Notes: Ledezma placed on restricted list
Lefty's return to U.S. delayed due to damaged visa
ATLANTA -- Braves general manager John Schuerholz had no problem with Wil Ledezma heading back to his native Venezuela during the All-Star break. But he would have liked for the left-handed reliever to have kept his passport and visa out of the washing machine.
While the details aren't certain, it's believed that Ledezma's visa and passport were damaged when he left them in an article of clothing that was placed in the washer. Consequently, they were destroyed to the point that he wasn't able to travel back to Atlanta for Friday night's series opener against the Pirates.
Ledezma, who was acquired from the Tigers on June 20, has already received a new passport. But because it might be until the middle of next week before he gets the visa that will allow him re-entry into the United States, the Braves have placed him on the restricted list and filled his spot on the 25-man roster by recalling right-handed reliever Jose Ascanio from Double-A Mississippi.
"It's unfortunate," Schuerholz said. "But it's being dealt with and adjusted."
While Ledezma is unavailable, Braves manager Bobby Cox won't have the luxury of having a left-handed reliever in his bullpen. But in 33 appearances for Mississippi, Ascanio has limited left-handed batters to a .212 batting average.
Ascanio is a hard-throwing 22-year-old hurler who has battled back problems in the past. But while posting a 2.44 ERA in his 33 appearances this year, he's proven to be both healthy and reliable. In his past 10 outings, he's worked 17 innings, registered 13 strikeouts, issued four walks and allowed just two earned runs.
While he's faced a much different level of competition, Ascanio has enjoyed this season much more than Ledezma, who has surrendered at least one run in three of his past five appearances.
In the seven innings he's totaled since joining the Braves, Ledezma has allowed five earned runs and eight hits. In 31 combined appearances with Atlanta and Detroit, he's seen left-handed hitters compile a .322 batting average against him.
Pendleton OK after brief scare: After doing his regular afternoon workout on Friday, Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton felt his heart racing and knew something wasn't right. Fortunately, after making a visit to Piedmont Hospital, he learned that he was simply experiencing an irregular heartbeat -- an ailment he was told was common among men his age.
"When it's not beating right, you just know it," said Pendleton, who will celebrate his 47th birthday on Monday. "There was no pain or anything."
When Pendleton arrived at the hospital, doctors simply monitored him while he rested. After his heartbeat returned to a normal pace, he was permitted to return to Turner Field. He arrived around 7:20 p.m. ET, in time to assume his normal duties.
"I just had to let it settle down and start beating at a normal rate," Pendleton said. "It's settled down now."
Smoltz encouraged: During Thursday's team workout at Turner Field, John Smoltz was encouraged by the lack of discomfort in his right shoulder. But his true test will come later this weekend, when he throws off of a mound.
"It feels good," said Smoltz, who hadn't thrown at all since his July 2 start at Dodger Stadium.
Smoltz, who is on the disabled list, says the nine days of complete rest eased some of the tension created by the tendinitis that he's battled since May 29.
Smoltz's plan is to throw two side sessions over the next couple of days and then come off the disabled list in time to make Wednesday's start against the Reds.
When Smoltz is activated, the Braves will likely send Jo-Jo Reyes back to Triple-A Richmond. The 22-year-old southpaw will make his second Major League start on Tuesday against the Reds.
Carlyle joins select group: When Buddy Carlyle needed just nine pitches to strike out the side in the fourth inning on July 6 in San Diego, he obviously matched a Major League record that will never be broken.
According to Baseball-Almanac.com, this marked the 40th time in Major League history that a pitcher needed the minimum nine pitches to register three strikeouts in one inning. Oddly, 10 of those instances have come since the start of the 2001 season.
Carlyle became just the third pitcher in Braves franchise history to do this, and first since Joe Oeschger of the 1921 Boston Braves. The first was John Clarkson of the Boston Beaneaters, who in 1889 gained the distinction of being the first Major Leaguer to achieve this sort of dominant perfection.
Coming up: The Braves will continue their three-game series against the Pirates at Turner Field on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. They'll send Chuck James (8-7, 3.96) to the mound to face Tom Gorzelanny (9-4, 3.10).
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.