DENVER -- In response to the unfortunate incident that left Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with a significant knee injury on Thursday, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez will not stop his pitchers from shagging fly balls during batting practice.
But earlier this week, before Rivera tore his right anterior cruciate while shagging fly balls, Gonzalez stopped his players from continuing the ritual of throwing a Frisbee around the outfield approximately an hour before the start of batting practice.
"If you watch our BP, watch [Craig] Kimbrel and [Jonny] Venters shag," Gonzalez said. "That's how they get their running in. But that Frisbee, that's out of the question. I solved that a couple days ago. It's not because it's bad. But if something happens, I don't want to answer the questions."
John Smoltz and Greg Maddux are among the many pitchers who have used shagging fly balls during batting practice as a conditioning drill. While there has always been a risk of injury, the practice is more controlled than the Frisbee throwing that included more than 10 players on many afternoons.
"They're having fun and running around," Gonzalez said. "But I don't want [Braves general manager Frank Wren] saying, 'How come Venters blew out a hamstring chasing a Frisbee around?"