Martin Prado was another noticeable absence from the Braves lineup on Friday night. Manager Fredi Gonzalez revealed Prado has been playing with a sore hamstring and he wanted to sit him a game to rest it.
He said he noticed Prado favoring it quite a bit on Thursday night in left field and running the bases.
“He’s trying to manage it,” Gonzalez said. “But these guys are athletes and all of a sudden they want to go an extra step and get really, really bad.”
Gonzalez is hoping that by giving Prado a day off here and there until the All-Star break and resting for four days off over the break, he can avoid a stint on the disabled list.
Gonzalez moved Jason Heyward into the third spot in Prado’s absence, where Heyward was hitting for the third time this season. He moved rookie Andrelton Simmons to the second spot for the first time. Simmons played his first 23 games in the majors in the bottom third of the order.
“Use (his) speed and sandwich him between (left-handers Michael) Bourn-y and Heyward there,” Gonzalez said. “What is he about .310 now?”
Actually, Simmons was hitting .321 entering Friday night.
Looking ahead, Gonzalez said he plans to give Chipper Jones a rest on Saturday against right-hander Stephen Strasburg and give Brian McCann a day off on Sunday against left-hander Gio Gonzalez. He plans to play Juan Francisco at third base Saturday. He went 2-for-2 with an RBI off Strasburg on May 26.