Ankiel's defense will affect playing time
Braves won't use strict platoon with Cabrera in center field
ATLANTA -- It's no secret that Rick Ankiel has struggled against left-handed pitchers. But because Ankiel is a better defender than Melky Cabrera, Braves manager Bobby Cox won't necessarily use a strict platoon in center field.
Ankiel was in Monday night's lineup against Mets left-hander Johan Santana, who has had better success against right-handed hitters this season. Left-handed hitters entered the day batting .275 (42-for-153) against the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Right-handed hitters had hit .236 (95-for-402) against him.
"Your job is to go out there and do the best that you can, so righty or lefty it doesn't matter," Ankiel said. "You go out there with a plan and try to execute."
Ankiel, who was acquired with Kyle Farnsworth on Saturday in a five-player trade with the Royals, said he is looking forward to spending the next couple of months playing for the Braves, a team that he deemed his favorite while growing up watching them on TBS.
During the five years that have passed since he converted to an outfielder, Ankiel said he hasn't had the desire to pitch. Nor does he allow himself to reminisce much about the six walks and five wild pitches that he was charged with while pitching just 2 2/3 innings for the Cardinals in Game 1 of the 2000 National League Division Series against the Braves.
"It's in the past," Ankiel said. "I talked about that all then, and I'm now here in the present."
O'Flaherty recovering from bout with mono
ATLANTA -- When Eric O'Flaherty returned to Turner Field on Monday, he was looking a little pale and lighter than usual. At the same time, the Braves' left-handed reliever was ready to reveal that his absence over the past couple of weeks has been a result of mononucleosis.
Following the federal health care law that protects the privacy of employees, the Braves abided with O'Flaherty's request to reveal only that he was dealing with a viral infection. The club's doctors determined that he had mono during the All-Star break.
"I feel 100 percent now, so hopefully I can get back pretty quick," said O'Flaherty, who has regained about 10 of the 15 pounds that he lost.
O'Flaherty hopes to be cleared to begin throwing off the mound again within the next couple of days. But before pushing him too hard, the Braves will have to continue to monitor his liver and other organs that were affected after he began feeling the effects of mono while pitching against the Mets on July 9.
"They still want to take it slow and be careful," O'Flaherty said. "Obviously I'm going to do what the team says."
O'Flaherty, who has posted a 2.30 ERA in 41 appearances this year, will likely need about two weeks once he is cleared to begin throwing side sessions again. When he proves that he is strong, the club will likely ask him to appear in two or three Minor League rehab games.
"I feel like I could pitch now," O'Flaherty said.
Braves request outright waivers on Resop
ATLANTA -- Chris Resop proved to be one of the International League's top pitchers through the early portion of this season. But it doesn't appear that the Braves are planning to put him back on their Major League pitching staff again this season.
The Braves have requested outright waivers on Resop. That provides them the opportunity to remove him from their 40-man roster and send him back to a Minor League roster if he isn't claimed off waivers by another Major League club.
But because he had been outrighted previously in his career, Resop would have the option to become a free agent instead of returning to the Minors.
Resop strained his left oblique while making his only Major League appearance for Atlanta on June 15. Currently on a Minor League rehab assignment, he allowed four earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings while pitching against Toledo for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday.
Resop has gone 6-3 with a 2.09 ERA and limited opponents to a .187 batting average in 15 starts (two rehab outings included) for Gwinnett this year.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.