The Braves Report - May 7

Here are some news and notes on the Atlanta Braves.

BRAVES 5, PADRES 3

Chipper Jones delivered his 10th home run of the season and Mark Kotsay hit his third to give Jair Jurrjens his fourth win in seven starts.


INSIDE PITCH

By the time the Braves exploded for 14 runs against the Reds on Sunday, they had already made a deal with the Mariners to acquire infielder/outfielder Greg Norton.

Norton, designated for assignment by Seattle on April 30, was pleased to be in the Braves clubhouse Tuesday. Atlanta general manager Frank Wren had tried to acquire Norton at the end of spring training.

At 35, his "sole goal," Norton says, is to have his kids see him play baseball. Before the end of May, son Jace turns 3, and daughter Ciann will be 2.

He is especially clear-eyed about what he brings to the table, saying, "I wouldn't say that I play any (positions) really well. I think I'm in the big leagues because I can hit off the bench well. I can sit for days at a time and still give a quality at-bat. That's something that I've prided myself on."

And that is precisely what the Braves need at the moment.

Over the past three seasons, he has played left field, right field and first base, where the Braves have been thin on a backup to spell Mark Teixeira. The last time Norton played third base was 2004.

He met manager Bobby Cox only briefly Tuesday, just long enough to ask whether he should call Cox "sir." Bench duty with the Braves is fine with him. "American League," he said, "if you're not playing, you're not playing."


NOTES, QUOTES

RHP Rafael Soriano had to cut short a bullpen session Tuesday because of continued discomfort in his right elbow. He will have an MRI and additional imaging tests Wednesday, then be evaluated by team medical personnel, most likely Xavier Duralde, the lead team orthopedist.

RHP John Smoltz sounds more comfortable with the idea of returning to the bullpen when the inflammation subsides in his right biceps muscles and his rotator cuff. As a reliever, he could throw fastballs and not worry about using off-speed pitches.

RHP Peter Moylan is scheduled for right elbow surgery Thursday morning in Birmingham, Ala. Dr. James Andrews will perform what probably will turn out to be Tommy John surgery, although there is a 5 percent chance he may be able to remove the bone spur in Moylan's tendon without doing an entire ligament replacement.

INF Omar Infante's debut with the Braves should come in a week or less -- however long it takes for him to get enough at-bats in his minor league starts to feel comfortable. Infante, on the disabled list all season with a broken left hand, went a combined 2-for-7 in his first two rehab games with Class AAA Richmond on Monday and Tuesday.

INF/OF Greg Norton, newly acquired from the Mariners as a left-handed bat off the bench, has played mostly left field, right field and first base for the last three seasons.


BY THE NUMBERS

0-9 -- The Braves' record in one-run games in April.


MEDICAL WATCH

INF Martin Prado (sprained left thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list May 5.

RHP John Smoltz (severely inflamed right biceps tendon and right rotator cuff inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 28. No timeframe has been given for his return.

RHP Peter Moylan (bone spur in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 12, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 5. He will have surgery May 8, and he almost certainly is out for the season.

RHP Rafael Soriano (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7. He had to cut short a bullpen session May 6 because of continued discomfort in the elbow.

LHP Mike Hampton (strained left pectoral muscle) was hurt while warming up for the April 3 game. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 29. He left a rehab start with Class AAA Richmond on April 30 due to continuing discomfort in the pectoral muscle, though surgery was ruled out when no tearing was discovered on an MRI.

LHP Mike Gonzalez (Tommy John elbow surgery in May 2007) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He was not expected to be ready to pitch until after the All-Star break, but he hopes to return in May. His velocity was back in the 90s in early May.

INF Omar Infante (broken left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Richmond on May 5.

RHP Anthony Lerew (Tommy John elbow surgery in July 2007) went on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to March 21.


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