10/11/10 6:53 PM ET
Glaus ready to find rhythm as he fills in at third
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
But after watching Brooks Conrad compile eight errors in the previous seven games, the Braves were left with no choice but to utilize Glaus as their starting third baseman in Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Giants on Monday night.
"My legs are fine," Glaus said. "They've been healthy for six or seven weeks. I'm not concerned about being able to make all of the plays. It's just about getting into the rhythm of the game."
It marked the first time since Oct. 2, 2009, that Glaus started a Major League game at third base. But the 34-year-old veteran, who was a shortstop during his collegiate days at UCLA, did reintroduce himself to the position in Game 2 on Friday night, when he was inserted as a 10th-inning defensive replacement in time to begin a game-saving double play.
Before spending the first 4 1/2 months of this season as the Braves' starting first baseman, Glaus had primarily positioned himself at the other corner infield position. He has made 1,307 regular-season starts as a third baseman.
"I've played there a long time," Glaus said. "Once you kind of get back into the rhythm of the game and that, it should all be the same."
With Conrad playing himself out of the lineup with Sunday's three-error performance, the Braves moved Omar Infante from third base back to second, which he had handled for most of the regular season's final two months.
"Everybody feels bad for Brooksy," Glaus said. "I wouldn't wish a day like that upon anybody. But he handled it with the professionalism that he's carried all year long. We're behind him and we've got his back."
Diaz in two-hole as Heyward dropped to sixth
ATLANTA -- With Braves manager Bobby Cox deciding to jumble his lineup for Monday's Game 4 of the National League Division Series, it wasn't surprising that he opted to drop Jason Heyward to the sixth spot.
Heyward, who struck out seven times while going hitless in the first three games of this NLDS, was replaced in the second spot of the lineup by Matt Diaz. With the Giants sending rookie southpaw Madison Bumgarner to the mound, Cox was hoping that Diaz would rekindle the success he's had most of his career against left-handers.
"Maybe Jason can drive somebody in from down there as well," Cox said.
It marked the first time Heyward didn't bat in one of the first four spots of the lineup since June 26, which was the last day he played before a left thumb injury sidelined him during the two weeks leading up to the All-Star Game.
Heyward entered Monday with just seven hits and 18 strikeouts in 54 at-bats since Sept. 21. The 21-year-old rookie outfielder flirted with a .400 on-base percentage before it dropped from .404 to .393 during the final 16 games of the regular season.
Members of the Braves' coaching staff have said they have been given no reason to believe Heyward is bothered by the thumb again or any other physical ailment. In the 29 games leading up to his slump, he hit .398 with six homers and a 1.157 OPS.
Braves could have Jurrjens for next round
ATLANTA -- If the Braves advance to the National League Championship Series, it appears that Jair Jurrjens will be healthy enough to rejoin their starting rotation.
Jurrjens completed a 60-pitch six-inning effort pain-free in an instructional league game played in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Monday afternoon. The 24-year-old right-hander has been bothered by right knee discomfort since Sept. 17. An MRI exam revealed that he has a small meniscus tear.
"Everything went well," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "He threw well, fielded his position and covered first base. He didn't have any problems."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.