ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves took advantage of the convenient location of their new Triple-A Gwinnett team in making a late decision to call up first baseman Barbaro Canizares in time to bat cleanup on Thursday.
The phone call to Canizares came only about three hours before Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He arrived at Turner Field about 40 minutes before the game after making the short drive from Gwinnett, based in Lawrenceville, an Atlanta suburb.
The Braves' Triple-A team moved from Richmond to Gwinnett after the 2008 season.
Canizares was 1-for-4 with a sixth-inning single.
Canizares was leading Gwinnett with a .344 batting average and 37 RBIs, and he shared the team lead with eight home runs.
The 29-year-old Canizares was signed from Havana, Cuba in 2006. He hit .300 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs for Triple-A Richmond last year.
Canizares split time between first base and designated hitter at Triple A.
"He's not known for his glove, but he's OK," said Braves manager Bobby Cox, who said he had seen Canizares for only a "tiny couple of days" in spring training.
Canizares was needed after infielder Greg Norton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right ankle. Regular first baseman Casey Kotchman already was on the disabled list with a right calf strain.
Martin Prado started at first base in six straight games after Kotchman's injury.
The Braves begin an interleague series at Baltimore on Friday. Cox said Canizares "absolutely" would be a possible designated hitter in those games if Prado starts at first base.
Kotchman is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday at Cincinnati.