Braves disable Diaz with recurring thumb injury

Washington – Two years after undergoing surgery on his right thumb, Matt Diaz has had a similar problem crop up again. The Braves placed Diaz on the 15-day disabled list Saturday and activated reliever Jonny Venters from the disabled list, in the hopes that rest will allow Diaz to avoid surgery again.

But an MRI taken Monday revealed two foreign bodies in his thumb – which could be similar to fragments of a palm frond he had removed in 2010. Diaz said they will have to be surgically removed at some point, but he and the Braves are hoping to put off surgery until after the season.

“If we can get it calmed down and the infection down, I might be able to finish out the year,” said Diaz, who has been treated with topical anti-inflammatories and a course of antibiotics.

If Diaz were to need surgery now, he’d miss two months and likely the rest of the season.

“That’ll probably be last-case scenario,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. That’s a big piece for us to lose.”

Diaz said he had been symptom-free for two years until June 10 when he felt some numbness on a base hit against Toronto’s Ricky Romero, then pain swinging at an inside pitch from Darren Oliver later in the game. Diaz has been trying to manage it for the past seven weeks but aggravated it Sunday when he got jammed against the Mets.

Diaz has been trying to play wearing two thumb guards, but by Friday afternoon in Washington he struggled to grip a bat. He did not play in the 11-inning marathon against the Nationals.

“I was really mad at myself for the last five innings,” Diaz said. “’You wuss, you should be in there. Go tell Fredi you can hit.’ I’m trying to grab a bat and put my thumb (around) behind it. I’m so mad the whole time, and then we shook hands and (Jason) Heyward gave me a pretty firm high five and I almost went to the ground. I was like ‘No, that was a good decision not to play.’”

Diaz believes the problem dates back to a day in 2006 when he was clearing palm fronds in his yard in Lakeland, Fla. It didn’t start causing him trouble until it got infected in 2009 and he had to miss the final three games of the season.

“It’s one of those things that stinks the timing of it,” said Diaz, who’s hitting .222 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 51 games this season for the Braves. “It’s been bothering me for a while. Trying to play through it, I have not been effective.”

The Braves have already been on the lookout for bench help and this may expedite that search over the next several weeks.

48 comments Add your comment

David from Athens, AL

July 21st, 2012
1:53 pm

Get well Mattie!

Brad

July 21st, 2012
2:16 pm

Get well. Great guy. Lousy bat and backup outfielder, but great guy.

MyThoughts

July 21st, 2012
2:17 pm

Addition by subtraction

Acana22

July 21st, 2012
2:41 pm

He’s not the worst player we’ve had, by far. He’s good off the bench and does decent against lefties. We’re not the Yankees, we can’t have superstar bench players.

lee maye

July 21st, 2012
3:06 pm

Bring Constanza or Durango up. We need speed on the bench.

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

July 21st, 2012
3:13 pm

His teammates will miss Matty, I just wish his absence would actually be missed because what Diaz has contributed won’t.

lee maye

July 21st, 2012
3:19 pm

Position player needed by Monday. Constanza or Durango or Perraz up. Lefty reliever down.

lee maye

July 21st, 2012
3:50 pm

Better yet, bring up power hitting 1B Mejia for the RH hitter off the bench. 21 HR’s and a .300 avg. Deserves a chance.

Disgusted

July 21st, 2012
4:13 pm

Diaz has been a good bench player in the past, has had a rough go of it this yr.

He is not fancy in the OF and not the most athletic but he really does not embarrass himself. He tries, and has made the most of his ability.

lee maye

July 21st, 2012
4:21 pm

Wren: Hang on to the kid pitchers: Minor, Delgado, and Teheran. Trade Hanson or JJ or both for a rental such as Dempster or someone else. Greinke is not coming here. He has been offered 100 mil for 5 years. Braves obviously shouldn’t try to match this. Too much.

Bring up Jordan P or Mejia to replace Diaz on Monday. Send Avilan back down to get back to 12 pitchers.

Palm Frond

July 21st, 2012
4:22 pm

Get well soon.

HAL

July 21st, 2012
4:30 pm

i think a real smart move by our self proclaimed blog experts would be every move frank makes just shut up and let the readers guesss how dumb your if ya type you remove any doubt lol

Mikey

July 21st, 2012
4:41 pm

Braves after another effective start from Ben Sheets with the help of a pinch-hit HR by the amazing Chipper Jones are 1.5 games out and could be in first place by tomorrow afternoon!

Playoffs?????

July 21st, 2012
4:46 pm

Please don’t bring Constanza up

74bravesjersey

July 21st, 2012
5:08 pm

Hope the Nats Col. Johnson, phenom harper & da gang will man up & send some Cap Tipp’n toward da Bravos way, our mgr. freeloader, i mean fredi would appreciate it for a li’l mutual respects come back toward ‘em.

daSarge

July 21st, 2012
5:14 pm

Don’t get too excited. Brave lose next two game and leave 3 & 1/2 out once again. Team is too cheap to trade for or sign a proven top notch starting pitcher. Uggla needs to be traded TODAY! Put Prads at 2nd and trade for a power hitting left fielder.

74bravesjersey

July 21st, 2012
5:14 pm

C’mon Col.Johnson or is this another worse game you managed, at least you took the fall, & said you wasn’t gonna sleep after that one. Fredi cap tipped ya’ll plenty earlier dis’ year, just want you to show fredi you’re appreciation for coach’n da bravos up so far. Still gots a long way to go, ya’ll might wear us out tonight & tomorrow, but hey, at least we ain’t lay’in down for ya.

74bravesjersey

July 21st, 2012
5:20 pm

So far somethin’ is workin’, ain’t gotta clue, but this is fun. Don’t know about you, but i’m a lovin’ it! Keep dis machine a churnin’ Bravos, everybody else say’s you gonna fell boys, that’s da consensus, keep diggin’ deep & shock’n da world, Bravos! Shock em’ all!

El Gato Malo

July 21st, 2012
5:22 pm

How Uggla was a starter in the All Star game is a mystery, along the lines of how George W. Bush ever got elected president, or Bristol Palin gets TV shows. I agree, he must go. As for “DYE-ass”, don’t let the door hit you on your dyeass on the way out. BTW, you name is DEE-ahs, you wannabe!

74bravesjersey

July 21st, 2012
5:23 pm

I think hopefully this year more heart will stick compare to last years melt down. Mabey in a way the bad taste makes da’ boys more hungrier & more swag. SWAG BRAVOS! SWAG!

74bravesjersey

July 21st, 2012
5:25 pm

Hey ya gotcha Bravo Swag on?

Lobosolo

July 21st, 2012
5:41 pm

El Gato Pendejo… saco los pedos, Mamon… Not a one of you aholes could carry Diaz’ jock strap, and your childish comments about him prove your ignorance of anything to do with baseball…. get back to the tiddlywinks… you can’t handle the game….

ugaaccountant

July 21st, 2012
5:45 pm

The hatred for a team 1.5 games out of first is astounding. Calm down about firesales. Yes, it would be nice to pick up a bench bat or a 4th starter, but no need to mortgage the future for rentals.

IlliniBrave

July 21st, 2012
5:47 pm

So Fredi thinks Matty D is a “big piece for us to lose”? Man, the guy just loses more and more credibility with me every time he opens his mouth. Diaz is at best a small cog in the machine, at worst an expendable and easily replaced bench player used in only very specific situations.

b

July 21st, 2012
5:50 pm

The braves mgt. must really hate constanza not to recall him.
What does he have to prove? lifetime .300 in minors and .291 in majors and makes things happen on a positive note on bases and on defense.

Jasons Shrinking Waist

July 21st, 2012
6:04 pm

Who was the dude the Braves always traded for in the 90s down the stretch…He was a Twin, a decent hitter that Shueroltz used to trade for every year to help the bench

ugaaccountant

July 21st, 2012
6:05 pm

b, he’s been extremely streaky while in Atlanta. Either very good or provides absolutely nothing.

El Gato Malo

July 21st, 2012
6:23 pm

Must be that time of the month for Lobosolo

Notsoproudbravefan

July 21st, 2012
6:33 pm

Diaz should have been let go months ago. He is not producing anything on this team. Hedidn’t do anything lat year and is not getting it done so far this year. There has to be better players out there who the brave could pick up that will put together a string of hits. I say cut ties now and put someone productive in that spot.

JeanE

July 21st, 2012
7:12 pm

Poor MattyD, this just stinks! I know everyone is going to say he doesn’t matter but he really does, he is a great teamate and has made himself a very good LF. Get well and come back ASAP Matty!

smallmouth6

July 21st, 2012
8:06 pm

Bring Constanza up or let him go play for someone else.

Yogi Berra

July 21st, 2012
8:25 pm

Perraz just got hurt in game 30 mins ago. Hit on left hand that was broken earlier. Gone for x-rays now.. Need to trade for Bloomquist are Cuddyer. L Cain from Royals would be nice.

NORRIS CHUCK

July 21st, 2012
8:45 pm

Can someone tell me why is dude still pitching???

NORRIS CHUCK

July 21st, 2012
8:47 pm

GRAND SALAMI COMING UP!!

Billy Brave

July 21st, 2012
9:39 pm

Don’t forget folks, Matte was hitting .300 when this injury happened. He has been trying to play through it for the last 7 weeks and of course he didn’t hit well. He can’t even grip the bat. This is the same thing he did 2 years ago. When Matte is healthy he is a solid .300 hitter and a force against tough lefties!

bostonbravo

July 21st, 2012
9:48 pm

Lobosolo tends to be a douche…But I agree with he/she/it regarding Diaz

Wolf

July 21st, 2012
11:19 pm

The Atlanta bench has been really unproductive. The Braves are LAST in the NL in pinchhitting, with a .160 BA. (For the NL as a whole, pinchhitters are hitting .240). The bench players have done very little to help the club, except for Ross. Dias may be a nice guy, but he has done VERY little to help the team, either this year or from when he was obrained from Pittsburgh last year. The club REALLY needs some RH hitting for the bench. Uggla had ONE good game and now has returned to his former awful self. He is NOT the RH power guy Atlanta was seeking.

larry

July 22nd, 2012
12:12 am

we want miss him he is batting 222 bring up some body from gwinnett

fred

July 22nd, 2012
12:17 am

we needbench help another starting pitcher more bullpen help an a second baseman

rc35

July 22nd, 2012
8:52 am

Someone brought up how Matt pronounces his last name–”DYE-az” vs. “DEE-az.” America is full of Anglicized (or just plain changed) last name pronunciations. Let’s open with Jordan: we had Shug JER-dan and Michael JOR-dan. In baseball, one of many conundrums is the name “Gagne”: we had Eric GON-yay and Greg GAG-knee both playing during the 1990’s.

And if anybody can phonetically explain the spelling of St. Louis; Marc Rzepczynski, you win the gold medal!

MikeY

July 22nd, 2012
9:06 am

Rzepczynski’s nickname: Scrabble.

MikeY

July 22nd, 2012
9:14 am

I do think w/ Diaz out we need a RH bat. Mejia could be the answer, he was an outfielder before converting to 1B. That might give him some versatility to play 1B or LF.

A trade for a righty like Ty Wiggington or even Reed Johnson might work as well, and not cost much of a prospect.

"...and on this Winning Night..." Thx Ernie Johnson!

July 22nd, 2012
1:03 pm

With the way these guys are paid, you’d think they’d take precautions, like wearing thick workgloves when handling sharp palm fronds. Some high-price player got hurt when he fell off his bicycle….He shouldn’t have been on one in the first place. These folks can “sacrifice” by putting off the pleasures of life until after they retire from the Sport.

OTP

July 22nd, 2012
4:00 pm

No real loss with Diaz gone. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

[...] not Mesa, than Rivera as Diaz’s freak palm frond injury (read article about it here) has returned too many times since it happened back in 2006 to trust it won’t [...]

ralph lauren polo

September 23rd, 2013
9:25 pm

http://www.losetummyfatquick.com/activity/p/935/

October 6th, 2013
6:55 am

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