MIAMI -- Instead of using a right-handed hitter to fill the roster spot vacated by an injured Matt Diaz, the Braves instead opted to promote Jose Constanza with the hope that he will feed off the success he has recently had with Triple-A Gwinnett.
After carrying an extra pitcher during the final three games of this past weekend's series against the Nationals, the Braves recalled Constanza on Monday and optioned right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro to Gwinnett.
"He's swinging it really well," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Constanza. "He gives us a chance to defend if we want to late in the game, and he could pinch-run off the bench. I think he's earned the chance."
Constanza batted .355 (49-for-138) for Triple-A Gwinnett since being sent back to the Minors on June 10. The speedy outfielder's 22-game hitting streak was snapped when he went hitless in two at-bats during a rain-shortened game on Friday night.
Because they had played two extra-inning games and a doubleheader within a four-day span, the Braves opted to activate left-handed reliever Jonny Venters from the disabled list when Diaz was placed on the DL with a right thumb ailment on Saturday.
Jurrjens remains in Braves' rotation for now
MIAMI -- Jair Jurrjens said he was hoping to remain in the starting rotation after enduring a second consecutive ugly start on Sunday against the Nationals. If the Braves do not add another starting pitcher within the next few days, he might get his wish.
When asked if Jurrjens would remain in the starting rotation on Monday, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he is currently planning to give the struggling right-hander another start.
But this would almost definitely change if Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster accepts the proposed trade that would send him to Atlanta. The Braves and Cubs have agreed in principle on the deal. But the trade will not be official before Dempster agrees to waive his 10-and-5 veto powers.
Jurrjens endured a two-month demotion to Triple-A Gwinnett and then impressed when he returned to the Majors on June 22 by limiting the Red Sox to one run in 7 2/3 innings. Two more decent starts would follow. But in two starts since the break, he has allowed 14 earned runs and totaled just 5 2/3 innings.
Jurrjens has posted a 7.04 ERA in 10 starts this year, and a 6.50 ERA in 17 starts since pitching in the 2011 All-Star Game.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.