'Too careful' Simmons gets extra day of recovery
ATLANTA -- Andrelton Simmons was prepared to return to the Braves' starting lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Nationals. But manager Fredi Gonzalez opted to give his shortstop one more day to recover from the sore right wrist he incurred after indecisively nearing the plate while thinking about the new collision rule in Wednesday night's 4-3 win over the Mets.
"We're going to let him get a good workout today and see how he feels," Gonzalez said. "If he [feels good], he'll be in there tomorrow. I'm 95 percent sure that he'll be fine. But I also want to make sure he is fine. I don't want something small to turn into something big, especially dealing with hands, fingers and [the] wrist."
Simmons' wrist did not provide him any discomfort when he took some swings in the batting cage on Friday afternoon. When he didn't play on Thursday, he indicated the wrist bothered him more when he swung than when he threw a baseball.
"I could have played [on Thursday], but I wouldn't have been very effective," Simmons said. "I feel fine today, but I'm guessing they're just wanting to be cautious."
Simmons jammed his right wrist when he tripped over plate umpire Mark Ripperger's foot after attempting to avoid a collision with Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud during Wednesday's fifth inning. The Braves shortstop was attempting to score on Chris Johnson's sharp grounder to shortstop Ruben Tejada.
Tejada's throw easily beat Simmons, who admits that he was hesitant about colliding with d'Arnaud because of his unfamiliarity with the new collision rule, which was put in place to protect catchers from those instances when a runner goes out of his way to create a violent collision.
Catchers have to provide baserunners a path to the plate before they have secured the ball.
"There's a misinterpretation out there that there's no collision," Gonzalez said. "You can still collide. I wouldn't say a violent collision. You can still have a collision at the plate. That hasn't changed as long as the catcher has the ball."
While sliding was an option, the Braves have told Simmons his best move would have been to get in a rundown long enough to allow Johnson to advance to second base and Freddie Freeman to first base.
"I didn't want to make it seem like I was trying to hurt [d'Arnaud]," Simmons said. "I slowed down, and being too careful got me more banged up."