NEW YORK -- Just as Adonis Garcia was starting to provide some encouragement with his bat, he sustained an injury to his left ankle that will keep him out of Atlanta's lineup through the completion of this weekend's series against the Mets.Garcia hopes to handle this adversity in much the
NEW YORK -- Just as Adonis Garcia was starting to provide some encouragement with his bat, he sustained an injury to his left ankle that will keep him out of Atlanta's lineup through the completion of this weekend's series against the Mets.
Garcia hopes to handle this adversity in much the same manner he did after he was demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett during the first week of May. The demotion was intended to give him a chance to learn how to play left field, but since returning, he has strictly played third base and provided some hope that the offensive success he had last season was not just a fluke.
"I don't know in what way the Gwinnett [demotion] helped me," Garcia said through an interpreter. "I'm not trying to put too much stock in it. I just went down there, improved and tried to do whatever it is I needed to work on. I just stayed positive through the whole thing and told myself I was going to get another opportunity and I'd take advantage of it."
Garcia felt some discomfort in his left ankle as he defended against a stolen-base attempt during Thursday afternoon's game against the Reds. The discomfort increased during his next plate appearance and forced him to exit after he attempted to run the bases. He was available to pinch-hit on Saturday, but his limited lateral movement will likely prevent him from playing third base until at least Tuesday, when the Braves open a two-game series in Miami.
In the final seven games Garcia played before the injury, he batted .400 with two home runs. Though this is a small sample size, it's first stretch this season in which he started to produce the way he did last season, when he hit 10 homers in the 191 at-bats he had after surprisingly becoming the Braves' third baseman in late July.
His offensive production has been encouraging, but the biggest surprise has come courtesy of his glove, which had previously been a definite liability.
Since returning to the lineup on May 28, Garcia has made just two errors in 49 chances at third base. He had committed seven in the 49 chances he totaled before he was demoted.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.