Phil Gosselin made an impression on the Braves.
The infielder commanded notice - first during a late-season call-up last year, then in spring training this year and finally during an impressive start to the minor-league season.
The Braves recalled Gosselin from Triple-A Gwinnett Saturday. Expect him to be around for a while.
“He has had a hell of a year,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said before the Braves took on the Padres Saturday. “Not only during the season but he carried it on from spring training. He’s had a terrific year. I get a guy who can help me win a major league game and why not reward a guy who is doing a great job in Triple-A. And I will play him. I will get him in a game some place.”
The Braves optioned Tyler Pastornicky to Triple-A Gwinnett Saturday in the corresponding move.
Gosselin was called up to the majors for one day last week to take the roster spot of Dan Uggla. The veteran was suspended for one game the day before the All-Star break. Per rules, the Braves had to wait 10 days to recall Gosselin after he was sent back when Uggla was activated before being released.
In 96 games at Gwinnett, Gosselin hit .344 with 31 RBIs and five home runs. At the time of his promotion, he led the International League in hits (130) and was tied for second in doubles (29). He led the G-Braves in hits, doubles, average, triples (five), runs (58) and total bases (184).
“Confidence,” Gosselin said for the reason for his success. “I came up here last year and got a small taste of it. Big league spring training went really good this year and I was able to carry that into the season.
“Everybody once you get called up never wants to go down because this is the goal. When you go down you work that much harder to get back up here.”
Gosselin, 25, was named to the Triple-A All-Star Game this season.
Gosselin was in Syracuse with the G-Braves Friday night when he was notified of his promotion. He caught a flight to Atlanta Saturday and arrived in time to move into his major-league locker hours before game time.
Gonzalez said he didn’t expect the roster move to be temporary. He sees Gosselin being able to play, in order, second, third, shortstop and left field. He gives the manager the in-game flexibility that was sorely absent with Uggla on the roster.
“He is a very nice National League player,” Gonzalez said. “It’s good piece to have on the bench. A guy you can double switch with. He gives you good at-bats.”
Gosselin appeared in four games with the Braves in August last season and went 2-for-6.