SAN FRANCISCO -- Braves manager Bobby Cox has told his outfielders that he isn't committed to utilizing any strict platoons and he proved this Saturday night, when he opted to put Matt Diaz in left field to oppose Giants right-handed starter Todd Wellemeyer.
"I told them everybody is going to play," Cox said.
Entering the season, there was reason to believe Cox would utilize the switch-hitting Melky Cabrera in left field when the opposing team was starting a right-handed pitcher. While this might be the arrangement that is utilized most of the time, it appears that Diaz's time in left field won't be limited to the games when a left-hander is serving as the opposition.
After playing the entirety of Friday's 13-inning loss, Cabrera was likely in line to benefit from a chance to rest. In addition, while recording just two hits in his first 18 at-bats, the former Yankee has seemingly opened the door for more playing time to be provided to Diaz, who batted a career-best .313 last year.
With Cabrera out of the lineup Saturday, center fielder Nate McLouth was placed back in the leadoff role that he lost when he struggled during Spring Training.