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.