Braves option McLouth to Triple-A Gwinnett, activate Clevlen – updated

Washington – After five games of watching Nate McLouth continue to scuffle, the Braves optioned the center fielder to Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday, hoping time away from the pressures of a pennant race will help him get straight.

The Braves activated outfielder Brent Clevlen from a rehabilitation assignment, and he was scheduled to arrive in Washington during Tuesday night’s game.

McLouth had managed only one hit in 15 at-bats in his return from the disabled list, and that hit was a broken bat single. He grounded into an inning-ending bases-loaded double play in the 11th inning Sunday in Florida in one of his few hard hit balls.

“We hoped during the DL stint it would be long enough for him to get consistent at-bats and get in a groove,” said Braves general manager Frank Wren, who met with McLouth along with manager Bobby Cox about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“At the time it did appear he was making good progress,” Wren continued. “But it kind of felt like he reverted back when he got back up here to some of the other habits. We felt it was a good idea to get him down there and get relaxed at-bats and be able to start getting back into his old groove.”

McLouth has been off at the plate since the first days of spring training, hitting .168 total in 62 games this season.

Just four days from the trading deadline, the Braves don’t have any imminent options out on the market, but they felt they’d ran out of them with McLouth.

“The expectation is that he can come back and help us,” Wren said. “There are no parameters set on it but that’s clearly the intent.”

In the meantime, Cox will use Melky Cabrera, Clevlen, Omar Infante and right fielder Jason Heyward there, if necessary. Gregor Blanco was just sent down to Gwinnett a week ago and could not return to the major league roster within 10 days. But Wren said it’s not a given he would when eligible.

“Not necessarily,” Wren said. “We haven’t decided on any further moves.”

Blanco is eligible to return right at Saturday’s trade deadline. Whether the Braves would find someone else by then is yet to be seen. Wren said the Braves are still looking but it’s been tough to find the right fit.

“We’re still looking at a very limited pool of players that really fit what we’re looking to do,” Wren said. “And we’ve got a good ball club, a first-place ball club. So it has to be someone that clearly improves us, not just an add for add’s sake.”

Outside of rehabilitation assignments, McLouth hasn’t been to the minors since he broke in with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005. The former All-Star, who is under contract through the 2011 season with a club option for 2012, said he understood the decision, though.

“Of course nobody wants to get sent down,” McLouth said. “But I’m going to use it what it’s meant to be for and that’s to go down and work and get my swing back to where it needs to be and not feel sorry for myself or be disappointed or mad or anything like that.”

McLouth has a 72-hour window to report but said he planned to get to Gwinnett Wednesday or Thursday.

“It’s something I need to do for an extended period of time,” McLouth said of getting pressure-free at-bats. “My confidence or anybody’s confidence certainly takes a hit when you’ve struggled for as long as I have, but again I’m going to go rebuild that as well and hopefully hit a bunch of balls hard and get back here.”

291 comments Add your comment

ron

July 27th, 2010
4:12 pm

’bout time! first?

Mark Wholers

July 27th, 2010
4:12 pm

Positive Outlook

July 27th, 2010
4:13 pm

Confirmed third

adam

July 27th, 2010
4:14 pm

Brad Komminsk

July 27th, 2010
4:14 pm

put me in Coach, i was gonna be great remember?

Pepe

July 27th, 2010
4:14 pm

Where’s Blanco? Who’s Henry?

JeanE

July 27th, 2010
4:14 pm

I’m sorry for Nate but it needed to be done: something is seriously wrong with him, either his eyesight, something else physical or it’s in his head and maybe the lower pressure of AAA will be good for him in the long run. I know it’s better for the A Braves. Now, as soon as able, Gregor should be brought back up and platooned with the Melkster.

Positive Outlook

July 27th, 2010
4:15 pm

This IS the best news I could hope for the Braves and us fans. Too bad he wasn’t totally released or traded to a T-BALL team, but this is great.

NS from Kennesaw

July 27th, 2010
4:15 pm

I hope he gets better there. Has Blanco been called up?

mscoast brave

July 27th, 2010
4:15 pm

There is a God!

Tale of Woe

July 27th, 2010
4:15 pm

WooHoo!

Clevlen was activated

adam

July 27th, 2010
4:16 pm

does anybody know what his status is? did he half to except the assignment?

Johnny Brave

July 27th, 2010
4:17 pm

Clevlen sent up? They should have picked someone else

Wolfman

July 27th, 2010
4:17 pm

Thanks to J-Hey we did not see him most of July. Imagine how many more loses we would have, if he would not be hurt and played for us several more weeks?

AdirondackDave

July 27th, 2010
4:18 pm

Chop it Up All-Star

July 27th, 2010
4:19 pm

This is like a series loss to the Marlins too late, but I’ll take it.

Ed Glennon

July 27th, 2010
4:19 pm

jerry

July 27th, 2010
4:19 pm

Rather than more of the same throw McClouth under the bus, does anyone have a clue as to anything that might be his problem? He seems to hit a lot of popups to left field. Why for? I have not read of not one AJC writer asking him or TP what they think his problem is. They would rather write something negative, knowing they are going to get a lot of “hits”.

Darrell In MB

July 27th, 2010
4:20 pm

I’m still peed at whoever untied him from that chair in the clubhouse on Sunday.

Roseman

July 27th, 2010
4:20 pm

What about the Venter’s hearing? Any word on that? Thanks.
And what about O’Flaherty…is he about ready?

Fols

July 27th, 2010
4:21 pm

…but…but…but…he was just about to turn the corner!

BA HA HA HA

That is one swing I don’t need to see again.

JTH

July 27th, 2010
4:21 pm

Now send Chavez down too.

Stuart

July 27th, 2010
4:22 pm

YYYEEEEESSSS!!!!

bgvt

July 27th, 2010
4:23 pm

Johnny Brave –

The choices were very limited. The person needs to be on the 40-man roster (though the Braves have a few slots). Blanco can’t be recalled until some time has passed (unless due to an injury). I think the window is 10 days. Schafer is on the 40-man roster, but he is going in the wrong direction — just demoted to AA.

Yunel's Cartel

July 27th, 2010
4:23 pm

CALL UP BLANCO. Melky + Blanco = Win

darren in nashville

July 27th, 2010
4:23 pm

totally different subject but is jeff Francour Brad komminsks son

South GA Dad

July 27th, 2010
4:23 pm

I think I just heard a collective sigh of relief from Braves country.

BigGrant

July 27th, 2010
4:25 pm

Gwinnett is too close to Atlanta. How about Myrtle Beach?

amicusterrae

July 27th, 2010
4:26 pm

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tale of Woe

July 27th, 2010
4:27 pm

Yes bgvt – I believe that Blanco has to be sent down for 10 days before he can be recalled if there is no injury…Though I wish McLouth would have faked something – it’s just another swing and miss for him.

Darrell In MB

July 27th, 2010
4:27 pm

geez.. BigGrant

ShaunC

July 27th, 2010
4:30 pm

If for no other reason, he can’t come in the game, Thank you God!

Apollo

July 27th, 2010
4:30 pm

There’s a lot of guys it could be, but it’s very unlikely that it will be anyone not currently on the 40 man. The obvious choice would be Gregor Blanco, but Brett Clevlen has been tearing it up on rehab, Outside of the 40 man Matt Young and Mitch Jones could get the call, Willy Taveras has been straight up awful. So has Josh Anderson and he’s currently injured.

Also, down in Mississippi Willie Cabrera has been very good and would deserve a callup.

droopydawg

July 27th, 2010
4:31 pm

I hope that means the man with the fake-sounding name Gregor Blanco gets the call up.

Conservative Thinker

July 27th, 2010
4:31 pm

Thank goodness, my only question is why Jesse C. wasn’t sent down too.

Taylor

July 27th, 2010
4:33 pm

SEND CHAVEZ TOO!

tvsportscaster

July 27th, 2010
4:33 pm

Correct, Blanco can not rejoin the team until the 31st. He must remain down in Gwinnett for 10 days unless there is an injury. As to why Clevlan was called up, well, he is the only other guy down at Gwinnett that is on the 40-man roster

Darrell In MB

July 27th, 2010
4:33 pm

I guess we can expect a trade anytime now

Mcfanny

July 27th, 2010
4:35 pm

He should be released and the Braves should just move on!!!

TMoney

July 27th, 2010
4:35 pm

Best news I got today. I still wish we hadn’t recalled him at all, but at least he’s gone now.

Slee

July 27th, 2010
4:35 pm

YAY!
I suspected that when McFail got pulled after he hit into that vidro that Bobby had had enough of his lameness. Good to see it is the case

Marc in FL

July 27th, 2010
4:35 pm

Mike

July 27th, 2010
4:35 pm

Great. As a young man I wish him well. But this had to happen. Maybe the Braves can get him figured out over the winter but August and September are not the time to think about that.

retired on the lake (and broke)

July 27th, 2010
4:36 pm

made my day!

GT Fan

July 27th, 2010
4:36 pm

Wow, I was not expecting them to send him down, but it’s the right move for the club. I wonder if they have any idea what to do with him next year.

bucky0882

July 27th, 2010
4:36 pm

I’m glad but it’s really sad to see such a promising ballplayer and really good guy head back down with, I’d guess, little chance for a return. The organization really does owe him a thorough analysis of what happened to his hitting skills and a new approach to a resurrection of a career in a game he obviously loves.

59bulldawg

July 27th, 2010
4:37 pm

So how many games will Bobby’s decision to send down Blanco and keep McClouth last week cost us? This is the type of judgement that has prevented him from winning more than one World Series championship. The decision to let McClouth hit last weekend in the top of the 11th with the bases loaded was vintage Bobby Cox managing. Lord help us hang on cause the Phils are coming!

Einsteindawg

July 27th, 2010
4:38 pm

Question: Who is the most stubborn…Bobby Cox or Mark Richt? And, why can’t they see the obvious when the fans do?

Kev

July 27th, 2010
4:38 pm

I am thrilled that McLouth is no longer in Atlanta. But CLEVLEN???

Jo-Bu

July 27th, 2010
4:39 pm

Hmmm… must be a trade announcement looming. I would have expected them to at least bring up Blanco — that is, unless they have ultimate faith in Mely. Mely’s bat is okay but his defense and arm are excellent.

@BravesHaiku

July 27th, 2010
4:40 pm

Sent to Triple-A / No adjustment for McLouth / Like back in Pittsburgh || @BravesHaiku

Kev

July 27th, 2010
4:40 pm

59bulldawg I agree. Bobby Cox is a TERRIBLE manager.

Keith

July 27th, 2010
4:41 pm

Dang, I can’t believe it!! :) Maybe they listened to the fans, maybe they didn’t. But I am GLAD. :)

Now go get us a real bat ;)

Kennesaw Braves Fan

July 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

We are going to need a real center fielder with a bat to make a real run down the stretch. Problem is, does that guy exist out there and can we get him in here without giving up the future?

Chris Chambliss

July 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

Oh thank goodness.

SteveW

July 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

This could be a win, win. If Mclouth is down a couple of weeks or a month, gets his swing back, averages .330 or so, and can come up and contribute, well that’s good. Best move for Braves, and maybe for Nate also. Nate, keep your chin up, work hard. You have great defense, speed, arm – just get your hitting together – your still young, can still play productively a few more years in MLB. Don’t give up on these Muskegon guys, their tough as nails!

Bama falcon

July 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

The fighting Phils…………………….

sidslidkid

July 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

Can you imagine how much it would suck to read this comments if you were Nate McLouth? That being said… Thank God. Blanco should be up soon if we don’t make a trade.

Rufio

July 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

I consider our family a fairly decent Braves Family. We discuss the games, the players and watch almost every game. Who the hell is Brent Clevlen ? I don’t recall hearing this players name much less see him in a game. LOL Why not Blanco ? or does have to stay in the minor for a certain amount of time ?

corey

July 27th, 2010
4:44 pm

just to make my fellow braves fans sick..

McClouth and Kawakami are making more than $12 MILLION this year.. more than Infante, Ross, Conrad, McCann, Prado, Heyward, Hanson, and Jurrjens PUT TOGETHER.

cooper

July 27th, 2010
4:44 pm

This should have been done months ago. McLouth has never been better than a 250 hitter except for one year. He should have been gone a long time ago.With the braves having the worst hitting coach in baseball if McLouth couldn’t figure out his problem on his own he certainly wasn’t going to get any help from Pendleton

Brick tamland

July 27th, 2010
4:44 pm

should’ve sent him to AA

It's out of here.....

July 27th, 2010
4:44 pm

Nona nona Hey hey good bye!

kaizen

July 27th, 2010
4:44 pm

bring blaco back, he is fast, he gets on base and does what the team asks of him. Besides, he is the only brave who seems to know how to bunt. take notes melky,your bunting is pathetic.

CrabbyOldMan

July 27th, 2010
4:44 pm

What is it with people who have to jump in and spout off a comment or two but can’t even be bothered to read the article or the other comments? How many people have asked about Blanco when both the article and a number of previous comments point out that the Braves can’t bring him until he’s been down for 10 days? Sheesh, people, you make yourself sound like idiots.

Keith

July 27th, 2010
4:45 pm

I wish everyone would actually READ the article to plainly see that Blanco still has 4 days from the 10 -day requirement. He has to stay down in AAA for 10 days minimum.

Although I can understand that everyone got excited when they read the headline – Mclouth DEMOTED! Filled with such joy, I can understand just a few actually reading the blog. :)

North Georgia Braves Fan

July 27th, 2010
4:45 pm

sigh of relief!

sidslidkid

July 27th, 2010
4:45 pm

Rufio, He’s a good player. He’s spent time in Atlanta this year. Read the article. it says: “Center fielder Gregor Blanco, who was sent to Gwinnett recently after batting .310 in 58 at-bats this season, has not been down the requisite 10 days. Blanco will be eligible to be recalled in four days, but Wren said the Braves haven’t decided the next move for Blanco….”

glord1

July 27th, 2010
4:46 pm

The reason it is not Blanco is that he has not been down long enough to be called back up. I bet he wont be either. It looks like they are trying hard to make a move for a center fielder.

Rick

July 27th, 2010
4:46 pm

Is there a reason for the timing? Why didn’t they do this yesterday? Or this morning? Now, they will be short a man for tonight’s game (or at least a part of the game if Clevlen gets to the stadium as planned). Seems poorly planned and hastily done to me. There has to be a reason for the seemingly poor timing.

PTown Brave

July 27th, 2010
4:46 pm

So…is this not the biggest sign that we need to go out and get another CF or RF and have Heyward play CF?

Why not Corey Hart or Chris Young?

Anyone who watched the Marlins series would notice that another impact bat is needed to make the playoffs let alone the Series.

Philly has cut it to 4.5 and they’re starting to play better while the Braves are scuffling…

A deal and a significant one needs to be made.

Keith

July 27th, 2010
4:46 pm

Two more words for Wren:

Josh Willingham. :)

Nate McLouth

July 27th, 2010
4:47 pm

Aw, gee guys, I did my bestest!

Keith

July 27th, 2010
4:48 pm

glord1: what are your sources?

Everything I’ve read on SI and ESPN says that it’s better than a 50/50 chance that the Braves rely on within the organiz. for an OF. Looks like the only way they will make a move is if they are offered a deal they can’t refuse that does not include Teheran (spelling) or Minor. So it’s likely he won’t do a deal….unless something has changed within the last 30 mins…..:) I hope it has.

Brick tamland

July 27th, 2010
4:48 pm

i’d hope this team could go back to its 5+ runs per game..

glord1

July 27th, 2010
4:49 pm

Between Chipper, Lowe, Kawakami and McLouth the Braves are paying four guys underachieving $43 mil. About half the payroll. Ouch.

NCBravesFan

July 27th, 2010
4:49 pm

http://www.nesn.com/2010/07/report-red-sox-braves-rays-interested-in-nationals-outfielder-josh-willingham.html

Outfielder Josh Willingham has taken a beating over the last two seasons while playing for a struggling Nationals franchise, but according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the veteran could be heading to a contender by Saturday’s trade deadline.

Stark lists the Red Sox, Braves and Rays as teams interested in the right-handed slugger. Willingham has appeared in left field for 92 games this season and is hitting .273 with 15 homer and 50 RBIs. Willingham, who has also played right field, first base and even catcher in the past, is checking in with a career-high .880 OPS and is one steal away from tying his career high of eight steals in one season.

louisabrave

July 27th, 2010
4:49 pm

AT LAST…….somebody heard but I do wish the best for McLouth. but I understand that the Pirates were glad to see him go as his talent seemed to be diminishing even then.
Bring Blanco back ASAP and let him and Melky take care of CF.
We are in good shape

Brave4life-1995 all over again??

July 27th, 2010
4:50 pm

Wren is definitely making a move, there is no way he chose Clevlen for our CF choice

Yep

July 27th, 2010
4:51 pm

Trade time please.

ShaunC

July 27th, 2010
4:51 pm

With the day off yesterday, how was Mclouth sent to Gwinnet such short notice that Clevlen won’t make the game on time? Sloppy.

(I almost spelled it Clevlin to piss the Medlen/Medlin whiners off.)

Rhino

July 27th, 2010
4:51 pm

Wow, I didn’t think the Braves would do it. Especially not before Blanco’s ten days. Good to see though. Although, I take this to mean there are absolutely no takers on the trade market for McLouth. I can’t wait to see how Blanco plays on an extended somewhat-regular basis.

http://www.rhinorant.com

"OFF WITH HIS HEAD"

July 27th, 2010
4:51 pm

ATTENTION: Blanco has to stay in Gwinnett for 10 days unless somebody got injured

comeonnate

July 27th, 2010
4:51 pm

nate go down there and get your swing back !

NCBravesFan

July 27th, 2010
4:51 pm

Wren is definitely making a move, there is no way he chose Clevlen for our CF choice.

Could be just a temporary measure until Blanco can be recalled. Melky can fill in for four games or so.

LWells2000

July 27th, 2010
4:52 pm

We’re stopping the bleeding~! …at least a start. Yay~! Even if McLouth is not replaced, the team is stronger.

JEE

July 27th, 2010
4:52 pm

My hope is that Mc Clouth gets his swing back. I don’t know why some off you are so hard on him. OH, I guess its because you are such great managers and players.

Tony

July 27th, 2010
4:53 pm

Do half of you even read the article?

[...] The Braves optioned the struggling Nate McLouth to Triple A Gwinnett today and activated Brent Clevlen from the disabled list. It has been a struggle the entire season for McLouth and he was only 1-15 since his return from the DL. [...]

Timbo

July 27th, 2010
4:54 pm

Haven’t decided the next move for Blanco? If they aren’t planning on a trade, then there isn’t much to decide; he should be brought back up . . .

Rufio

July 27th, 2010
4:55 pm

@sidslidkid-Thanks for the information……Crabbyoldman, there are two teams in Florida for people like yourself…..or save some money and see Dr. Kervorkian!

bravesgrl4lifeeeeeeeee

July 27th, 2010
4:55 pm

Bye, Natedawg, I sure hope you get yourself straightened out in Gwinnett. Wishing you the best.

jmart

July 27th, 2010
4:56 pm

Strap it on boys and girls because the Phillies have an easier schedule than the Braves for the next month. This is offset slightly by the Braves being home most of the month. Still the Braves lead will be gone before long.
I believe that the Braves schedule for September is slightly easier than the Phillies. This should make for a close and very interesting race. In my opinion the Braves will have clinched the division before the Phillies arrive for the last 3 games (4 up with 3 to play).

ATL Fan

July 27th, 2010
4:57 pm

In the immortal words of Tom Slick: Hey that’s great.

bp

July 27th, 2010
4:58 pm

Steve W you are kidding I hope.Great arm?Haave you watched any games.He put up decent numbers at Pittsburgh because no pitcher is afraid of anyone in that lineup.McOut is a fraud.

PTC DAWG

July 27th, 2010
4:58 pm

The HIGHlarious part is the questions about Blanco, etc that were clearly addressed in the article. READ people. D, JD.

CrabbyOldMan

July 27th, 2010
4:59 pm

Rufio, get off my lawn.

Evil Monkey

July 27th, 2010
4:59 pm

This must be Frank’s way of making things less uncomfortable in the clubhouse when he trades for a CF this week…

boots

July 27th, 2010
4:59 pm

When KK gets sent down, we will have some of the highest paid AAA players in the league. Still, good move. We need to build up our lead over the Phillies starting tonight. This series should be a sweep.

Kentavo

July 27th, 2010
4:59 pm

Hey, we don’t want him stinkin’ up here in Myrtle Beach!

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