Fredi keeps extra pitcher, plans another move

Fredi keeps extra pitcher, plans another move

Fredi keeps extra pitcher, plans another move
WASHINGTON -- Having played two extra-inning games and a doubleheader over the previous four days, the Braves opted to continue carrying an extra pitcher for Sunday afternoon's 9-2 loss to the Nationals.

But they were planning to add a position player and remove a pitcher from their active roster before beginning a three-game series against the Marlins on Monday.

"We'll see how we come out of [Sunday's game] and then probably go back to the normal allotment," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said prior to the game.

Atlanta taxed its bullpen a bit in the series finale against the Nationals, when Jair Jurrjens was chased after 2 1/3 innings. Luis Avilan chipped in 2 2/3 innings, before giving way to Anthony Varvaro for an inning and Jonny Venters for two.

The preference would be to add a right-handed position player to fill the void created when outfielder Matt Diaz was placed on the disabled list on Saturday with a right thumb ailment. But with limited options, the Braves might simply promote left-handed-hitting outfielder Jose Constanza, who is already on the 40-man roster.

Constanza has provided value while on the Atlanta roster, and the speedy outfielder began the day batting .355 (49-for-138) for Triple-A Gwinnett since the start of June. His 22-game hitting streak was snapped when he went hitless in two at-bats during a rain-shortened game on Friday night.

Right-handed-hitting first baseman Ernesto Mejia has enjoyed some success while batting .307 with 21 home runs and a .981 OPS for Gwinnett this year. But he was not on the 40-man roster, and more important, the Braves would rather add an outfielder.

The Nationals recently designated both left-handed-hitting outfielder Rick Ankiel and right-handed-hitting outfielder Xavier Nady for assignment. Of the two, the Braves would be more interested in Ankiel, whom they employed for 47 games in 2010.