The Braves activated backup catcher Gerald Laird from the disabled list Sunday, and optioned Todd Cunningham back to Triple-A Gwinnett. Laird is grateful just to be feeling good again. He was out for two weeks recovering from a kidney stone.
“I don’t wish that pain on anybody,” Laird said. “…I’m getting it analyzed to see what caused it so hopefully I can prevent those again. Whatever they say it is I’m willing to give that up to never get one of those again.”
After failing to pass the kidney stone naturally for three or four days, he had a 40-minute surgical procedure July 31 to have it removed. Otherwise Laird said, he might have had to wait 7 to 10 days, still not passed it and missed three or four weeks total.
As it was, he was ready to play after a 15-day stint on the disabled list. Laird was eligible to come off Saturday but decided to take one more day to get some at-bats with Triple-A Gwinnett. He was 0-for-6 in two games of a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
“I just wanted to make sure everything was good after the procedure and taking the stint out,” Laird said. “There’s no lingering soreness. I felt good swinging…I went down there to see some pitches. I wanted to work the count and see some offspeed pitches. I was able to do that. I feel like when the time comes I’m ready to go.”
It just so happens Laird was ailing throughout the Braves’ 14-game win streak, which ended with Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to the Marlins.
“It’s one of those things where baseball players are superstitious, I was like ‘I don’t even know if I want to come back until they lose,’” Laird said. “I told (Jordan) Schafer that, then he came back and he ruined the streak. I’m a good teammate I took an extra day and got some more at-bats.”
Schafer, who was activated from the DL on Saturday, smiled from the next locker over at Laird’s comment.
Schafer was back in Braves lineup Sunday for the first time after 32 games out recovering from a stress fracture in his right ankle. He was playing center field and batting eighth.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.