Utilizing caution, club keeps Gonzalez out

Utilizing caution, club keeps Gonzalez out

Utilizing caution, club keeps Gonzalez out
ATLANTA -- With his competitive nature providing some influence, Alex Gonzalez reported to Turner Field on Wednesday afternoon feeling like his injured right calf was strong enough for him to play.

But using some reason and hope that there might be a need for him in the coming weeks, the Braves entered their most important game of the year to date without their veteran shortstop.

The Braves utilized Jack Wilson as their starting shortstop for Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Phillies at Turner Field. Atlanta entered the game tied with St. Louis atop the National League Wild Card race.

Gonzalez exited Tuesday night's game against the Phillies when his right calf tightened just before he was due up in the second inning. The same calf had caused him to miss four games before returning to the lineup Monday. But the tightness he is now feeling is in a little different spot than it was last week.

"That thing could get worse than it even is," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Right now, we don't know if it's a spasm or a strain. I wouldn't feel comfortable running him out there."

The Braves will continue to evaluate Gonzalez's condition if necessary over the next few days to determine when he might be able to play again, if they qualify for the postseason. But it appears he will likely be sidelined at least until the early portion of next week.

With Wilson standing as the only healthy shortstop on its roster, Atlanta brought Tyler Pastornicky to the Major League level for the first time Wednesday. Pastornicky has spent the past couple of weeks working out at the club's Spring Training complex.

"This was the best phone call I've ever gotten," Pastornicky said. "I'm excited to be here and a part of it."

Pastornicky hit .314 with 27 stolen bases and a .773 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this season. The 21-year-old shortstop was acquired with Gonzalez in the July 2010 trade that sent shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Blue Jays.