ATLANTA -- Martin Prado has provided little reason to believe he'll be ready to play when he's eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Sunday. After taking batting practice Friday afternoon, the Braves second baseman admitted he is still feeling discomfort in his fractured right pinky finger.
"There was just vibration and it stung a little bit," Prado said after swinging at batting practice pitches for the first time since fracturing the pinky while completing a head-first slide on July 30.
With Chipper Jones out for the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL in his left knee, the Braves need to get Prado's bat back in the lineup as soon as possible. In addition, they may opt to ask him to fill Jones' role as their starting third baseman.
While Prado is regarded as the organization's top defensive third baseman, he believes his fractured pinky may affect the long throws that he has to make across the diamond. Thus until he regains all of his strength, he may remain at second base, while either Brooks Conrad or Omar Infante play third base.
"I wish I could tell you how long it's going to take, but I'm doing as much as I can to get back," Prado said.
Prado is also concerned about the possibility that he could return too soon and then alter his swing to lessen the discomfort. He still ranks fifth in the National League with a .315 batting average.
"I don't want to change my mechanics because I'm not going to be the same guy if I change my mechanics," Prado said. "I think the way that I'm progressing that I'm pretty close."