Placed 1B Robert Fick on the 15 day disabled list, retroactive to April 13th. (4/19)
Recalled C Johnny Estrada from AAA Richmond. (4/19)
It must be annoying to lose your starting first baseman like that, especially when he’s hitting .311/.396/.489 on the season. Fick has been something of a pleasant surprise as a hitter, though he’s been about as bad as expected with the glove. He actually somewhat under performed his excellent minor league numbers in Detroit, and there’s no telling what the poisonous atmosphere of that losing environment can do to a player. Playing in Detroit is sort of like carbon monoxide poisoning, only more painful and you’re aware of what is going on.
But the Braves are adequately covered until April 29th when Fick comes off the DL by the occasional adequacy of Matt Franco and the rather inspiring work of Julio Franco, who has undoubtedly stirred the souls of those few over the hill ballplayers not currently employed by the Orioles.
A conspiracy theorist might point out that Fick’s DL stint seems to align perfectly with the sizzling play of Johnny Estrada in the International League. Estrada was scorching the ball to the tune of .392/.426/.608. His promotion gives the Braves 3 catchers on the 25 man roster, and statheads aren’t big fans of carrying 3 catchers. But with Javy Lopez hobbled for a few days, John Schuerholz’ options were decidedly limited. The likely suspects for a call-up are either struggling (Bo Porter, Travis Wilson, Jesse Garcia), not on the 40 man roster (Porter, Wilson, Garcia) or not players who should be sitting on the bench for 2 weeks. (Mike Hessman) Helping out the minor league affiliates by allowing them to keep some of their better players instead of calling them up to the big club to accomplish nothing is a nice gesture by the organization, and it will bear fruit at a latter date.