Notes: Ailing Cormier placed on DL
Righty nursing strained right triceps; Davies to start Saturday
PHILADELPHIA -- With Lance Cormier headed to the disabled list, Kyle Davies won't have to begin this season in the Minors. Instead, he'll be starting Sunday afternoon's game against the Mets at Turner Field.
Braves manager Bobby Cox made this announcement before Wednesday night's game against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The discomfort Cormier has felt in his right shoulder has lessened over the past few days, but it hasn't reached the point where Cox would feel comfortable placing him on the mound.
Thus, the Braves have placed Cormier on the disabled list with a strained right triceps, retroactive to March 31. He would be eligible for activation on April 15, and the Braves are hopeful that he'll be able to return at that time.
"He's coming along just fine," Cox said of Cormier, who began feeling the discomfort during a March 26 Grapefruit League start. "But he's not going to be 100 percent. There's no sense in [having him start] unless he feels 100 percent."
Cormier had been scheduled to throw a bullpen session during Tuesday's voluntary team workout. But when he told the club that he was still feeling some tenderness when he attempted to throw with accelerated force, they opted to limit him to long tossing, an exercise that he wasn't able to complete in a pain-free manner.
"It wasn't any worse," Cormier said. "But it just never got better. ... There's still no talk that it's something that can last very long. I guess any time you strain anything, you can't rush it. It just takes time to heal, no matter what you do for it."
While posting a 1.15 ERA in Grapefruit League action, Cormier won his battle for the final rotation spot against Davies, who is in the process of gaining comfort with a new delivery that is aimed toward providing him the fluidity that he hopes will improve his control.
Davies threw two innings of a simulated game in Rome, Ga., on Tuesday before rains forced him to finish his workout on the bullpen mounds, without the benefit of facing live hitters. Cox said the 23-year-old right-hander essentially threw a total of six innings.
"He's right on schedule," Cox said of Davies, whose completed five innings against the Mets on March 28, his final Grapefruit League start. "He should be fine."
Cormier also believes he will be fine. After he plays long toss at Turner Field on Friday, the club will have a better understanding of how much time he might miss. But as of now, he's hopeful that he'll miss just one start and possibly rejoin the rotation in two weeks.
"That's definitely the plan," Cormier said.
Indication of platoons: With the Phillies starting left-hander Cole Hamels on Wednesday night, it wasn't much of a surprise to see Cox utilize Craig Wilson as his starting first baseman and Matt Diaz as his starting left fielder.
While Cox hasn't announced that he'll use a platoon at these positions this year, all indications are that he will. When opponents are starting right-handed pitchers, Ryan Langerhans will likely start in left field and Scott Thorman at first base.
Before Spring Training, the Braves had planned to use the left-handed-hitting Thorman as their everyday first baseman. But after it became apparent that Wilson's arthritic shoulder could prove to be a problem in the outfield, Cox had to find a way to get his bat in the lineup on a regular basis.
Braves bits: Edgar Renteria's two-homer performance on Monday was the third on Opening Day in Atlanta Braves history. Joe Torre did it in 1966 and Fred McGriff in 1995. ... Brian McCann's three-hit performance on Monday was nothing new. He had more three-hit games (14) than any other Braves player last year. ... To pass the time on Tuesday's day off, the Braves held a voluntary workout that Cox said was attended by nearly all of his players.
Coming up: The Braves will send left-hander Chuck James to the mound in Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Phillies, who will counter with right-hander Adam Eaton. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.