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Braves 2B Pastornicky out for season after tearing up knee

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The Canadian Press
8/16/2013 5:47:59 PM
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ATLANTA -- Only days after being told he would be the Braves' starting second baseman for at least two weeks, Tyler Pastornicky's season has ended.

The Braves announced Friday Pastornicky will have surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Pastornicky injured the knee in a collision with right fielder Jason Heyward on Wednesday night, one day after Atlanta placed second baseman Dan Uggla on the 15-day disabled list so he can have corrective eye surgery.

"Not the best timing in the world," Pastornicky said Friday as he tried to smile while leaning on crutches at his locker.

Pastornicky said he has been told he should return from Monday's surgery for the start of spring training.

The Braves are left with a crisis at second base.

Paul Janish, hitting only .083 in 27 games, will make his first start of the season at second base in Friday night's game against Washington. Janish, whose primary position is shortstop, hasn't started at second base since 2011 with the Reds. He has only eight career starts at second base.

Infielder Phil Gosselin was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett and was with the team for Friday night's game.

When Uggla was scheduled for the Lasik eye surgery, manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team was confident the veteran second baseman would be ready to play in two weeks. If the Braves fear Uggla's recovery could take longer or his adjustment to the surgery could carry into the post-season, general manager Frank Wren might attempt to acquire help at the position before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.

"I'm almost positive Frank is out there looking through the waiver wire," Gonzalez said.

Pastornicky and Heyward collided as both attempted to catch a pop fly. Each player called for the ball. Pastornicky said he couldn't hear Heyward because of the crowd and the fact he also was calling for the ball.

"Jason just kind of clipped him, but (Pastornicky's) foot was planted when he got spun a little bit," Gonzalez said.

Pastornicky said both players called for the ball.

"We both got to the ball at the same time," Pastornicky said. "Just one of those freak plays."

Gonzalez said Pastornicky, who was making only his fourth start at second base, had not spent enough time at the position to become familiar with Heyward's range in right field, including his ability to run in for shallow fly balls.

Gosselin, 24, was hitting .277 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 47 games at Gwinnett. Gosselin, a 2010 fifth-round draft pick, began the season at Double-A Mississippi and was promoted to Gwinnett on June 23.

Gosselin said he was told Friday morning he would be called up for his debut in the majors.

"It's a great feeling, but it's almost surreal," Gosselin said.

Gosselin said second base has been his primary position this season. He also has played at third base and in the outfield.

Tyler Pastornicky (Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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