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Baseball
Braves’ Pena to have season-ending surgery (UPDATED)
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Braves’ Pena to have season-ending surgery (UPDATED)

Braves’ Pena to have season-ending surgery (UPDATED)
Photo Credit: John Bazemore / AP
Ramiro Pena was having a career-best season, batting .278 in 97 at-bats and already with career-highs in extra-base hits (nine) and home runs (three).

Braves’ Pena to have season-ending surgery (UPDATED)

KANSAS CITY — Braves infielder Ramiro Pena considered trying to play with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder rather than have season-ending surgery, but in the end determined it was best not to put off the inevitable.

The versatile veteran will have surgery Thursday on his right (throwing) shoulder, a procedure to be performed by Dr. James Andrews at his Florida clinic. Pena got opinions from at least two doctors before deciding Wednesday to have surgery.

The fact that he doesn’t have a guaranteed contract for next season may have played into the decision, since putting off the surgery until later could make it difficult for him to land a job in 2014.

Pena was placed on the 15-day disabled list last week, after rest didn’t relieve soreness he began to feel after making a pair of diving stops in a game two weeks ago. The Braves brought up Paul Janish from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill his spot, and it’s uncertain if they will look to replace Pena now that they know he’s out for the season.

Janish is as strong or stronger defensively as Pena, but doesn’t provide nearly as much offense as the Braves have gotten this season from the former Yankees infielder.

Pena is having a career-best season, batting .278 in 97 at-bats and already with career-highs in extra-base hits (nine) and home runs (three).

“Every team is going to have injuries,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “The team that can survive those injuries is going to be there at the end. It’s an injury that (eliminates) some versatility, especially in a National League game, off the bench and pinch-hitting. But we have plenty of candidates that you feel comfortable could do that job.”

It’ll be the second surgery he’s had on his throwing shoulder, which was first repaired seven years ago when he was a minor leaguer.

Terdo, Bethancourt to Futures Game: Braves outfield prospect Joey Terdoslavich’s season keeps getting better.

The Triple-A Gwinnett slugger has been selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game next month in New York, along with Braves catching prospect Christian Bethancourt, a repeat selection.

Terdoslavich, 24, hit .323 with 44 extra-base hits (18 homers), 57 RBIs and a .952 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 78 games before Wednesday, after opening a lot of eyes during his second major league spring training.

“He can swing it,” Gonzalez said. “The year before when he went to spring training, everybody was (unimpressed). This spring training, he wore it out. And he carried it over to the season.”

Terdoslavich hit just .180 with a .515 OPS in 53 games at Gwinnett in 2012, after skipping Double-A and being moved to third base when the Braves thought he might be the guy to replace Chipper Jones. He was demoted to Double-A Mississippi in June, moved back to first base, and hit .315 with an .852 OPS the rest of the season.

The Braves had him make the transition to outfield this spring, and Terdoslavich has played mostly right field, along with three games in left and eight at first base.

Bethancourt, 21, has hit .263 with nine doubles, four homers and a .667 OPS in his second season in Double-A, after struggling with a .243 average and .556 OPS in an injury-plagued 2011 season when he was one of the youngest players above Class A. The cannon-armed Panamanian will play for the World team at the Futures Game, while Terdoslavich is listed as a first baseman on the U.S. roster.

Etc.: The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener against Arizona is Julio Teheran against his friend and former Braves pitching prospect Randall Delgado (0-1, 4.50 ERA). Delgado was traded to Arizona along with Martin Prado in the January seven-player deal that brought Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta. Delgado spent much of the first half of the season in Triple-A. The Braves expected a sold-out crowd Friday, when Chipper Jones jersey will be retired during a ceremony before the game.

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  • ATHENS – It’s a picture that if anyone actually sells it will make a killing. The four seniors who stayed, with the postgame hoopla of a 42-13 blowout swirling around them, pulled over to have someone capture the moment. No one would have blamed Nick Chubb and Sony Michel for taking the NFL’s money. Running backs live short lives. College running back is a pretty tough way to earn a scholarship. Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy had to consider if another uncertain season was the best move. Because guys who hit NFL quarterbacks have nice houses too. This was one of the moments they thought was more valuable than turning pro. Those four players standing together for a photograph that will probably be on their walls forever. They don’t have senior days in the league. Tonight was the proper end for the Class of 2017 that very much deserve it. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said coach Kirby Smart. “To do something no Georgia team has done before. Win the SEC East and go undefeated in the East.” It hardly seems like it was four years ago when this class walked into Sanford Stadium for the first time. We were more focused on guys like Gurley, Mason, Wilson and Herrera. But it was that night we saw a few glimpses. There was Aaron Davis, playing as a walk-on because, well there wasn’t many options, getting an interception in his first game against Clemson. He had another interception in his last game. Michel was the best running back in his class. He was the speedster from Florida with the cool name. The backfield was loaded then. But Michel was actually the Dawgs second leading receiver that night. This night, he scored three times. And of course, Chubb. Remember this. And this. This kid had a point to make and we took notice. Now Nick Chubb is a soon-to-be Georgia legend (or maybe he already is, but there’s games to go. “He’s won the hearts over of a fan base that will never leave,” said coach Kirby Smart. “What he’s given to this place through injury and toughness, it’s just tremendous.” It cannot be overstated for Chubb has accomplished here. There is only one back that’s had more yards and more touchdowns than this kid from Cedartown. He’s the clear second best to Herschel Walker and that’s about all anybody can be. “Man you hope that you have many more as good as (Chubb),” said Smart. “But you know these guys don’t come around very often.” With the talent in this backfield, Chubb hasn’t been the workhorse that he had to be when Todd Gurley got busted four years ago. Remember his first starter? 38 carries. That’s still his career high. A week later it was 30 more against Arkansas. Whatever has been needed, Chubb has delivered. With no flash. No style. Just stud. Yeah, Nick probably could be a Heisman contender but that’s not what’s best for this team. And frankly Chubb running the ball for free 30 times a night is not what’s best for him either. So instead he and his buddy Sony split the load (with another freshman chipping in) and everybody is a star “They complement each other so well and they get along so well,” said Smart. “It will be a long time before you coach a pair like that again.” I don’t know any of these players personally. They are college kids and I’m a guy that sticks a microphone in their face. But I don’t think I’ve ever rooted harder for a player on any team that I have for Nick Chubb. I thought his career was over that afternoon in Knoxville three years ago. It was bad. Last year, I thought the old Chubb was never coming back. Knee injuries are no joke. But there’s never been any complaining. Any showboating. Anything that would take attention away from everyone in Red and Black. Tonight, Chubb got his reward. His best performance of the season (151 rushing yards) and two more TDs. Despite the reduced workload, Chubb is over 1,000 yards for the year. The only season he didn’t do, his knee nearly blew up. There’s only one other UGA back that can say that and he goes by one name. It’s a fitting send off for this entire senior class, but man am I going miss watching No. 27 in red. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said Smart. “It’s their leadership that’s led us to this point.” A lot has happened in this football program since that muggy September night against Clemson four years ago. A couple of head coaches, a bunch of coordinators, some bad losses and lots of doubt. Tonight, there is little doubt that this Georgia team is very, very good and can do some special things. So hopefully for these 21 and 22 year old, there will be more pictures to put on their walls with some nice trophies next to them. But at least tonight, they have the moment they have rightfully earned.  
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