Constanza shows speed in major league debut – updated

Outfielder Jose Constanza arrived at Turner Field about 5:15 p.m. Friday afternoon, just in time from a flight from Durham to get in uniform and meet the Braves on the field where they were already taking batting practice.

He had just over two hours to prepare for his first ever major league start, in center field and the leadoff spot in place of the injured Nate McLouth. The Braves hoped he’d do it just like he doesn’t about everything else on the field – in a hurry.

Martin Prado gave a one-word scouting report on Constanza, shortly after greeting him in the dugout with a hug and pleasantries Friday afternoon.

“Fast,” Prado said, looking back to several reporters as he jogged back onto the field.

Constanza showed how a few hours later, just running to first base on three groundouts in his first three major-league at-bats – none of which left the infield. But Constanza found a hole up the middle in his fourth and final at-bat and came away with his first major league hit and a key add-on RBI in a 5-0 win.

“The first two at-bats, I was anxious,” Constanza said, with Prado translating for him. “I tried to battle until the end.”

Then he really put on a show with his speed, going first to third on a Prado single and scoring easily on a fairly shallow sacrifice fly by Freddie Freeman.

“Big RBI against a tough left-hander,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of lefty reliever Mike Dunn. “He was able to get us that fourth run and run first to third. It’s nice to see that.”

Constanza was hitting .312 in Triple-A Gwinnett with 23 stolen bases in 31 attempts. He had two doubles, four triples, and a .361 on-base percentage. He bats left-handed – don’t all Braves outfielders? – and he can play all three outfield positions.

“Maybe he can get us going a little bit,” Gonzalez had said before the game.

Constanza, 27, signed with the Braves as a six-year minor league free agent from the Indians and was a non-roster invitee to Braves major league camp.

To make room for Constanza on the 40-man roster, the Braves designated shortstop Diory Hernandez for assignment. They have 10 days to trade him or if not, and he clears waivers, the Braves plan to outright him back to Triple-A Gwinnett.

71 comments Add your comment

eskippy

July 29th, 2011
7:31 pm

Enter your comments here

Bryan

July 29th, 2011
7:34 pm

connnnnstanza

Dennis Reynolds

July 29th, 2011
7:35 pm

endless mike

July 29th, 2011
7:37 pm

somehow i doubt anything will impede diory’s trip back to gwinnett.

SAL

July 29th, 2011
7:38 pm

Can’t be much worse offensively than Shafer or McClouth.

urban redneck

July 29th, 2011
7:38 pm

three starters to the dl in less than a week. who did we piss off?

there is a silver lining-constanza. we’ve been waiting for this. i’m fired up!!

Brady

July 29th, 2011
7:38 pm

OH NO. Diory will be a good backup infielder one day. He won’t clear waivers. SAD

NV 049

July 29th, 2011
7:40 pm

Diory will found a home in Kansas City ,most ex Braves do..

tdc

July 29th, 2011
7:40 pm

BravesfaninWis

July 29th, 2011
7:43 pm

Alright, Schafer, McCann, and now McLouth are all on the DL. Chipper is beat up and no telling how he is going to perform the rest of the way. Heyward is stinking it up this season, ditto for Gonzalez. Our starting pitching is going downhill.

So at this very moment, we can count on Freeman, Uggla, Prado, and possibly David Ross. So what do the Braves do from here? Do they stand pat and basically tell all their fans that they are throwing in the white towel? Or maybe made a modest trade for say Ryan Ludwick just to fill in for injured players the rest of the way? The fact is, Wren has been slow this year to get anything done. I am keeping my hopes up, but have basically given up on this team at this point.

Cbuck

July 29th, 2011
7:43 pm

Hey Cantstandya! Welcome to the bigs!

Dawgdad (The Original)

July 29th, 2011
7:44 pm

I’ve never understood why Diory is not here instead of Lugo. I haven’t seen that Lugo is any better defensively than Diory. Diory is a much better hitter and has a future. Lugo is just a place holder and should have been the one DFA’d. Diory has had some big hits for us and has a little pop. Lugo is a little pop.

Farnsworthy

July 29th, 2011
7:44 pm

Can’t say that I’ll miss that whiffing/weak arm McOut (was he really an all star at one time?). Here’s hoping that Constanza has a great night!

Delbert D.

July 29th, 2011
7:45 pm

Do the other GMs snicker at Frank Wren behind his back?

Stuff

July 29th, 2011
7:47 pm

dang, constanza can book it. you guys see him bust it down to 1st?

urban redneck

July 29th, 2011
7:48 pm

that boy is FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Frank Wren

July 29th, 2011
7:50 pm

I’m not so sure we need more offense, so I think I’ll go sign another Japanese pitcher.

Bill

July 29th, 2011
8:01 pm

What a DP in 2nd..Freeman is gold glove 1stb.

smallmouth6

July 29th, 2011
8:02 pm

I’ve been pretty patient with Nate. I’m ready for him to go his own way.

dogman

July 29th, 2011
8:04 pm

The braves are done for the year. With all these starters on the disabled list who is going to play? They stunk to begin with and now this. I predict last place is where they will end up pretty quick. The Mets are winning and the Phillies are already winning tonight 7-0 and it only the 2nd inning. They are tearing up the Bucs and the braves couldn’t beat them. They won one game out of 4 because the umpire gave them one game. They are pitiful. I guess now they will empty the farm for a 2 month rental because they don’t have to worry about going to the playoffs with this team.

Mets R Best

July 29th, 2011
8:05 pm

Hey Atlanta Braves Fans! I see where your GM blew it and didn’t sign the great Carlos Beltran. Beltran is great because he used to play for the Amazing Mets. Beltran, being a player with New York experience, would have brought a lot of much needed class to your hick town. By the way, in case you didn’t know it already, your team isn’t going to make the playoffs—the braves aren’t contenders, but they are great pretenders.

Noone, Alot, Loosers, Than & To Much

July 29th, 2011
8:10 pm

Dam it to hello. I subscribe to MLB TV, live in Florida 580 miles north of Miami and the game is blacked out cuz I’m in Florida. I can watch all Braves games all year against any team not in Florida. I’m only 250 mile south of Atlanta and not blacked out against any other teams.

Stuff

July 29th, 2011
8:13 pm

Ahahahahah. I really just laughed out loud. Yea, you hit the nail on the head, Mets R Best. Nothin says class like the NY Mess. Bwahahahaha.

Where do these people come from? And how in the world do they figure out how to use keyboards? Oh, man, that made my day. Gotta love the people that get on here with the sole purpose of just spewing nonsense. He even knows how to rhyme! How cute! Give us another one, Mets R Best. Encore!

Noone, Alot, Loosers, Than & To Much

July 29th, 2011
8:26 pm

@ Stuff

You know, it’s not really nice to kick a man when he’s down. After years and years of frustration it should be easy to understand his emotional stress. He just doing the only thing he knows how to do – insult his superiors out of jealousy of their success. We all know the Braves have been less than perfect, but we deal with it gracefully. Compare Braves/Mets Won-Loss records cumulatively over the last 20 years to get a better understanding of his inferiority complex. He deserves our compassion.

As for you Mr. Mets R Best, keep hanging in there. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t always an oncoming train.

Mets R Best

July 29th, 2011
8:43 pm

We are in third, we are hot, and we are coming after you Atlanta.

Noone, Alot, Loosers, Than, Then & To Much

July 29th, 2011
8:53 pm

@ Mets R Best

Bring it on. If both our teams can get healthy either one can overhaul the Phillies, or at least make it a great run.

Mets R Best

July 29th, 2011
9:00 pm

You heard it here first. On August 5, 6 and 7 the Mets will get a sweep and gain 3 games on the Braves.

David the Shepherd

July 29th, 2011
9:05 pm

I know it’s hard to believe….BUT, we haven’t scored any runs yet.

Noone, Alot, Loosers, Than, Then & To Much

July 29th, 2011
9:12 pm

@ Mets R Best

I don’t normally feed trolls, but hearing or reading something doesn’t make it so. Especially predictions. Try predicting sunrise and sunset times – you’ll have a chance to stumble across a correct answer.

This is my last reply to you. You bore me.

Noone, Alot, Loosers, Than, Then & To Much

July 29th, 2011
9:14 pm

@ David the Shepherd

But we’ve out-hit them 2 to 1 through 6!

Mets R Best

July 29th, 2011
9:22 pm

Through 7 innings:
Mets 8, Nats 3

Brian Asselstine

July 29th, 2011
9:23 pm

Lousy play there by Costanza showing the ball to the ump and letting the runner get to second. Glad Beachy picked the rookie up. Do not ever do that again, meat.

David the Shepherd

July 29th, 2011
9:24 pm

C’mon Freddie, lace a double to left.

David the Shepherd

July 29th, 2011
9:26 pm

@NALTT&TM

Way to pick me up, thanx, man.

29tigerboys

July 29th, 2011
9:28 pm

Oh, Danny Boy…those pipes are callin’.

sometimesiwonder

July 29th, 2011
9:36 pm

Pence gone, knowing the braves we’ll get ludwick. sigh……

Mets R Best

July 29th, 2011
9:47 pm

7 reasons why your Braves won’t make the postseason:
1. Nate “.220″ McLouth
2. Larry “Over the Hill” Jones
3. Jason “Over Rated” Heyward
4. Alex “Swing at Anything” Gonzalez
5. Jordan “.240″ Schafer
6. Linebrink
7. Proctor

29tigerboys

July 29th, 2011
9:51 pm

Jose can u see!!!! Way to go dude.

GT Alum

July 29th, 2011
9:58 pm

Well, regardless of whether Constanza ever sticks at this level, this is a day he’ll never forget. Gotta feel good for the guy.

We are fine

July 29th, 2011
10:00 pm

Sad to see so many negative comments. You don’t have to be the best team to win the WS. Just get in and get lucky. All it takes is a player or two to get hot during the playoffs and that can carry a team. As Braves fans we know the best team doesn’t win the WS very often, we only had 1 during our run. I for one hope we don’t make a trade for Carlos. His career numbers are not overly impressive. I could easily see him coming here and not performing any better than the people we already have.

Mets R Best

July 29th, 2011
10:18 pm

And now Pence is a Philly….ha,ha,ha,ha,ha.

Tom

July 29th, 2011
10:48 pm

Constanza is the fastest I’ve seen in a long time. If he hits ball on ground will get a lot of infield hits. Now bring up Gartrell to play in RF?

Steve

July 29th, 2011
10:51 pm

Can Frank Wren be designated for assignment?

Jabbo

July 29th, 2011
11:03 pm

He’s my new favorite!

Wes Covington

July 29th, 2011
11:07 pm

Constanza reminds me of Luis Polonia. Anyone else agree?

Bob the Blogger

July 29th, 2011
11:08 pm

Constanza reminds me of Furcal on the bases – maybe faster?

VinceVanGo

July 29th, 2011
11:16 pm

The Braves appear to have speed in one area where you don’t want it, the speed with which they put players on the Disabled List. What’s going on? Is the Braves conditioning program that much worse than most of the other teams or are the Braves players that much “less tough” than most. I certainly don’t know. Either way it’s a plus for your minor league system as far as motivation for the up and coming players. I’ll bet that Gwinnett still has several players that could put up better numbers than Heyward, McClouth, and Gonzolaz. Even Eric Hinski’s numbers are dropping. Either make a trade or two to support your pitchers or send some of the veterans down or outright release them, and give some more of the hungry kids a chance.

Bobby Bobby

July 29th, 2011
11:26 pm

It was like festavus all over again.

kjb

July 30th, 2011
12:31 am

In due time Heyward will become a good player like his buddy Freddie, his time is not now & want be until he gets the big hole in swing corrected. He’s very young & the right person to work with his swing & Heyward alone with Freeman will be a deadly duo for many years to come. Everyone in the clubhouse loves him & he loves them so Braves fans don’t be so hard on him because it’s not like he’s a cancer to the team. Trust me if he get that swing together where he can handle tough lefties and learn to go the other way when they pitch him that way & stop pulling off every thing he sees he will be a tough out like Freeman is right now!!! He’s standing to tall & far away from the plate & also swings down on the baseball too much…..that’s some of the things he needs to change right there! It’s frustrating for me to see to braves fans but he’s young & we have to be patient & hopes he gets these things corrected because no question about it the potential of being a great player is there….he just have to learn how to make adjustments!!!! Go Heyward & the Braves!!! From a DIEHARD BRAVES’ FAN!!!!!!!

hal

July 30th, 2011
7:04 am

ya go heyward as in go away hes the worst piece of crap on the team over hyped never be

Tommy Boggs

July 30th, 2011
7:26 am

How can we DFA Diory and still have Julio Lugo? Diory is much better and younger player.

EWilliams

July 30th, 2011
8:32 am

@Mets R Best

The Mets are so cash strapped that your owner had to go the way of The Ponzi Scheme” to try to keep the team a float.MLB will be taken over by MLB. Bite That!

Big Yank

July 30th, 2011
9:26 am

There must be a jillion analogies that could be applied to a comparision of the Braves or Mets vs the Yankees, none of which would not be extremely embarrasing to Braves or Mets fans. For example: 3 guys are comparing their transportation; one has a new Cadillac El Dorado, one has an old Ford Pinto, and one has old VW.

bill

July 30th, 2011
9:28 am

that Costanza guy used to play in the Mexican league under the name Art Vandalay!

bill

July 30th, 2011
9:29 am

I second tommy boggs LUGO is another broke down Bobby Cox veteran has been.

[...] – Atlanta Braves – According to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (click here for the post), “Outfielder Jose Constanza arrived at Turner Field about 5:15 p.m. Friday [...]

Terrell

July 30th, 2011
9:39 am

Dawgdad (The Original)

I think the reason why Diory isn’t up here is because at the time I’m sure Fredi felt that everybody would be healthy and Diory would just be spot duty and he wouldn’t get the amount of ABs that he would in the minors where he would be an everyday player.

Matt

July 30th, 2011
10:10 am

Lugo is here for his veteran presence. Diory, also, hasn’t done that well. Keep in mind, Lugo does have the ability to pull magic off on homeplate umpires.

Another Clueless Braves Blogger

July 30th, 2011
11:02 am

Speed kills (other teams). Good luck, Jose!

ANGELO FUENTES

July 30th, 2011
11:32 am

The Braves need to trade for Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Offer Dodgers Mike Minor, Delgado and McLouth for Matt Kemp

Poor Pitch Selection

July 30th, 2011
11:39 am

Lugo, and Ramirez should be sent away on a slow boat to China. Neither one are ML ball players. It’s a sad day when we don’t have better players in the minors. And for goodness sakes Fredi G. they should never be in the same line up. 4 automatic outs in a row the other night. Rameriz, Lugo, Gonzalez, an then the pitchers spot. Come on a 10 year old BB fan could fill out a better line up card than that. And for goodness sakes quit allowing Sherril to pitch to RH batters. They feast on him. He’s tough on LH but RH seem to hit him hard. Constanza made every Braves fan happy when he got his 1st hit last night. So proud for him. Hope the little guy plays outstanding, he could be a welcomed spark in the line up. GOOOOOOOOOOOO Braves.

Poor Pitch Selection

July 30th, 2011
11:58 am

Wren how on Earth do you DFA Diory Hernandez and keep Lugo. You sometimes act as if you are an absolute idiot. Lugo sucks and his major league experiance means nothing when he’s washed up. Faith in you is dwindling fast. No deals as of yet for a RH bat and putting players such as Lugo and Rameriz on the team is a sign of stupidity. Gartrelle and Diory would have been much better call ups from Gwinette. Atleast they give us a little more punch. What are you thinking.

Skillet

July 30th, 2011
12:09 pm

DOB, nice story about Cartwright.

Mets are a joke

July 30th, 2011
12:09 pm

Dude, “Mets are best” If you haven’t realized, the Braves have the 2nd best record in the National league. Schafer may have a low batting average, but the man gets on base, also, before the braves went on this “slump” still above 500 i might add, were the hottest team in baseball.
Mclouth will ride the bench when he gets back, Chipper didn’t ever make a difference anyways, & he’s gonna stay injured all year. your precious Beltran, has gone 1-9 with like 4 or 5 strikeouts since leaving your precious mets. nottt a player III would want to RENT for 2 months. Especially if he’s gonna put up numbers like that. The Mets pitching will NEVER hold up. & The Mets will NEVER be as good as the Bravos. Proctor will be sent to the minors once the great Peter Moylan & Kris Medlen return. & Linebrink really isn’t all that bad, & he would be the weakest arm on the team. which at 3.19, isn’t too shabby. You’re a moron dude, the only person worthy of wearing a braves jersey on your mets team, is Jose Reyes. that.. is IT.

Nick P.

July 30th, 2011
12:21 pm

lets see if the one dimensional team (only think pitching), the atlanta braves will actually do something to address their anemic line-up, i mean i almost get the feel that constanza might be it the way the braves are always reluctant to make the real moves that makes the difference during a playoff run! i dont want marlon byrd, i dont want ty willingham, i want a real player, an impact player, remember, we have like 5 starters who are batting .230 or less, our only real hitters are prado, mccann, and freman, everybody else has been overwhelmingly underwhelming! either get quenten, or upton, or dont even bother, eithe rmake a real significant impact or just barely make the playoffs get swept in first round, or not even make the playoffs, another frustrating thing is always watching the braves make the most last second move possible!

Nick P.

July 30th, 2011
12:30 pm

@mets r best: you are so funny, as bad as you say we are, we are still seven games ahead of you in the wild card, if we are bad but you are seven games worst than us, then what does that tell you, for one thing it tells me you lack a brain! you must promise me one thing, after we either sweep you in august or take 2 of 3 from you you must promise to come back and post and try and explain your self, then when we make the playoffs and once again you dont, you must comme back and explain your self, by that i dont mean jumping on another teams bandwagon and saying how they are going to beat us, but you having to explain why your mets failed again! promise me you will or you are nothing more than a coward!

John A

July 30th, 2011
1:07 pm

Frank Wren continues to prove he is not the brightest crayon in the box. If John is still backing him, what in hell is he thinking? I used to admire John S.,but like Chipper his abilities are fading.

Who in their right mind would pay McLouth $7,000,000.00 for a season? Do you realize that is almost $11,000.00 per at-bat? Laughable isn’t it? He isn’t worth $20.00 per AB. JHEY needs to play at AAA and tweak his stance & stroke….once he makes those adjustments he’ll be just fine.

Don’t we have a hitting instructor? What in GOD’s name is Parrish being paid for? And all you guys thought TP was bad…..LMAO. Now you know what BAD really looks like.

Olereb

July 30th, 2011
1:23 pm

I dont often comment on these blogs, but today I have to. I cant beleive what I am reading, the Braves have played good baseball. Yes, I wished we hit a little more. Yes, I would hate to be a pitcher on the Braves teams, but we still are in this thing, and maybe with the right move, we can do it. If what I am reading is true, I dont blame Wren, I would not have given two of our four pichers for Pence. You people settle down and wait till tomorrow before you complain. Mets are best, your an idiot.

David O'Brien

July 30th, 2011
1:28 pm

Skillet, thanks but that was Carroll’s story. And a fine one, at that.

hank57

July 30th, 2011
1:45 pm

I submit, based on being at MLB games, plus watching them on TV since 1967 when I got out of the armed services, that the outfield of Schafer, McLouth & Heyward, is one of the weakest known to the sport. Of course I am probably wrong, but who can name one any worse, especially on offense?

Mets R Best

July 30th, 2011
3:24 pm

I’ll be back.

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