The Braves haven’t set a return date for third baseman Johan Camargo, though they’re satisfied with his rehab progress.
Camargo strained his left oblique March 13 and was placed on the disabled list March 26.
The utilityman was expected back as early as April 6 in Colorado. But Ryan Flaherty’s strong play in his absence bought the Braves more patience.
Flaherty, 31, has slashed .366/.458/.463 while providing steady defense at third. His production made it easier to leave Camargo behind as the Braves embarked on an arctic road trip in Denver, Washington and Chicago.
“He’s fine,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Again, just getting repetitions and game at-bats every day. But he’s good. Physically, he’s fine. We’re not forced to run him up here right now. We’ll probably reassess that as the week goes.”
Perhaps playing into the team’s decision not to promote Camargo is clearing a spot on the 25-man roster. There isn’t a clear player to demote upon his return.
The Braves gave outfielder Peter Bourjos a $1 million major-league deal March 26. Outfielder Lane Adams is out of options. Flaherty has played too well to be demoted, and Charlie Culberson’s versatility makes him unlikely to be relegated to the minors. Preston Tucker has an option remaining, but has played his way into a regular role.
Camargo played a pair of rehab games with High-A Florida before joining Triple-A Gwinnett. He’s homered in three of the five games with the Stripers entering Monday night, tied for the International League lead.
He’s hit .148 (4-for-27) with three home runs, four runs scored and three RBIs in seven rehab games. He was scheduled to play shortstop and hit second in Gwinnett’s lineup Monday.
“As long as he’s healthy, just seeing at-bats and getting his timing, that’s a big thing because he missed such a big hunk of spring,” Snitker said. “He’s doing fine.”