ATLANTA -- With his competitive nature providing some influence, Alex Gonzalez reported to Turner Field on Wednesday afternoon feeling like his injured right calf was strong enough for him to play.
But using some reason and hope that there might be a need for him in the coming weeks, the Braves entered their most important game of the year to date without their veteran shortstop.
The Braves utilized Jack Wilson as their starting shortstop for Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Phillies at Turner Field. Atlanta entered the game tied with St. Louis atop the National League Wild Card race.
Gonzalez exited Tuesday night's game against the Phillies when his right calf tightened just before he was due up in the second inning. The same calf had caused him to miss four games before returning to the lineup Monday. But the tightness he is now feeling is in a little different spot than it was last week.
"That thing could get worse than it even is," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Right now, we don't know if it's a spasm or a strain. I wouldn't feel comfortable running him out there."
The Braves will continue to evaluate Gonzalez's condition if necessary over the next few days to determine when he might be able to play again, if they qualify for the postseason. But it appears he will likely be sidelined at least until the early portion of next week.
With Wilson standing as the only healthy shortstop on its roster, Atlanta brought Tyler Pastornicky to the Major League level for the first time Wednesday. Pastornicky has spent the past couple of weeks working out at the club's Spring Training complex.
"This was the best phone call I've ever gotten," Pastornicky said. "I'm excited to be here and a part of it."
Pastornicky hit .314 with 27 stolen bases and a .773 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this season. The 21-year-old shortstop was acquired with Gonzalez in the July 2010 trade that sent shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Blue Jays.
Hanson ends bid to return this year
ATLANTA -- The Braves had hopes that Tommy Hanson might overcome his right shoulder discomfort and be able to pitch at some point again this season. But it appears Hanson has ended his bid to return this year.
Hanson said Wednesday afternoon that he will not even be playing catch as he spends the next couple of weeks once again attempting to strengthen his bothersome right shoulder.
The Braves placed Hanson on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort in June. The 25-year-old right-hander returned after a two-week absence and continued to pitch about five more weeks before having to shut down again. He has not pitched since Aug. 6.
"Hopefully some rest without throwing will help," Hanson said. "I'll put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and just try to strengthen everything as much as possible."
Hanson battled a sore back near the end of the 2010 season and again through the first two months of this season. He thinks his shoulder discomfort might be a product of his attempt to compensate for the pain he was feeling in his back.
The Braves were planning to start Hanson in Wednesday night's regular-season finale against the Phillies if they had already clinched the National League Wild Card entry. But they scrapped that plan on Friday, when he felt some discomfort near his scapula while pitching in an instructional league game.
Moylan upbeat despite upcoming surgery
ATLANTA -- Peter Moylan has experienced a number of setbacks over the past four years. But the upbeat Braves reliever certainly is not feeling sorry for himself as he approaches this offseason knowing that he will have to rehab from the right shoulder surgery he will soon undergo.
Moylan was encouraged when noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews said that he would likely only need six months of rehab after undergoing a surgical procedure that will clean the tears he has in his labrum and rotator cuff.
There is seemingly a chance Moylan could return during the first couple of months of the 2012 season.
This was the latest of many setbacks experienced by Moylan. The Australian reliever missed most of this season recovery from back surgery he underwent in May. He returned at the beginning of this month and had made just six appearances before learning he would need the shoulder surgery.
Moylan also missed almost all of the 2008 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He returned in '09 and made a franchise-record 87 appearances. His workload was slightly reduced to 85 appearances in '10.
"It is what it is," Moylan said. "I couldn't have avoided it. [It's rough], but it just means my offseason will be spent rehabbing instead of relaxing. It's not going to change anything. I'm still going to be ready to go by the end of spring.
"When you hear shoulder, you fear the worst. But I am certainly more excited about this than I was when I first got into this."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.