Broken finger lands Prado on 15-day DL
Hernandez called up from Triple-A to fill roster spot
ATLANTA -- Instead of playing a man short over the course of the next week, the Braves have decided to place Martin Prado on the 15-day disabled list. The All-Star second baseman fractured his right pinky finger while sliding headfirst into home plate in Friday's win over the Reds.
After examining Prado again Monday, the Braves determined that it would likely be at least another week before he was strong enough to grip a bat with his right hand again. Thus they decided to put him on the disabled list and promote Diory Hernandez from Triple-A Gwinnett to serve as a backup infielder. Hernandez pinch-hit in the sixth inning of Monday's 4-1 win over the Mets and struck out swinging.
"I feel that it's a bump in the road for me, but I don't want to rush anything," Prado said. "I don't think it's going to work if you try to play hurt at this level."
Braves manager Bobby Cox talked to Prado after Monday's batting practice and came to the conclusion that it was best to give his dependable second baseman time to heal from this injury.
"We don't think he could have played for 10 or 11 more days," Cox said. "There was no reason to rush it all."
Prado said his finger was feeling a little better Monday. He took some swings off the batting tee using only his left arm and shagged fly balls during batting practice. The Braves remain hopeful that he will be ready to return to action when he's eligible to be activated on Aug. 16.
"My goal is to be ready then," Prado said. "I don't have anything else on my mind. I feel pretty confident that I'll be back."
When Prado slid across the plate with an insurance run in Friday's 10-inning victory, he suffered a stable avulsion fracture of the middle joint of his right pinky finger. That means that a small piece of tendon separated from the bone.
Prado ranks fifth in the National League with a .315 batting average. His injury will hinder his bid to record a 200-hit season. He was on pace for 219 hits after Friday night's contest.
While Prado is sidelined, Omar Infante will serve as the leadoff hitter and starting second baseman. Infante's value as a versatile utility man earned him an All-Star selection this year.
"The name of the game is picking each guy up when they're not playing well or somebody is injured," Cox said. "We happen to have the best guy in baseball to do that in Infante."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.