In Kurt Suzuki’s words, if nothing is broken and he’s not on the disabled list, he’s available to play.
Suzuki took a pitch off the inner elbow in the eighth inning of the Braves’ 6-1 win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, forcing him out of the game. His X-rays and CT scan results came back negative for a fracture.
The Braves announced Suzuki’s status as day to day with a left triceps bruise. It was the best possible development. The Braves don’t have much catching depth in the upper parts of the system, and the waiver wire isn’t flush with options.
Suzuki will have a couple of days off, at minimum. The Braves promoted catcher Chris Stewart from Triple-A Gwinnett as insurance. The 38-year-old appeared in five games earlier in the season when Tyler Flowers was sidelined.
“It was hard to tell,” Suzuki said when asked if he thought a fracture occurred. “It was pretty solid. Numbness in the fingers and stuff. I’ve never been hit on the inside part of my elbow before, so that was a little different.”
Suzuki was feeling fine Wednesday afternoon. He had gotten little sleep, stressed because his elbow had gotten worse. It grew stiffer and tighter after the fact.
He’s been a hit-by-pitch magnet since joining the Braves, getting plunked 24 times across the past two seasons despite splitting catching duties with Flowers. Since 2014, Suzuki has been hit by 45 pitches.
The veteran has slashed .261/.325/.426 with nine homers and 39 RBIs across 83 games. He had hit .357 with a home run across his past eight games.
“He feels really good,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We brought (Stewart) up just in case. He’ll be down for a couple days anyway. They do so much now in training room, so many things they can do to get the swelling out and get them back out there.”
Suzuki believes he should be available sometime when the Braves are in Miami, a four-game set beginning Thursday. If needed, he’s comfortable pinch-hitting. Snitker said if Suzuki gets loose without complications, he wouldn’t hesitate to let him hit.
“If I had to (swing) today I could,” Suzuki said. “It’s one of those things where if it’s just bruised, you just have to figure out a way to get through it. Emergency situations I could come in and do it. Give it a day or two, see how it feels.”
It’s a remarkable break for the Braves who’ve received plenty this season. Anibal Sanchez’s sudden drop turned hamstring strain, Freddie Freeman getting hit by a pitch in the wrist, Ronald Acuna’s tumble in Boston or intentional hit from Jose Urena - the Braves have come out of each with best possible scenarios.