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Rodriguez could join Braves by end of July

Versatile infielder has been out all year following offseason car accident
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- The Braves have been so pleased with the progression of infielder Sean Rodriguez as he recovers from left shoulder surgery that they have accelerated his rehab assignment with hopes he can return later this month.

Rodriguez, who saw action with Class A Rome on Tuesday, will play for Triple-A Gwinnett this weekend. He will spend a couple games rehabbing his shoulder in what Braves manager Brian Snitker calls Rodriguez's "Spring Training." If all goes well, Rodriguez could see some games in Double-A Mississippi before joining the Braves' lineup. Rodriguez has been sidelined all year following a car accident in January.

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ATLANTA -- The Braves have been so pleased with the progression of infielder Sean Rodriguez as he recovers from left shoulder surgery that they have accelerated his rehab assignment with hopes he can return later this month.

Rodriguez, who saw action with Class A Rome on Tuesday, will play for Triple-A Gwinnett this weekend. He will spend a couple games rehabbing his shoulder in what Braves manager Brian Snitker calls Rodriguez's "Spring Training." If all goes well, Rodriguez could see some games in Double-A Mississippi before joining the Braves' lineup. Rodriguez has been sidelined all year following a car accident in January.

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"He feels good and he is in Spring Training, so he has to build a little bit," Snitker said. "I think he will probably let us know [when he is ready], and we have a schedule at the end of the month. It will be really surprising, if everything goes right, he isn't back sooner or earlier."

Rodriguez has spent the last few weeks going through infield drills and hitting in the batting cage at SunTrust Park. He has taken ground balls at second and third base, as well as putting in some work in the outfield.

"He is probably in better condition than he has been in his whole life after all of that," Snitker said. "That is all he has been doing, is working out and training. He probably feels strong and really good."

Rodriguez can provide the Braves with another bat off the bench or fill in as a starter if needed. Last season, he hit .270 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs for the Pirates. His .349 on-base percentage was the highest of his nine-year career.

Rodriguez signed a two-year contract with the Braves as a free agent in November. He has experience playing all over the diamond and could spell starters like Freddie Freeman, Brandon Phillips or Matt Adams.

"He is multi-faceted, and one of the reasons that he was attractive to us in the winter, when we got him, was because of his versatility," Snitker said.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Atlanta Braves, Sean Rodriguez