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Flowers to begin rehab assignment this week

Catcher strained left oblique in first at-bat on Opening Day
Special to MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Braves catcher Tyler Flowers will start his rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said before Saturday's game against the Mets at SunTrust Park.

Flowers strained his left oblique during his first at-bat on Opening Day and has been on the disabled list since March 30.

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ATLANTA -- Braves catcher Tyler Flowers will start his rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said before Saturday's game against the Mets at SunTrust Park.

Flowers strained his left oblique during his first at-bat on Opening Day and has been on the disabled list since March 30.

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The plan is for Flowers to catch Monday through Wednesday on the road and get another start in Gwinnett on Friday. He'll work his way up to playing full games.

"There's no timetable, really. We'll just see how he feels and reacts, because he hadn't had a game to work an at-bat or taking a pitch or anything like that," Snitker said. "So as he does all that, we'll see how he feels."

Video: NYM@ATL: Braves TV on Flowers' rehab assignment

In Flowers' absence, veteran Kurt Suzuki has gotten the bulk of the starts behind the plate and entered Saturday batting .311 with a .400 on-base percentage and a .978 OPS. He has provided some power with three home runs and nine RBIs.

"He's a tough out," Snitker said.

Braves DFA Ravin, recall Socolovich
Atlanta designated right-hander Josh Ravin for assignment on Saturday and selected the contract of another right-hander, Miguel Socolovich, who will join the Braves for his second stint this season. The 31-year-old Socolovich pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts against the Phillies on March 31.

"It wasn't performance, it's just the needs is all that one was right there," Snitker said of the move. "… You hate doing that, but you gotta survive today, too, somehow. So a lot of those guys, kind of stay away from a few of them. Guys are pretty much all good to go today, but we've got another week left before we get an off-day."

Sanchez improving, Gohara to start, Ramirez shut down
Right-hander Anibal Sanchez could return sooner than originally expected after being placed on the DL on Wednesday with a right hamstring strain he sustained while running in the outfield.

"He's doing a lot better than we thought he would, and he's gonna be quicker than what originally was anticipated," said Snitker, adding that Sanchez could possibly join the team on its upcoming road trip to work with trainers.

Atlanta signed Sanchez to a Minor League deal in mid-March, and the 34-year-old appeared in three games (two starts) since being called up, going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA. He gave up two runs on 11 hits with 14 strikeouts and six walks over 14 innings.

Video: ATL@CHC: Sanchez K's Baez to end the 4th inning

Luiz Gohara will travel to Pawtucket to pitch for Gwinnett on Sunday. Snitker said he'll throw 65 to 70 pitches and get another start on Friday. The 21-year-old lefty went on the DL with a left ankle sprain on March 29 (retroactive to March 26) and began his rehab assignment in Double-A on Tuesday.

Snitker said reliever Jose Ramirez will not throw for the next two weeks. The Braves placed the right-hander on the DL on Wednesday with right shoulder tightness. The 28-year-old struggled over his seven appearances, posting a 17.05 ERA in his 6 1/3 innings.

Aimee Sachs is a contributor to MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Atlanta Braves, Tyler Flowers