Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By CHIP CARAY  |  Last updated 8/23/13
FOX Sports South.com checks in with play-by-play announcer Chip Caray to get the latest on the Braves. FOX SPORTS SOUTH: Jason Heyward is the latest Brave to land on the disabled list, yet despite all the injuries this season, they have continued to produce. What do you credit that to? CHIP CARAY: Depth. General manager Frank Wren made it a point in the offseason to continue to bolster his bench and the bottom line is you have to have players that can provide depth and give you the opportunity to overcome injuries. The Braves have done that. Certainly they miss having Reed Johnson out there; he can't play right now because of his Achilles problem, but some youngsters have stepped up. Joey Terdoslovich is turning in big at-bats and Philip Gosselin got a couple hits in his first major league games, Evan Gattis has come out of nowhere to have a very solid rookie season. The organization has been able to survive injuries in the short term and the long term and unfortunately the Braves have needed those aforementioned players, with a lot of guys getting hurt during the season. FSS: What Heyward has meant at the leadoff spot, adding that stability, makes this injury different. In your mind does that make this different than the other injuries they've dealt with? CC: There's nobody in the organization or on the roster that has a powerful bats that can also play Gold Glove defense and also bat first. So that's going to be the real challenge for this team. As a single player, he's irreplacable. I don't know how you make up for that other than, as manager Fredi Gonzlalez said Thursday, go off the matchups. FSS: By filling the leadoff role based on matchups, Jordan Schafer, Andrelton Simmons and B.J. Upton will be options. In a perfect world, who do you think should be atop the order until he returns? CC: I think it should be whoever is playing best. But as Fredi said, you can play matchup based on the pitchers -- and you can see B.J. Upton up there, you might see Elliot Johnson up there -- but I think right now it's all hands on deck and an open casting call for someone to fill that role. It's a very important role, quite obviously. Jordan has not had much luck since he came back form an ankle injury, we all know the trials and tribulations of B.J. Upton all year and Elliot Johnson juts played his first game as a Brave, so I think Andrelton Simmons is the leadoff guy is Jordan continues to struggle. FSS: Craig Kimbrel continues to dominate and make it look easy. Do you think at times we've started to take his greatness for granted? CC: No, don't think so. Games are managed from the ninth inning forward, not from the first inning backward and you know you have the ninth inning wrapped up and enter the ninth inning with a chance to win the ballgame. Craig's an elite closer, he's an elite pitcher and believe me, I think everyone in the organization appreciates what he can do and he'll tell you the only reason he's able to do it is because get the lead and they hold the lead. They've been able to do that quite consistently over the last couple of years. Closers will tell you there's nothing more gratifying that walking into a lockerroom after a game knowing you've protected what your teammates have done for the past two hours and 30 minutes or so.
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