Braves place INF Pablo Sandoval on restricted list

Atlanta Braves' Pablo Sandoval watches his single during the second inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Braves' Pablo Sandoval watches his single during the second inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Credit: AP

The Braves placed infielder Pablo Sandoval on the restricted list Tuesday while he deals with a personal matter. Manager Brian Snitker expects that Sandoval will rejoin the team within three days.

“The ‘restricted list’ isn’t a good term for where we had to house him because he has a personal matter he’s tending to,” Snitker said. “When you say ‘restricted list,’ you think the worst. But that’s just where they house those guys. They have to put them somewhere, so we can bring somebody up. I think that term should be altered. All of a sudden, you’re thinking something bad about the player. There’s nothing bad, nothing wrong. He just has a personal issue to take care of right now.”

As Snitker said, it’s a procedural move so the Braves aren’t operating shorthanded. They recalled right-hander Jacob Webb to fill Sandoval’s spot. Webb, who owns a 5.29 ERA in 17 games, has pitched in only one major-league game since May 22.

When Sandoval returns, he’ll try to recapture his early-season success in the second half. He began the campaign as a pinch-hitting extraordinaire, giving the Braves pop off the bench they so desperately needed while becoming a fan favorite. Sandoval, 34, seemed to revive his career in the perfect role.

But the three-time world champ has cooled off. Since Sandoval recorded three hits in the Braves’ win over the Red Sox on May 25, he’s 1-for-22 (.045) with six strikeouts and four walks. Sandoval doesn’t offer anything in the field, so all his value comes from his pinch-hit appearances. As the Braves continue tweaking their roster trying to find a winning mix, it certainly would help if Sandoval rediscovered his magic.