After two games starting in place of second baseman Dan Uggla, who underwent laser eye surgery Friday, Tyler Pastornicky is headed for surgery of his own.
An MRI revealed Pastornicky suffered a torn ACL in his left knee when he collided with Jason Heyward in right field Wednesday night against the Phillies. He will undergo season-ending surgery Monday. The team called up Phil Gosselin from Triple-A Gwinnett as a stopgap.
It’s unfortunate timing for Pastornicky, who was getting a chance to start at second base during Uggla’s 15-day stint on the disabled list. Now the Braves plan to play Paul Janish at second base, with manager Fredi Gonzalez using a pinch hitter for him late in games, as needed.
“It’s tough,” said Pastornicky, 23, in his third call-up of the season. “It’s definitely frustrating. Stick to the grindstone, have the surgery and keep rehabbing and come back and get ’em next year.”
Pastornicky is the sixth Braves player lost to a season-ending operation this year, along with Jonny Venters (elbow), Eric O’Flaherty (elbow), Ramiro Pena (shoulder), Cristhian Martinez (shoulder) and Tim Hudson (ankle).
Dr. Marvin Royster will perform Pastornicky’s surgery. Pastornicky said he was told the recovery will be four to six months, and he can expect to be back during spring training.
The Braves had hoped it was just a sprain, but Pastornicky said he woke in the night Wednesday and couldn’t get out of bed. He has yet to see replays of the collision with Heyward and doesn’t want to watch it.
Both Pastornicky and Heyward said he called for the Jimmy Rollins fly ball when Heyward clipped Pastornicky in the lower leg. Pastornicky finished the inning, but his knee stiffened on his way off the field.
“Freak play,” Pastornicky said. “I think mixed with the crowd, and me saying it, and him saying it and both of us just being locked in on the ball. I had the goal of catching it and he had the goal of catching it, and we got there at the same time.”
Pastornicky, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, is about the same size as Nate McLouth, who suffered a concussion after colliding with Heyward, 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, in Arizona on June 10, 2010.
“He doesn’t lose too many of those matchups,” Pastornicky said with a smile. “… I talked to him yesterday. He apologized, but it’s just one of those things, just a freak baseball play.”
The Braves brought up Gosselin over Tommy La Stella, who has been impressive at Double-A Mississippi, in part because of Gosselin’s 47 games of experience in Triple-A.
“He’s sound defensively,” Gonzalez said. “He can run, swing the bat a little bit.”
The Braves will continue to monitor the waiver wire in search of a backup infielder before Aug. 31.
“I think we’ll look around,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “I don’t know that we’ll find the right guy or make a move in that area because we’re going to get guys healthy, and we still have time. …
“Danny’s going to be back in the next two weeks, and once he comes back, it would be harder to put extra guys on this team. If the right fit happens, we’ll look at it. But short of that, I think we’ll go with what we have.”
Gosselin, 24, was the Braves’ fifth-round pick in 2010 out of the University of Virginia. His claim to fame with the Cavaliers was hitting a home run off Stephen Strasburg, Saturday’s starter for the Nationals, in a 2009 NCAA regional game against San Diego State.
Gosselin hit .277 (46-for-166) with two homers and 11 RBIs for Gwinnett after he was promoted from Double-A on June 23. His first big-league promotion came as a surprise, when Gwinnett manager Randy Ready called him at 10:45 a.m. Friday.
“At first I asked him if he was serious,” Gosselin said. “It was kind of a shock. It’s starting to sink in now, but it didn’t really sink it at first. It’s a great feeling, but it was almost surreal.”
Staff writer David O’Brien contributed to this article.