Moylan making progress but still hasn’t thrown

Braves reliever Peter Moylan is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday but needs more time before he can return to action. Moylan, who has yet to even throw, didn’t want to give a specific timetable but said he’s making some progress.

Moylan received an epidural last week to treat the bulging disc in his lower back.

“It feels OK,” Moylan said. “My movement has come back really well. I can twist and walk and do that sort of stuff.”

Moylan has been doing rehabilitation exercises on his back since getting the epidural 10 days ago, but he has yet to pick up a baseball.

“There are still some issues we want to try and work through before I start trying to throw,” he said.

Moylan, 32, had two surgeries for bulging discs in 2001 and 2003, when he was out of baseball and living in his native Australia. He’s hopeful he can avoid surgery this time because he said unlike in previous cases, he hasn’t felt shooting pains down his legs.

The Braves have struggled to fill his seventh-inning role. Braves relievers allowed a total of six runs in the seventh inning in four games of their recent West Coast swing in which the starter didn’t cover the seventh inning. The Braves lost three of the four games.

They lost to the Padres in 13 innings on Monday after Scott Linebrink failed to hold a lead on the game-tying double to Nick Hundley in the seventh.

The Braves used rookie Jairo Asencio in the role Sunday in San Francisco, only to watch him give up four runs in a game the Braves had to rally to win 9-6 in 10 innings.

Roster watch

The Braves opted for versatility and experience over the hottest bat in Triple-A Gwinnett when they called up utility man Joe Mather for Friday’s opener against the Cardinals.

“Right-handed hitter,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Give us a little flexibility off the bench.”

Outfielder Jose Constanza had the hot hand, batting .363, with a double, a triple, and nine RBIs in Gwinnett, as did first baseman Mauro Gomez, who was hitting .403 with three homers and 14 RBIs. But Gomez has deficiencies defensively and Constanza lacks the versatility of Mather, who was hitting .258 in Gwinnett with five doubles, a homer and four RBIs, but can play all three outfield positions, first and third.

Unlike Constanza, Mather bats right-handed, which the Braves could use off the bench to complement left-hander Eric Hinske.

Mather has played 90 games in the major leagues over the past three years, including 36 last year for the Cardinals. (He hit .233 with 11 doubles, eight home runs and 21 RBIs in his major league career, which has been married by wrist injuries.)

The Braves had been carrying an extra reliever after going 12 innings April 21 in LA. Asencio was optioned back to A Gwinnett, while rookie Cory Gearrin gets to stay on in the bullpen after an impressive three perfect innings on the trip.

“I’m really thankful,” said Gearrin, who expected a host of friends and family down from Chattanooga, Tenn. Friday night for his first game at Turner Field. “It’s obviously my dream to be here. Just getting up with the team on the road, I was thrilled.”

16 comments Add your comment

George Sherrill

April 29th, 2011
7:35 pm

Last, the last guy that Freddi wants to use out of the bullpen

rugburn

April 29th, 2011
7:38 pm

why didn’t we bring up a hitter? .233 in the minors doesn’t bode well for the bigs. sure he’s versatile, we don’t need him anywhere. we need sticks.

JMar

April 29th, 2011
7:46 pm

Who cares about Moylan’s arm? Let’s hear about his new teeth!

Ralph

April 29th, 2011
7:57 pm

Whats the big deal about Mathers 90 game ML career, he sucked then, he sucked in ST and he sucked at Gwinette, he will surely suck for the braves but it seems that Wren likes suckers.

Bill in VA

April 29th, 2011
8:10 pm

Fredi said what he said, so that management could overrule him. New jobs will be created, but Fredi tried to save the old guys’ jobs, but he couldn’t!! The players will love Fredi for it and try to reward him with a pennant. A pennant means the players can vote the old guys a post season share. Everybody’s happy; the fans, the players, Fredi, Liberty Media and the AJC and me!

northbeach Scott

April 29th, 2011
8:14 pm

Very concerned about Peter’s back. He is a critical man in the bullpen. Back problems are really tough and have slowed or ended more than their share of careers.

rugburn

April 29th, 2011
8:16 pm

especially the way he throws

rugburn

April 29th, 2011
9:17 pm

i guess if a pitcher is injured and doing nothing there isn’t much to blog about

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 29th, 2011
10:42 pm

This Gearran is darn good. Might make us forget about Moylan for another week or 2.

Let Moylan rest. His arm can use it and we should not rush a back injury.

Mathar??!?? I agree. Why bring him up. Other righties at Gwinnett are surely better.

Dennis Reynolds

April 29th, 2011
10:48 pm

Another managerial loss

Regina Hambone

April 29th, 2011
10:49 pm

Can someone tell me what’s going on with Sherrill? Is he hurt or just bad?

frw

April 29th, 2011
11:18 pm

What good is a right hand bat off bench if (mather) can’t hit…BS

frw

April 29th, 2011
11:19 pm

Rameriz was better……

Quicherbichin

April 29th, 2011
11:19 pm

what would you have done differently, Dennis? fredi didn’t make McCann ground into A DP with the bases loaded! and we had the lead heading to the 9th and Kimbrel didn’t have it… Who would you rather have seen?? sherril????

Quicherbichin

April 29th, 2011
11:26 pm

frw… You mean Wilkin Ramirez with exactly 0 ABs in the majors? ohhh… Excellent choice.

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