Injured toe puts Braves' Clevlen on DL
Blanco to fill in as backup outfielder with Diaz also out
MIAMI -- Brent Clevlen made a lasting impression on Braves manager Bobby Cox when he raced into foul territory at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon to make a catch that ended the fourth inning. In the process, Clevlen jammed his right big toe into the wall and suffered a sprain that will force him to spend the next two weeks on the disabled list.
"He made a great play," Cox said. "I won't forget that."
If Clevlen's toe heals before Matt Diaz is healthy enough to be activated from the disabled list, he may have a few more opportunities to impress Cox in a backup role. Diaz will be out for at least another two weeks recovering from a surgical procedure that was performed on his infected right thumb.
While Cleven spends the next two weeks healing, the Braves will utilized Gregor Blanco as one of their backup outfielders.
When it was determined Monday night that Clevlen needed to be sent to the DL, Blanco was informed that he was being recalled from the Triple-A Gwinnett roster. The 26-year-old outfielder, who hit .251 while playing 144 games for Atlanta during the 2008 season, left Indianapolis in the wee hours of Tuesday morning and arrived at Sun Life Stadium in time for Tuesday night's series opener against the Marlins.
"I had a difficult year last year," Blanco said. "The whole year was terrible. This year, I said to myself, 'You've got to play baseball. This is my career and my life, and you've got to prove to yourself that you can play the game.'"
Disappointed that he was being sent back to the Minors after spending all of the previous season on the Major League roster, Blanco hit .228 with 10 stolen bases for Gwinnett last year. In the 39 games that he's played for the Triple-A affiliate this year, he has hit .294 and been successful in eight of his nine stolen-base attempts.
"It was hard for me to start my career again," Blanco said. "I've never in my life been in a situation like that. It was hard for me, but you've got to learn from your mistakes."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.