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SIMMONS IS OUT FOR HAND FRACTURE
Thu, 12 Jul 2012 03:08 AM EDT

Atlanta Braves rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons will miss at least a month with a broken right little finger.

Simmons hurt his finger on a head-1st slide in Sunday’s game at Philadelphia.

The Braves on Monday said Simmons’ hand will be in a cast for 4 weeks. His standing will be updated after the cast is removed.

The injury was confirmed when Simmons was examined by team physician Gary Lourie. Simmons was placed on the 15-day DL.

Hand injuries are tough, and can take a great deal of time to return from. A baseball player’s hands are vital to so many sides of his game, particularly for a shortstop, which is needed to make many tricky and correct throws. While the cast will be on for almost a month, it may take another month to restrengthen the wrist and hand and return to full speed. That hopeful assessment would put Simmons’ return date around the early to middle part of September. NFL odds

Simmons, 22 years old, began the year in the minor leagues. Another rookie, Tyler Pastornicky, opened the season as the starting shortstop and might be recalled to replace Simmons.

GM Frank Wren asserted he talked with executive Fredi Gonzalez on Monday about the team’s options at shortstop. He said the team likely will generate a list move on Thursday.

“Fredi and I spoke this afternoon and we’ve started the process by talking with our scouts and will continue dialogues with our minor league staff over the next few days to ascertain their thoughts on who would be the best fit for our club,” Wren claimed.

The Braves return from the All-Star break to open a home series against the N.Y Mets last Friday night. Atlanta is 4 games behind 1st-place Washington in the NL East.

Simmons was called up on June 1 and is hitting .294 with 3 homers and 15 RBIs in 33 games. He was named the National League rookie of the month for June.

Tyler Pastornicky, 22, hit .248 with one homer and 12 RBIs in 45 games with the Atlanta Braves. His 7 errors helped convince the team to make the change to Simmons on June 1.

Since his demotion to AAA Gwinnett, Pastornicky has 5 errors in 36 games. He is hitting .264 with one homer and 20 RBIs.

Pastornicky was known as the more polished hitter but Simmons was seen as the superior fielder when the 2 competed for the beginning job in spring training. Simmons’ range and robust arm have earned compliments in his first 2 months in the majors. His strong hitting has been a shock.

The Atlanta Braves want Pastornicky to work at 2nd base and in the outfield in the minors to grow his potential to earn a roster spot as a utility player. That plan might be put on hold if he is recalled to take over at shortstop.

The Braves also have vet shortstop Jack Wilson, who has played in a backup role, on their registry.


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