Last night after their big comeback victory over Colorado, the Braves placed Reed Johnson on the 15-Day DL with tendonitis in his left achilles. Johnson pulled up after hustling down the 1st base line on a grounder in Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. It’s a shame because Reed has been playing rather well lately and is probably our top pinch hitter at the moment. His 2013 slash is .263/.328/.368/.696, but is hitting .355(11/31) with a homer and 5 RBI as a pinch hitter. It’s not considered to be too serious, just needs rest and with the Braves having such a large lead in the division they can afford to give it to him. This leaves Justin Upton as the only one of the Braves top 5 outfielders that hasn’t seen the DL this season.
To replace Johnson, the Braves have called up 24-year-old outfielder Todd Cunningham from AAA Gwinnett. Cunningham was a 2nd round pick of the Braves in 2010 and has moved up the farm system ever since. This is Cunningham’s first call up to the show. He is a switch-hitting speedster that has little power. His slash line in Gwinnett in 99 games this season is .279/.357/.352/.709 with 18 steals, but only 18 of his 100 hits have gone for extra bases. I doubt he will see much playing time, but could be used a little as a defensive replacement/pinch runner with so many outfielders hurt right now. Either way, he is a much better option than Jose Constanza in any and all situations. Good luck Todd!