ATLANTA -- Reliever George Sherrill has spent the last few weeks trying to fight past some inflammation in his left elbow. But with a comfortable lead in the National League Wild Card standings, the club opted to place him on the disabled list in order to have him available for late September and a likely postseason appearance.
"Today's not as important as being ready later," general manager Frank Wren said. "He just needs to rest it and get over it so we can have him in the second half of September and, hopefully, the postseason."
Manager Fredi Gonzalez had been giving Sherrill a few days off between appearances in an attempt to alleviate some of the inflammation, but the discomfort proved to be too much after the lefty pitched one-third of an inning last Friday in New York.
"He came back after a couple of days and said, 'You know, it doesn't feel good,'" Gonzalez said. "Why keep trying to do that when we can give him an opportunity to get him rested and get him well?"
It made sense for the Braves to place Sherrill on the DL thanks to the three off-days they received because of Hurricane Irene and Monday's scheduled off-day. The DL stint is retroactive to Aug. 27, so Sherrill can return to the Braves on Sept. 11.
"It was almost just better to put him on the DL [and] treat him," Gonzalez said. "He's already got five days in."
Diaz gives Fredi another weapon against lefties
ATLANTA -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez knows what it's like to face Atlanta from the opposing dugout when the club has both Eric Hinske and Matt Diaz waiting in the wings.
It's not fun.
"I know from experience. Sitting across the field, it's not a good feeling when you have Hinske from the left side and Matty Diaz from the right side," Gonzalez said. "You don't know who to bring in. You bring in the righty to face Diaz, [and] I could use Hinske to pinch-hit for him."
That option wasn't available for the first five months of the season, since Diaz signed with the Pirates in December. But it returned on Wednesday, when Atlanta reacquired the right-handed hitter from Pittsburgh in exchange for cash and a player to be named.
And it didn't take long for Diaz to find himself in the lineup. Diaz, who arrived in the Turner Field clubhouse shortly after 3:30 p.m. ET, played right field and hit sixth against the Nationals and John Lannan. He entered the game hitting .400 with four doubles lifetime off the left-hander.
"That's why I wanted to make sure he got here today," Gonzalez said. "The numbers show that he can handle Lannan, and historically, he can handle a lot of the left-handers around the league, which is nice to have. We're so left-handed-dominant."
Gonzalez had originally planned on using Jose Constanza -- who has largely been platooning with Jason Heyward in right -- to face Lannan, as the speedy outfielder is hitting .429 off southpaws this season. How Gonzalez plans on balancing playing time against lefties between Constanza and Diaz remains to be seen.
"We're going to use [Diaz], whether it's a matchup like today, for example, when the numbers really are in our favor," Gonzalez said. "Or we'll use him off the bench."
But Gonzalez's options aren't limited to using Diaz strictly off the bench or in a right-field platoon. Diaz could help give Chipper Jones a rest by playing left field when Martin Prado comes in to man third base.
"You could do a lot of different stuff when they throw a lefty," Gonzalez said. "You could do a lot of stuff. Chipper's been swinging the bat against left-handers pretty good. You could do what we did today, [or] you could play him in right field."
Manager Fredi Gonzalez knows who will be called up when the rosters expand on Thursday, but he doesn't want to name names just yet. Right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro is expected to be among the prospects to arrive in the first wave. Gonzalez said that the Braves will gradually call up players instead of all at once because of the Minor League playoffs.
Reliever Peter Moylan, who is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett, is expected to pitch for the second straight night on Wednesday. The right-hander, who has been out since undergoing back surgery on May 17, has allowed two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in his four innings of work with Gwinnett.
Julio Teheran has been named the International League's Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Pitcher for 2011. In addition, outfielder and designated hitter Stefan Gartrell, a 2011 IL All-Star, was named to the postseason All-Star team.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.