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Simmons avoids serious injury

ATLANTA -- Andrelton Simmons on Wednesday was out of the Braves starting lineup for the second straight game with soreness in his right hand after being hit with a pitch Monday night in Boston.

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But before batting practice prior to the Braves' matchup with the Red Sox on Wednesday, manager Fredi Gonzalez said he expected his Gold Glove shortstop to be back in the starting lineup on Thursday.

"Talking to Simmons today, he wanted to be in the lineup," Gonzalez said. "But we decided to hold him out one more day, take some ground balls, take some BP. I'm sure he'll be available [to pinch-hit] today and I'm sure he'll be in the lineup tomorrow."

Simmons told reporters that his hand was feeling better and that he's "ready to go whenever."

"I tried it out in the cage," Simmons said. "Felt good swinging, felt OK throwing. So it feels pretty good."

In the meantime, the promotion of Daniel Castro -- in the wake of Mike Foltynewicz's demotion -- will provide Atlanta with infield depth as Pedro Ciriaco takes over the starting duties.

"Talking to [Triple-A Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker], maybe he's not the fastest runner on the team, but he's a guy who's got a nose for the ball," Gonzalez said. "I'm curious to hopefully get to see him play.

"Maybe he doesn't get a chance to play, but I think at the time we made the decision, we didn't know if Simmons was going to need a couple extra days. … We wanted another infielder."

Castro hit .389 with an .855 OPS in 22 games with Double-A Mississippi before being promoted to Triple-A on May 8. In 34 games with Gwinnett, Castro has hit .286 with more walks (11) than strikeouts (10).

Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for
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