Diaz to DL, headed for thumb surgery – updated

Matt Diaz was placed on the disabled list Saturday and is headed for surgery on an infected right thumb. He is expected to miss a significant amount of time.

“It will be weeks,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

For nearly a month, the part-time outfielder has tried to play through a sore right thumb, but that ended Friday night after a Braves hand specialist got a good look at it when he came into the dugout after a pinch-hit strikeout.

Dr. Gary Lourie will perform surgery Wednesday to remove what Diaz said was an “11 millimeter long foreign body” from his thumb, possibly remnants of a splinter from a broken bat. Diaz was put on the disabled list Saturday and outfielder Brent Clevlen was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Diaz suffered from a similar thumb problem last year after getting jammed by a pitch with a month to go in the season. Diaz missed the last four games to undergo what was considered a “minor surgical procedure” to remove a splinter. This time around it appears more serious.

Diaz said the thumb started bothering him again when he got jammed against Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick on April 20. He thought he could play through it but it got to the point where Diaz said he felt a pop every at-bat and had it bleed through his band-aid.

Trainers had put him on antibiotics recently, but after going off of them Tuesday, Diaz’s thumb immediately swelled up again. He said an MRI Thursday showed the foreign body.

“I was told today that it’s heading down toward a tendon and we need to get it out,” Diaz said on Saturday afternoon. “At some point, probably long ago, I stopped being useful (at the plate). It’s time to get it right.”

Diaz, a career .310 hitter, has hit only .178 in 26 games this season. He’s been trying various pads and guards, to no avail.

“We have 18 different versions of foam pads,” Diaz said. “Padding my thumb, padding the bat, padding my thumb and the bat trying to find the happy medium. Without our training staff, I wouldn’t have been able to play the last week and a half. Fortunately, for my sanity, I’ve had some big hits the last week and a half to help us win some games. I’m not kicking myself for costing the team too often.”

Still, Diaz regrets not going to the training staff sooner.

“I made the decision myself in April, when it happened, that I could play through this,” Diaz said. “Now that I can’t, I’m frustrated at myself for not saying something sooner, obviously. I put the trainers in a bad spot. I put (hitting coach Terry Pendleton) in a bad spot with people wondering why I can’t make an adjustment on an inside pitch. I put a lot of people in a bad spot by not being open. I guess that’s my mentality. I was always told never ever take yourself out. Make them take you out.”

46 comments Add your comment

rico43

May 15th, 2010
3:52 pm

The odds are long that Chevlen can be another Tigers prospect to blossom for the Braves. Here’s hoping, because losing Diaz weakens the bench badly (especially with Hinske starting!).

rico43

May 15th, 2010
3:53 pm

michael

May 15th, 2010
4:01 pm

Thumb infection? Sounds like a Chipper injury.

bigstack19

May 15th, 2010
4:25 pm

Might be the reason Diaz has been slumping or it could be a made up injury to give him some time off to fix things while the team gets a look at Clevelen who if he can contribute may be an important addition.

RHR

May 15th, 2010
4:44 pm

Oh noez! Get well soon, Matty!

JC from DR

May 15th, 2010
4:52 pm

Yes! And stay there!

Ripped Again

May 15th, 2010
4:58 pm

i had a splinter in my finger the other day and i got my pocket knife and got it out ,and he needs surgery ? what a wuss !

Stone

May 15th, 2010
4:59 pm

Jo Jo Reyes things that this is a bogus DL stint

saltyweeks

May 15th, 2010
5:08 pm

why the heck would Diaz fake an injury? he’s always been one who wants to play, and plays hard even if not well all the time. Jeez, if the doc says he has a splinter I don’t think he made it up!

T

May 15th, 2010
5:09 pm

Atlanta has some of the worse so called fans.

T

May 15th, 2010
5:11 pm

Hey, Ripped
He had an infection!!!! It’s past the stage of removing it with a pocket knife!

T

May 15th, 2010
5:12 pm

Besides we don’t know how deep it is.

May

May 15th, 2010
5:19 pm

I doubt it’s fake. Here’s my reason: if they really wanted to fake an injury and put someone on the DL, “just so they can fix things” then I would think they would do that with Melky, because he’s worse off then Diaz.

Van the Man

May 15th, 2010
5:23 pm

He had the thumb issue at the end of last year, hopped he would have fixed it by now.

JohnSmith

May 15th, 2010
5:40 pm

Some folks here need surgery of the brain, I do believe.

Ripped Again

May 15th, 2010
5:48 pm

Hey T ,he still a puss to be put on the DL for that !!!!!!!!!!!

willieg hates bill shanks

May 15th, 2010
5:50 pm

diaz is sick an infection can kill you ,but some of you are already BRAIN DEAD.

Roger

May 15th, 2010
5:55 pm

Okay obviously “T” is a doctor and a international spelling bee champion so let’s all listen to him.

renegade#1

May 15th, 2010
5:55 pm

That splinter must have taken root. I thought he had that fixed last year too, I hope he gets a new doctor with an xray machine or gets his mommie to get it out them mommies dig real deep with a needle.

Roger

May 15th, 2010
5:56 pm

haha make that “an international”

Roger

May 15th, 2010
5:56 pm

beeline-er

May 15th, 2010
5:57 pm

lol good one roger

LivinInAL

May 15th, 2010
5:57 pm

Ok I understand the need to remove a foreign object, but for Bobby to say he will be out for WEEKS is not good. Sounds bad for Diaz but great for Henski.

ACE

May 15th, 2010
6:03 pm

23st ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Ozzie

May 15th, 2010
6:09 pm

Could be the same splinter fragment from last year. Recall Diaz had it when he started to tank at seasons end.

Infections are not joking matter.

It sounds like they will have to cut up his thumb pretty significantly which could mean 3-4 weeks or more.

Bobby is mr. optimistic so when he says a “long time” and then weeks he could mean a month or more.

Two weeks is not a long time. 4-6 weeks would be a long time in baseball.

jch

May 15th, 2010
6:21 pm

If the splinter has been in there that long it would have migrated with the movement of the tissue – sometimes they work themselves out, or, as it seems here, they go deeper. If it becomes infected, as it sounds like it has, the infection would be near the splinter meaning it is also deep in the thumb. I know from experience, anywhere near the bone and they get very, very worried as a bone infection is a serious issue.

Long time Braves fan

May 15th, 2010
6:22 pm

Son of a b

Son of a B—- . Bobby pulled Omar. He just can’t stay with a winning lineup.

Roja

May 15th, 2010
6:27 pm

Hey “Ripped….” it is a 10 millimeter long foreign object (Oops, I meant to say an “International Object” … sorry ’bout that) which means it is almost a half inch long splinter. If he has played for a month with a half inch long splinter from a broken bat buried deep in his thumb, he’s far from being “a wuss”. Maybe not too smart — but definitely not a wuss!!

jch

May 15th, 2010
6:31 pm

I’m OK with Omar sitting. McClouth (assuming CF is where you would have put Omar) had a big night last night at the plate and in the field. If that’s the beginning of him breaking out of his funk you’d hate to stifle it by putting him on the bench.

Here’s to hoping he makes me look smart!

Omar is primarily the backup SS/infielder – Escobar’s back so Omar sits.

I do agree though, it’s tough to sit a guy who his like he does especially coming off a 4-4 night.

General Sherman

May 15th, 2010
6:37 pm

Put Milky Cornbread on the dl or cut him!

Chief Knockahoma

May 15th, 2010
6:37 pm

I’m not sure why they called up Clevland instead of Mitch Jones….he’s been killing it in AAA for the past several weeks. I guess we’ll find out what Brent’s got soon enough.

jamin.benr

May 15th, 2010
6:55 pm

this is laughable injury . it’s unfortunate Joe Thurston is restricted to 2b & 3b duties. he would make for another good bat ( I’ll add a maybe ) off the bench, as it appeared this spring. r there restrictions on his options?

KC

May 15th, 2010
7:57 pm

Also of note, Jordan Schafer has been called up to Gwinnett. Do you hear footsteps yet Nate?

uga vii

May 15th, 2010
9:12 pm

@ RIPPED AGAIN You are an ass hole you moron idiot. it may have mrsa staph infection ad that can kill, yo stupid ass hole.

Choppinmama

May 15th, 2010
9:31 pm

Hey you players……….if you get hurt, tell the trainers. This is only the latest in a string of “I think I can hide the injury and it will get well on it’s own” mentality on the team. It seems kinda selfish, wanting to play at all costs, and costing your team and your health, in the long run. Address the problem in the beginning, before it gets chronic, and sit out a few games if necessary. We need everyone 100%.

Good luck, Matt.

American Dream

May 15th, 2010
9:50 pm

I once had a 10 mml object removed from my arse following a match at Starcade 1979. I think Jimmy Dugan put it there. I wonder if Chipper put the object into Diaz’s body? I always thought that Chipper was a better giver than receiver. Maybe Diaz is the receiver on this team. Better go. I am about to wrestle Craig Sandusky in the K-Mart parking lot in Talking Rock, Georgia. Come on down tomorrow night and see me mud wrestle Mindy McCready–the chick that the rocket molested–at the WalMart parking lot in Cedartown, Georgia. Now lets all get funky like a monkey.

Frankie Knuckles

May 16th, 2010
3:34 am

WTF. Please clarify this. I have a an ingrown toenail currently. I still get up everyday and handle business. Oh, and TP must go now. NOW

duker64

May 16th, 2010
8:31 am

Please Frankie you handleing busn as u put itis not trying to hit a 93mph fastball get real if u ever had played ball your hands are most imporant part of your swing . with your toe injury lets see you run bases twice you can’t do it .

Alan 10

May 16th, 2010
9:32 am

Is it impossible for the Braves players to understand that they should get a problem checked out, they are not MD’s, but they are making their own medical decisions.

JD

May 16th, 2010
11:00 am

What an idiot. Unlike the NFL, MLB players salaries are guaranteed. There is no excuse for being so self-centered or STUPID. Dr Diaz…hope you learn something from this since you can’t learn the strike zone.

JeanE

May 16th, 2010
12:59 pm

I knew something was wrong, there’s no way such a good hitter looks so bad at the plate for no reason! Yikes, it sounds bad, blood, pus, yuk. An infection can be really dangerous, much better to take the time, have the surgery and get yourself right. Even if it takes 4-6 weeks, do it for yourself Matty and the team. Captain Caveman will rise again!!

JeanE

May 16th, 2010
1:01 pm

A made up injury, who said that, are you nuts????? That’s just ridiculous, get out of here, that is moronic to even suggest that.

JeanE

May 16th, 2010
1:04 pm

You haters make me sick, I swear you wouldn’t care if this team fielded a bunch of murdering perverts as long as we were winning, that is just sick. Diaz would NEVER fake an injury and he was trying to be tough, unlike SOME players who sit with a hangnail…I’m done with these blog, they just make me crazy and I can’t stand the negativity. DONE.

NORRIS

May 16th, 2010
10:54 pm

Why did we bring the chevlen kid up? looks to me that we would have brought up blanco or thurston.

Mathman

May 16th, 2010
11:53 pm

Needed a right handed hitter is the reason Clevlen got the first call.

Karen T

May 19th, 2010
5:26 pm

MattE Diaz is a man of tremendous faith and would never fake an injury.. All yall naysayers ought to be beaten with a Louisville Slugger!!!!
Matt Diaz is by far my favorite baseball player, period. I love the way he plays the game, hustles, hits ugly pitches, steals bases, and never complains about anything!!!
MattE epitomizes the word “overachiever”.

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