Braves make several roster moves

The Braves have made several roster moves before Saturday's game against Arizona.

The Braves will be without outfielder Matt Diaz for a while. He's been placed on the 15-day disabled list with an infection of his right thumb.

Diaz will have surgery Wednesday to remove what one Braves' official said could be "splinters from a broken bat." He is expected to be out for several weeks.

Diaz was hitting only .178 on the season, far below his career average of .303.

The Braves recalled outfielder Brent Clevlen from Triple-A Gwinnett. Clevlen was signed last winter as a minor league free agent after spending eight years in the Tigers' organization.

Clevlen, like Diaz a right-handed batter, has seen action in Detroit in three different years and has a .233 average in 73 at bats in the big leagues, with three home runs and 7 RBI.

Clevlen was in big league camp this spring and hit .182 with a solo home run. Clevlen was hitting .259 in Gwinnett with one home run, 14 RBI, and a .376 OBP.

He was selected to come up over Mitch Jones, who is hitting .259 with four home runs.

With Jordan Schafer reporting to Triple-A Gwinnett Saturday, you wonder if he could be an option if Diaz is out for a significant period of time. Schafer has hit .282 in his rehab assignments in Rome and Mississippi. He is coming back from wrist surgery he had last September.

Atlanta also activated shortstop Yunel Escobar in time for Saturday's game. Escobar missed 13 games with a strained left abductor muscle. The Braves optioned Brandon Hicks to Gwinnett to make room for Escobar on the roster.

The Braves desperately need Escobar to get going offensively. He was hitting .215 in 79 at bats before he was disabled. Escobar has yet to hit a home run this season and has only eight runs batted in. Escobar is a career .297 hitter, so he must be a bigger force in the lineup.

With Jason Heyward now up in the top third of the order, and Eric Hinske doing well batting sixth, Escobar batted seventh in Saturday's lineup.

Hicks played in six games with Atlanta, mostly as a pinch-runner, and was 0-1 in his only at bat.

The Braves placed infielder Diory Hernandez on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Clevlen on the 40-man roster. Hernandez has been out rehabbing his injured left shoulder and is not expected back until mid-summer.

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Atlanta Baseball Show. Shanks writes a weekly column for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at and follow him on Twitter at

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