Alex Gonzalez said he woke up Wednesday with his right calf feeling better, but the Braves aren’t going to take any chances with the veteran shortstop. The Braves figure it could be as long as two weeks before the calf is better, leaving doubt that Gonzalez would be able to play if the Braves make the playoffs.
Veteran Jack Wilson was in the lineup starting at shortstop Wednesday night against the Phillies, and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he had no plans to pinch hit or use Gonzalez in the field late.
“He’s going to be out for a couple of weeks, I would think,” Fredi Gonzalez said. “I feel comfortable with (Jack) Wilson. He’s done it for a lot of years with the Pirates and for me he’s one of the top defenders in the league. He’s not chopped liver at the plate either. He can handle the bat.”
The trouble for the Braves is Gonzalez was one of their hottest hitters of late, going 15-for-33 (.455) with three home runs, five doubles and eight RBIs in his previous nine games before he got hurt Tuesday night.
Gonzalez had to come out of the game in the second inning, despite not batting or even fielding a groundball outside of warm-ups. He said he felt his calf grab, but in a different area than the strain that kept him out of four games last week. Then it was on the side; this time it was in the lower part of the calf.
He was in significant pain Tuesday night, but it subsided by the time he went to bed.
“When I woke up this morning it felt fine,” Gonzalez said.
It’s still sore to the touch, though, and the Braves’ concern is he could strain it worse and be looking at a significant injury, requiring four to six weeks out.
“We erred on the side of caution,” Fredi Gonzalez said. “It doesn’t look good. When you’re dealing with a calf strain, it can be a lingering thing.”