Shortstop Daniel Castro and outfielder Todd Cunningham had two of the top five plays Friday on ESPN SportsCenter’s Plays of the Day, and on Saturday both Braves rookies were optioned back to Triple-A.
The Braves needed to open roster spots for veteran outfielders Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher after getting both from Cleveland in Friday’s trade for Chris Johnson. Also, shortstop Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup after missing six games with a bone bruise on the thumb of his throwing hand.
The defensively sound Cunningham has had several previous call-ups with the Braves, but this was the first time that Castro had a chance to show what he could do. He made six consecutive starts at shortstop and impressed team officials.
“I tell you what, and I told (Castro) this when I talked to him about sitting him down,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I said, you’re going to be a good player in the major leagues. He did a nice job at short, can handle the bat. Probably his best position is maybe second (base). But this guy can help us.
“We don’t want him to come back too soon because that would mean something bad happened to one of our infielders, but when this guy comes back, you feel real comfortable he can help you win major league games.”