PITTSBURGH -- As the Braves have ascended to the top of the National League East, they have routinely found good fortune after one of their players has exited a game with concerns about a potentially serious injury.The Braves once again breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday, when tests performed
PITTSBURGH -- As the Braves have ascended to the top of the National League East, they have routinely found good fortune after one of their players has exited a game with concerns about a potentially serious injury.
The Braves once again breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday, when tests performed on Kurt Suzuki's left elbow showed no signs of a fracture. The veteran catcher is day to day with a bruised left triceps. He hopes to return to the lineup within the next couple days.
"If it's not broken and I'm not on the [disabled list], I'm available," Suzuki said.
Suzuki got X-rays on his left elbow and had a CT scan after he was hit by Clay Holmes' 93.7-mph fastball during the ninth inning of Tuesday night's 6-1 win over the Pirates.
His concerns about a possible fracture grew when he began feeling numbness in his left hand.
"It actually started feeling worse, which was scary," Suzuki said. "At the beginning, it actually felt OK. Then as time went on, it kind of got stiffer and tighter. It kind of worried me a little bit."
With Suzuki limited to emergency action over the next couple days, the Braves promoted veteran backup catcher Chris Stewart to provide some depth behind Tyler Flowers. Outfielder Michael Reed was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to create a roster spot for Stewart, who spent the first week of the season on Atlanta's roster and appeared in five games.
The good news regarding Suzuki comes just a week after tests showed Ronald Acuna Jr.'s left elbow was not fractured when he was hit by Marlins right-hander Jose Urena's fastball. Acuna also was fortunate to miss just a month with a sprained left anterior cruciate ligament after he exited a May 27 game at Fenway Park with what many feared was a season-ending injury.
As Freddie Freeman has produced an MVP-caliber season for the Braves, he has continued to benefit from the good fortune encountered on April 18, when a pitch struck him in his left wrist, which was fractured during the 2017 season. He missed seven weeks with last year's injury, but he has started every game his team has played this year.
Minter update:A.J. Minter declared himself ready to pitch after completing a pain-free side session on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park. But Braves manager Brian Snitker would prefer to give his closer one more day to rest his previously-ailing back.
"I'd like to stay away from him because we worked him out pretty good," Snitker said. "But if we need him, he's available. He had a really good side, and everything is feeling really good."
Minter began battling lower back tightness when the Braves were in New York during the first week of August. The discomfort increased last week and affected his arm strength when he squandered a two-out, three-run lead during Saturday's loss to Rockies.
The Braves' medical staff believes Minter's back discomfort may be a lingering effect from a portion of his hamstring tendon being used to complete his Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2015. Moving forward, the southpaw will place a greater focus on exercises aimed toward keeping his hamstrings loose.<p.></p.>
<p.>Waiver-wire bids: The Braves placed a waiver claim on Matt Adams, but the Nationals ended up trading the left-handed slugger to the Cardinals, who won the waiver bid because the Braves had the better record when the claims were made. </p.>
Looking at other options to upgrade their lineup and bench, the Braves also discussed the possibility of acquiring infielder Daniel Murphy. But concerns about what Murphy could provide defensively led Atlanta to not make a claim on Murphy, who ended up being traded from the Nationals to the Cubs on Tuesday.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.