Nate McLouth joins Jordan Schafer on DL for Braves

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Atlanta is down its top two center fielders after Nate McLouth was placed on the disabled list Friday due to a lower abdominal strain.

Jordan Schafer was previously placed on the DL on Wednesday because of a chip fracture in his left middle finger.

Taking McLouth’s place on the roster and making his major league debut in center for Atlanta tonight is minor league veteran Jose Constanza.  At 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, he becomes one of the tiniest players on a major league roster, and he has the power to match, as he had collected just seven extra-base hits — two doubles, four triples and one homer — in 333 at-bats for Triple-A Gwinnett this season.  He was hitting .312/.361/.351 with 23 steals in 31 attempts.

As a stopgap, a team could do worse.  Constanza will play pretty good defense and do his best to slap some grounders through the infield.  Still, the Braves have a greater need for an outfielder than ever now, and while Hunter Pence and Ryan Ludwick are supposed to be atop their list, a legitimate center fielder like B.J. Upton or Coco Crisp might do them more good.

 

Blue Jays could move Jaime Garcia to bullpen

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Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.

Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.

Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.