Archive for May, 2011

Right knee soreness returns for Jones

Chipper Jones was out of Monday’s lineup with a scheduled day off, but he benefitted from the time to rest because his right knee has started bothering him again.

It had been two weeks since Jones received two shots of cortisone in his right knee, and he said Monday morning that’s begun to wear off. The pain returned after playing a 12-inning game against the Reds Saturday night.

“Knee is starting to bark again,” said Jones, who was diagnosed with torn cartilage in his right knee on May 15, the opposite one from his season-ending surgery last August. “I knew that going in. I’ve had enough (cortisone shots) over the years. It’s only going to mask so much for so long.”

Jones saw immediate improvement from the cortisone two weeks ago and avoided the prospects of having arthrosopic surgery and missing two to three weeks of action.

Jones said he considers playing on it “doable” but he’ll have to do it in more pain. He can’t have any more cortisone in the …

Continue reading Right knee soreness returns for Jones »

Braves quotes after Sunday win over Reds

***FREDI GONZALEZ

On Prado’s performance

“He did it all. He played nice defense, got a big knock. This is a hell of a game we played today, a 2-1 game. JJ gave us everything he had, and it was a good ballgame, good old-fashioned pitching, gave us an opportunity to save our bullpen a little bit by him going eight innings.

“Quick turnaround tomorrow and we’ve got the Padres. We [need to] keep going winning series. We’ve won two now in a row after losing two, Anaheim and Arizona, so let’s continue the trend.”

On if he had a good view of play at plate:

“No. I couldn’t tell. Different angle.”

On Schafer’s walk before Prado homer

“Yeah, you know what? He’s doing everything we’ve asked him to do. He covers [a lot of ground] – he may not even need a right fielder, the way he’s coming over to get some balls [in the vicinity of] Hinske. He’s doing everything, getting on base, getting some knocks, good for him. Prado, that’s his spot really, hitting …

Continue reading Braves quotes after Sunday win over Reds »

Hot-hitting McCann takes day off after extra-inning game

One day after his four-hit, two-homer game against the Reds, catcher Brian McCann was out of the starting lineup Sunday. And he was sitting against a pitcher in Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto he’d hit two home runs off of in six career at-bats against.

But to the Braves and McCann, it’s about more than numbers. It’s about how he’s holding up behind the plate. And McCann and manager Fredi Gonzalez decided after he caught 12 innings in Saturday night’s win over the Reds, he needed the day off.

“He was pretty beat up last night,” said Gonzalez, who originally planned to give McCann Monday’s day game off against the Padres. “…I don’t know if he was cramping yesterday or spasming in his back, but why take a chance on catching him today?”

McCann pointed out that after catching a long extra-inning game the night before, his bat isn’t as quick as it would normally be. He has caught 11 or more innings and played the next day four times this season. He’s hit …

Continue reading Hot-hitting McCann takes day off after extra-inning game »

Beachy could return to mound Monday

Braves starter Brandon Beachy could be back on the mound Monday for the first time since straining his left oblique 2-1/2 weeks ago.

“I think that’s the plan,” the rookie right-hander said.

The Braves haven’t announced a timetable for his return to the rotation, but Beachy has made steady progress. On Saturday, he threw off flat ground from a distance of 150 feet without incident.

“Not cutting it loose, but not babying it, that’s for sure,” said Beachy, who his side while batting during a May 13 start. “It’s feeling good, but I feel like the second I push it a little too hard is the second I knock it a month back. We’re being careful.”

Beachy was 1-1 with a 3.45 ERA in eight starts. He had a 2.95 ERA before giving up three runs in two innings of the game in which he was injured.

He’s eager to return, but knows it could be a few more weeks. He’ll have to rebuild arm strength and make at least a couple of rehab starts before he’s activated.

“Just sitting in the …

Continue reading Beachy could return to mound Monday »

McLouth begins comeback from oblique strain

A week after straining his left oblique in Anaheim, Nate McLouth has begun doing some light baseball activities, starting with some throwing and running in batting practice on Sunday afternoon.

McLouth planned to begin taking some dry swings on Monday and working his way back with tee work, soft toss and eventually batting practice later in the week.

McLouth figures he’ll need a rehabilitation game or two in the minors, but if all progresses well, he is hopeful that he’s closer to needing the 15 days scheduled on the disabled list than the month or so required by more oblique serious strains.

He’s eligible to return as early as Tuesday June 7 in Florida.

“The way that I feel and the way it’s gotten a little bit better each day,” said McLouth, who isn’t going to push it either. “I’m going to be really careful not to overextend myself and hurt it any more, while I’m on my way back. I just want it to be good and be done and forget about it.”

Jordan Schafer …

Continue reading McLouth begins comeback from oblique strain »

Reds nemesis McCann out of lineup tonight

Brian McCann is not in the Braves lineup tonight, and the Cincinnati Reds must be thankful.

The All-Star catcher had two homers in Saturday’s 7-6, 12-inning win to continue his career-long success against Reds pitching.

McCann has a .351 career average with 12 homers and a 1.107 OPS in 35 games against the Reds, including .362 with an 1.147 OPS and 26 RBIs in his past 30.

McCann is congratulate by teammates after the first of his two Saturday homers against the Reds.

McCann is congratulate by teammates after the first of his two Saturday homers against the Reds.

And against tonight’s starter Johnny Cueto, McCann has the best numbers among the Braves: 2-for-6 with two homers.

But after catching 12 innings last night and a day game on tap Monday for Memorial Day, he’s out of the lineup today and David Ross gets the start on tonight’s EPSN game. Ross has caught most, but not all of, Jair Jurrjens’ starts (J.J. starts tonight).

Were it not for the 12 innings last night and day game tomorrow, you’ve gotta believe this is just the type of scenario today that Fredi …

Continue reading Reds nemesis McCann out of lineup tonight »

Braves recall reliever Gearrin from Triple-A

With their bullpen weary from a recent heavy workload, the Braves have recalled reliever Cory Gearrin from Triple-A Gwinnett for Sunday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Braves optioned outfielder Wilkin Ramirez back to Triple-A Gwinnett to open a roster spot.

Gearrin  impressed team officials while posting a .158 opponents’ average and 3.18 ERA in his first 10 major league appearances during a 3-1/2-week stint with the Braves through May 17.

The rookie sidearmer from Tennessee had 13 strikeouts and five walks in 11-1/3 innings. Right-handed batters were 2-for-23 with nine strikeouts against Gearrin,  who was optioned back to Gwinnett only because the Braves needed a roster spot for veteran reliever Scott Proctor.

“He was good,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who smiled and added, “and he hasn’t pitched in four days, so he can give us five or six innings [Sunday].”

Braves relievers worked 18-1/3 innings in three games over the past four days, …

Continue reading Braves recall reliever Gearrin from Triple-A »

Braves likely to add a reliever Sunday

With their bullpen weary from a recent heavy workload, the Braves are likely to bring up a reliever from Triple-A Gwinnett before Sunday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Rookie Cory Gearrin could get the call from Gwinnett, after impressing Braves officials in his first 10 major league appearances. He was sent down two weeks ago when the Braves needed to open a roster spot for veteran reliever Scott Proctor.

Relievers worked 18-1/3 innings in three games over the past four days, including 8-2/3 innings of one-run ball from five relievers in Saturday’s 12-inning win over the Reds, after starter Derek Lowe lasted 3-1/3 innings. Jonny Venters and veteran Scott Linebrink worked two scoreless innings apiece, the fourth two-inning appearance for Venters in 11 days and the second in as many nights for Linebrink.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez wants to rest Venters and Linebrink on Sunday, and Eric O’Flaherty might get another day to rest his sore back. O’Flaherty wasn’t …

Continue reading Braves likely to add a reliever Sunday »

Braves quotes after 12-inning win over Reds

***FREDI GONZALEZ

“I don’t even know where to start, to tell you the truth. Other than, the bullpen was outstanding. One run in eight innings… To only give up one run and cover that after D-Lowe went out…. Wow.

“Glad we were on the winning end of that, with McCann swinging the bat good and Chipper coming up with the big hit. Let’s not talk about it too much – I don’t remember much of the game, to tell you the truth – and let’s come out tomorrow.”

On Chipper still being a clutch hitter

“Yes. And for me, that whole inning [was set up] by Linebrink getting a double play from a guy, Stubbs, who has been wearing us out. He got a big double player there. And with Schafer walking and Prado walking right behind him, it kind of put them behind the 8-ball, and now they’ve got to face Chipper and McCann, instead of one or the other.”

“There was a lot of good stuff going on tonight. Gonzo playing solid defense. Prado threw a guy out at second base. Freeman’s …

Continue reading Braves quotes after 12-inning win over Reds »

Heyward, Uggla big factors in scoring woes

Big things were expected from the Braves’ power-hitting duo of Jason Heyward and newcomer Dan Uggla, the former an All-Star as a rookie in 2010, the latter a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger award winner last season with the Marlins.

Considering how little production the Braves have gotten from the injury-slowed Heyward and underperforming Uggla, it shouldn’t be surprising that the team was only four games above .500 (28-24) before Saturday.

If anything, the surprise should’ve been that their record wasn’t worse.

In 2010, Heyward and Uggla had a combined .282 average with 52 doubles, 49 homers, 177 RBIs, 169 walks and 183 runs.

With nearly one-third of the 2011 season completed, Heyward and Uggla had a combined .196 average with 11 doubles, 14 homers, 30 RBIs, 37 walks and 39 runs before Saturday.

Heyward is eight days into a stint on the 15-day disabled list recovering from recurring soreness in his right shoulder. He hasn’t resumed swinging and could be …

Continue reading Heyward, Uggla big factors in scoring woes »