09/01/08 1:32 PM ET
Kotchman off restricted list Monday
First baseman returns after being with ailing mother
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
First baseman Casey Kotchman was activated from the restricted list in the series opener against the Marlins at Dolphin Stadium, 11 days after going on bereavement leave to be with his ailing mother, Susan.
Back from the St. Petersburg/Tampa area in Florida, where his mother was in neurointensive care, Kotchman said she's now "responsive and stable."
"You want to be optimistic, but you know it's in God's hands," said Kotchman, whose father and sister stayed with Susan. "She has another test tomorrow, so we'll find out more.
"She's doing as good as she can be doing. If you would've told me she'd be doing this well about a week ago, I would've been happy with that."
Kotchman and Ruben Gotay, activated off the 15-day disabled list, were the only additions for the Braves on Monday. Tuesday's starter, Charlie Morton, will officially be back with the team that day, as will Jorge Julio, whose contract will be purchased from Triple-A Richmond.
Kotchman, as well as right-handed pitcher Steve Marek, came over to the Braves from the Angels in the July 29 trade that sent Mark Teixeira to Los Angeles. In 20 games since coming to Atlanta, Kotchman is batting .157 with five RBIs. The 25-year-old left-handed hitter was the Braves' starting first baseman in 19 of those games before having to attend to his mother.
Martin Prado has done a nice job filling in and, right now, the Braves are just happy to get Kotchman back and that his mother is doing better.
"I'm happy to be back here," Kotchman said. "I know my mom really wanted to say thank you to Bobby Cox and the whole organization. She can't say it, so I'm saying it for her.
"She loves watching us play."
Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.