Atlanta Braves rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons continued his rehab assignment Friday for the Class-A Lynchburg Hillcats, hitting a solo home run in the Hillcats' 2-1 playoff win.
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.
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