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The Atlanta Braves have activated shortstop . Simmons broke a finger on the last day before the All-Star break and has been out of action for over two months. He will start at short from the disabled listand hit eighth on Monday night.
Prior to the injury, Simmons hit a solid .296/.336/.452 for the club and collected seven doubles, three home runs and 15 RBI. While Simmons was out, Paul Janish handled most of the work at shortstop, and the difference at the plate was stark, as Janish is hitting just .188/.268/.236 in 2012. Simmons will not only inject a little more life into the Braves offense, he also fields the ball well.
Simmons had been on a rehab assignment with the Class-A Lynchburg Hillcats. He hit a home run Friday in the Hillcats' 2-1 playoff victory.
Simmons has been out of action for the Braves since suffering a broken hand in a July 8 game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He sustained the injury sliding head first into second base, and has missed about eight weeks of games.
Simmons was called up from Double-A Mississippi on June 2. In 125 plate appearances before sustaining the injury, he batted .296/.336/.452. Atlanta's record stood at 46-39 when Simmons was injured, and they have gone 33-21 in his absence.
Paul Janish has filled in at shortstop for the Braves for the most part with Simmons out, though super-utility man Martin Prado has played there occasionally as well. Simmons' return should provide a boost to Atlanta defensively, as that is a large part of the rookie's value.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was unsure if Simmons would stay with the Hillcats through their playoff run or if he would rejoin the Braves this weekend during their series in Queens against the New York Mets.
Simmons broke his hand in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 8 on a head-first slide into second base. He's missed about eight weeks of action.
Simmons was called up straight from Double-A Mississippi and inserted immediately as the Braves' regular shortstop on June 2 amid Tyler Pastnoricky's struggles. Simmons batted .296/.336/.452 in 125 plate appearances before the injury.
Much of Simmons' value, unlike Pastornicky, comes from his defense. Many already consider the 23-year-old an elite defender at shortstop. From ESPN's SweetSpot Blog on Simmons, a testimonial:
"Excellent reads, footwork, instincts, controlled aggression, and a quick compact arm. He made all the plays for me -- to the left, to the right, on the backhand, in the hole, topped. He's an excellent athlete with great body control."
--An NL scout who saw Simmons four times this month
Paul Janish has taken most of the responsibility at shortstop in Simmons' absence.
The fine folks at Talking Chop are keeping an eye on his progress in the minors, noting that Simmons looked good in his first game back in action for the Single-A Rome Braves on Wednesday:
Simmons, playing in his first game ever with Rome, made the throwing error, which should be expected considering he's recovering from a broken pinky on his throwing finger, but also cleanly fielded 5 other balls and went 1-4 at the plate.
In his rookie season, Simmons is hitting .296/.336/.452, excellent numbers for someone playing one of the toughest defensive positions on the field.
Without him, Atlanta has gotten almost no offense from their shortstops, so Braves fans have to hope that his rehabilitation continues on schedule as the team hopes to avoid a repeat of 2011 in this year's pennant race.
Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons began his rehab stint with Atlanta's Double-A affiliate, the Mississippi Braves, on Monday as he recovers from a broken pinky finger, which happened in July. The 22-year-old is set to play three games over four days -- with different teams -- as he prepares to move back up to the majors.
Simmons finished Monday's game 1-3 at the plate in his first action on the diamond in just under two months.
On Wednesday, Simmons will join the Single-A Rome Braves for their game and on Thursday he will travel to Lynchburg, Va., to play with the high-A Hillcats in their contest. He is expected to rejoin the Braves as early as next weekend when the team travels to New York to take on the Mets.
The Atlanta Braves have struggled to get any offensive production at shortstop since Andrelton Simmons hit the disabled list. That could change soon, though, as Simmons is set to begin his rehab assignment.
He could be back in the Braves lineup by the end of the week, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Best-case scenario if everything looks good and no setbacks or anything like that is maybe next weekend," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Hopefully next weekend."
Simmons broke a bone in his right hand on July 8. Prior to the injury, he was hitting .296 with three home runs and 15 RBI.
Paul Janish has been drawing most of the starts at shortstop for the Braves in Simmons' absence. He has been a non-factor at the plate, hitting .197 in 157 at-bats. He was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds this season in a trade.
Injured Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was examined and X-rayed on Friday and all signs point to him have a successful recovery so far. Simmons is going to be re-examined on Sunday and it's being reported that if all goes well, he could begin is minor league rehab stint as soon as Tuesday.
Dr. Gary Lourie has cleared Simmons to begin baseball activities. Simmons is still recovering from a broken hand suffered about eight weeks ago. Just as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution pointed out, Triple-A Gwinnett's season ends on Monday so the Braves will likely send Simmons either to Single-A Lynchburg or low A Rome.
In the AJC report, it says Simmons had actually been spending the past few days taking groundballs, playing catch and some live batting practice at Gwinnett as well.
"(I stunk) in bp but feeling good," Simmons said. "Just waiting for games now. Physically I felt good. It didn't bother me at all. That's great news, and the doc said it looked good."
Patience is the key with Andrelton Simmons as he continues to make his way back to the field after breaking a bone in his hand six weeks ago.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez see his youngster making strides, albeit at a moderate pace.
"We’re progressing but slowly," Gonzalez said. "They’ve (X-rayed) it every 6-7 days and it’s healing. We want to make sure it doesn’t take a step backwards if we push him too hard. But I think you’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."
Originally expected back sometime in August, it appears Simmons might not be able to get in the lineup until the middle of September.
Before he was injured, the 22-year-old was hitting .296 with three home runs and 15 RBI.
Braves rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons would like to be back on the field but he still has not been cleared medically to resume baseball activities. Simmons recently had his cast removed but he remains out and is scheduled for another X-Ray on Friday.
Once Simmons is cleared he will head out on a minor league rehab stint to get back his timing. The Braves are hoping for an early to mid September return.
Paul Janish has taken over at short for the Braves on an everyday basis since being acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Janish hasn't provided a lot of offense although he has hit better of late but his defense has been a plus and he is expected to remain on the roster as a backup once Simmons comes back.
"I was hoping for no cast at all," said Simmons, who was X-rayed and fitted for a lighter, more comfortable cast on Friday. "But the doctor said we need one more week to make sure it gets calcified and stuff."
Simmons has been in a cast since suffering the injury and is itching to return to the lineup. Once the cast is removed Simmons will begin rehab exercises before resuming baseball activities. He thinks he will need about a week of that including his rehabilitation trip to the minors but the Braves may opt to not push him that quickly.
Simmons solidified the shortstop position for the Braves defensively after his promotion from the minors and was hitting .296 with three homers and 15 RBIs at the time of the injury.
Paul Janish arrived at Turner Field on Sunday and was promptly inserted into the starting lineup by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and that figures to be an everyday thing until Andrelton Simmons returns from injury.
"We got him to play shortstop," Gonzalez said. "We didn't bring him in to win the batting title. He's here to sure up our defense and catch the ball."
Janish isn't expected to hit much as his .237 average at Triple-A Louisville suggests but he is more than adequate defensively and right now that is what Atlanta needs most while it waits for Andrelton Simmons to return from a broken finger on his throwing hand. Janish understands his role and is grateful to have another opportunity.
"I'm probably going to be a catch and throw guy for the majority of my career," Janish said. "I'm comfortable with that. I'm fine with that. I take a lot of pride in my defense. Whatever I can do to help the team win. Obviously, wins are big right now from here on out down the stretch. Whatever I can do to help."
The Braves are exploring all options when it comes to the shortstop position and are currently pursuing for a veteran that would serve as a stop-gap replacement for Andrelton Simmons. The Braves are playing shorthanded on Friday night but will call up someone from the minors on Saturday if no trade has been made.
"We're having conversations and how we best fill that," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "It's somewhat of a short-term need, so we're waiting to find the right fit. ... We've had conversations over the break with clubs. It's one of those (you) can't really speed the process up. We're moving along and hopefully in the next day or so we'll get to the end of it."
However, according to Frank Wren it is unlikely that Tyler Pastornicky will be the choice for the promotion. Pastornicky has been playing second base and figures to get some time in the outfield at some point as he shifts into more of a utility role.
While the Braves try to fill the hole at shortstop, a potential call-up won't happen Friday as the Braves look for possible trade opportunities, according to various reports.
#Braves are planning to hold off on SS roster move for a day, presumably still trying to work a deal— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) July 13, 2012
Braves opted not to call up Josh Wilson. Indicates they hope to make a deal for a stopgap SS soon.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 13, 2012
Andrelton Simmons will miss at least a month with a broken hand. On Thursday, manager Fredi Gonzalez said a call-up was possible on Friday, with Tyler Pastornicky or veteran Josh Wilson as the likely options. Pastornicky was Atlanta's starting shortstop to begin the season.
But Atlanta will hold off on a move while trade opportunities continue to be explored.
With Andrelton Simmons out for a month or longer with a broken finger on his throwing hand the Braves are examining all options when it comes to replacing him. Fredi Gonzalez indicated that a roster move is likely on Friday but the Braves were exploring a couple of options from the minor leagues and were also exploring trade opportunities.
"We are still kicking it around," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We've got a couple options in Triple-A that we could call up. We are going to keep weighing those options."
"I think we are looking right now," Gonzalez said. "I spoke to [general manager] Frank [Wren] twice a day every day during the break. He is looking out there [at possible trades], seeing who is available. There is some potential there also."
Tyler Pastornicky is the logical choice to be recalled to the majors from Triple-A. He started the season as the Braves starting shortstop and is hitting .264 with Gwinnett. Veteran Jack Wilson will also see an increase in playing time and is the most likely candidate to start on Friday.
Injured Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons is going to need some time to regain his strength after suffering from a broken finger. Mark Bowman is reporting that Simmons will be in a cast for four weeks and that there is not timetable set for his return.
Simmons will be in a cast for four weeks.It will take him some more time to regain strength.No timetable set for his return.#Braves— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 9, 2012
Simmons was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, just a day after his collision that resulted in the rookie's broken finger. Simmons has a .296 average with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 33 games
Read more on the Atlanta Braves at Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta. Head over to Baseball Nation for news and analysis around Major League Baseball. Also, be sure to subscribe to the SB Nation Youtube Channel for video commentary.
Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons left Sunday's win over the Phillies with a fractured pinkie finger on his throwing hand and is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday. According to a report by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Carroll Rogers injuries like the one suffered by Simmons can take a while to heal.
Injuries of this nature can require four to six weeks to heal and even longer if surgery is required. The Braves wouldn't speculate on a how much time Simmons might miss before he sees Lourie, but given that it's a fracture, it's a significant injury to a player who's become an important part of the team in a short amount of time.
That is terrible news for a Braves team that enters the All-Star break with the momentum of a five-game winning streak. In the short term Atlanta could call up Tyler Pastornicky and split the time between he and Jack Wilson or the team could look to add a shortstop at the trade deadline. Neither situation is ideal but it is a decision that will have to be made after Simmons sees the doctor on Monday.
Andrelton Simmons left Sunday's win over the Phillies with a hand injury and has been diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his right hand. He will see a doctor tomorrow where a course of treatment will be decided.
Simmons has fracture of fifth metacarpal on right hand. Will see Dr. Gary Lourie tomorrow to examine and determine course of treatment.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 8, 2012
The news certainly doesn't sound good for the Braves who have saw their middle infield defense solidified with the arrival of Simmons. He also hasn't been a slouch at the plate either where he was hitting .292 with three homers and 15 RBIs coming into Sunday's game. Jack Wilson replaced Simmons at short in the sixth inning but if Simmons is out for any length of time it could mean the return of Tyler Pastornicky from Triple-A.
Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons left Sunday's game against the Phillies with an apparent hand injury of some kind. Simmons appeared to injure himself while sliding into second base on what was a great hustle play. He also hit his mouth on the kneecap of the covering Phillies player, but that doesn't seem to be the main issue.
Those in the TV booth speculated that it was an injury to his pinky, team writers on Twitter suggested it was a thumb issue.
Simmons and the Braves will have four days off for the All-Star Break, so he should have plenty of time to recover. It's not believed at this point that Simmons did any kind of serious structural damage to the hand, but the Braves will likely have him undergo an X-ray this week just to make sure.
UPDATE: It's a pinky injury for Simmons.
Simmons left the game with an injured small finger on his right hand. He will be evaluated further.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 8, 2012
Better than a thumb injury, I suppose.
For more on the Braves and Simmons, check out Talking Chop.
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