Jeff’s performance – sent him to AA Mississippi for 3 weeks to work on his swing and plate discipline. Unfortunately for all concerned, that demotion didn’t last as he was recalled after just 3 games after a flurry of injuries (one was to Omar Infante).
The exception could not be used this time, so that 10-day rule had to be honored…which itself was complicated by the AAA All-Star break, since it apparently doesn’t count. The 10th AAA game – including the All-Star game – occurred on Friday, and thus Gosselin’s exile is now over. He is eligible to be recalled today.
The man-in-the-middle of all this is Tyler Pastornicky, who was had 1 hit and 1 walk in 6 plate appearances as the ‘placeholder’. He struck out last night while pinch-hitting for an ineffective Alex Wood, which brings his major league average to .200 for the year (8 for 40). He was optioned back to Gwinnett after last night’s loss vs. the Padres to complete his own role in this obviously pre-planned arrangement.