Hot-hitting Constanza earns another callup

Hot-hitting Constanza earns another callup

MIAMI -- Instead of using a right-handed hitter to fill the roster spot vacated by an injured Matt Diaz, the Braves instead opted to promote Jose Constanza with the hope that he will feed off the success he has recently had with Triple-A Gwinnett.

After carrying an extra pitcher during the final three games of this past weekend's series against the Nationals, the Braves recalled Constanza on Monday and optioned right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro to Gwinnett.

"He's swinging it really well," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Constanza. "He gives us a chance to defend if we want to late in the game, and he could pinch-run off the bench. I think he's earned the chance."

Constanza batted .355 (49-for-138) for Triple-A Gwinnett since being sent back to the Minors on June 10. The speedy outfielder's 22-game hitting streak was snapped when he went hitless in two at-bats during a rain-shortened game on Friday night.

Because they had played two extra-inning games and a doubleheader within a four-day span, the Braves opted to activate left-handed reliever Jonny Venters from the disabled list when Diaz was placed on the DL with a right thumb ailment on Saturday.