Notes: Aybar suspended indefinitely

Notes: Aybar suspended indefinitely

ATLANTA -- Willy Aybar's suspension was originally supposed to last just three days. But his continued absence has forced the Braves to make this an indefinite suspension.

After speaking with Aybar via the telephone earlier this week, the Braves expected him to be present for Wednesday night's game against the Cubs at Turner Field. When Aybar didn't arrive, Braves general manager John Schuerholz was forced to extend the suspension.

"We expect all of our players to be here," Schuerholz said somewhat sarcastically. "That's not unreasonable. But he's not here. So that's a problem."

Aybar, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list because of a sore right hand, has had a number of problems since being traded from the Dodgers to the Braves on July 30 of last year. But this latest one is becoming a bit troubling.

He originally earned this suspension because he didn't show up at Turner Field for treatment before the games that were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

There's a belief that Aybar is struggling with some non-baseball issues. But because he doesn't keep in close contact with any of his teammates, the club doesn't know exactly what they are dealing with.

"The important part is that we want to get with Willy, talk with him about the circumstances and get it right," Schuerholz said. "That's our goal. That's our mission."

Braves manager Bobby Cox was under the impression that he was going to have a meeting with Aybar on Wednesday. But as batting practice progressed, he continued to look out on the field and realized that the 24-year-old infielder still wasn't present.

Because Aybar is out of Minor League options, the club wouldn't be able to just send him to Triple-A Richmond when he's healthy enough to begin playing. To do so, they'd first have to put him through waivers. But because another team would likely claim him, this doesn't appear to be an option.

The switch-hitting Aybar hasn't been able to hit from the left side of the plate since March 9. He suffered this hand injury while playing in the Dominican Winter League this past offseason.

Hanging tough: As his offensive woes continue, Ryan Langerhans still continues to provide reasons for Cox to keep him in the starting lineup. Without Langerhans' great range, the Braves might not have won Tuesday night's game against the Nationals.

"He probably saved at least two runs, and maybe three," Cox said. "He's a good weapon to have out there."

While hitting just .212 (57-for-269) since the beginning of May last year, Langerhans has been anything but an offensive weapon. Entering Wednesday, he'd recorded just two hits and registered 11 strikeouts in the 25 at-bats he'd collected this season.

Langerhans keeps himself in the lineup because of plays like the one he made during Tuesday night's seventh inning. With two outs and the Braves clinging to a one-run lead, Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young hit a fly ball to the left-field corner that would've scored at least one run, and quite possibly two.

But Langerhans took a few strides and made the disaster-preventing catch. The Braves had him positioned toward the foul line. But credit also goes to the always cerebral Andruw Jones, who just a few pitches earlier had told him to move two more steps closer to the line.

Jones' advice was based on the confidence he has in his own range and the knowledge he gained while watching the early pitches in Young's at-bat against hard-throwing right-handed reliever Rafael Soriano.

"I think if he'd have hit one in the gap, we still would have had the gap covered pretty good too," Langerhans said. "Other guys that I've played alongside with, I've looked over gotten the feeling that we're far apart. When you've got him next to you, you know you can cover that ground."

R-Braves pay respect: Paying respect to the tragic events that struck the Virginia Tech campus on Monday, Triple-A Richmond will wear Virginia Tech hats for their games on Wednesday and Thursday.

Richmond is located a little more than three hours from Blacksburg, Va., which where the Tech campus is located.

DeRo snaps streak: Former Braves infielder Mark DeRosa had fun with many of his former teammates and coaches during Wednesday's batting practice. Then he added to his homecoming enjoyment with a first-inning homer off Kyle Davies.

It was the first homer allowed by a Braves pitcher in a span of 69 innings. The previous homer had come on April 8, when Davies allowed consecutive two-out, second-inning solo shots against the Mets.

Game rescheduled: The Braves announced they have rescheduled last Saturday's game, which was postponed by rain. It will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins on June 5. The first game will be played at 2:35 p.m. ET and the second is scheduled for a 7:35 p.m. start.

All children under the age of 14 will have the opportunity to buy $3 tickets for select seats for the first game of the twin bill. There will be a separate admission for both games.

Coming up: The Braves will conclude their two-game series against the Cubs on Thursday night at 7:35 p.m. ET. They'll send Mark Redman (0-2, 12.96 ERA) to the mound to face Rich Hill (2-0, 0.64 ERA).

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.