This is what happens when a team turns it back on Dan Uggla. The only backup infielder on the Atlanta Braves roster during this round of the playoffs has a broken nose. Paul Janish, a shortstop by nature who also steps in at third base and second, broke his nose Friday in a weightlifting accident. The Braves haven't used him so far this postseason but, Janish says, the injury did not prevent him from playing in Game 2 or in Game 3 on Sunday, when the NLDS moved to Dodger Stadium.
Reporter Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that backup catcher Gerald Laird, who went behind the plate in Game 2 after Brian McCann was lifted for a pinch runner in the eighth inning, is an emergency contingency at third base for Chris Johnson if Janish could not go. But if shortstop Andrelton Simmons or second baseman Elliot Johnson went down, it's tough to see Laird filling in either place. So, regardless of the discomfort, it will be up to Janish and his busted beak if a reserve is needed. It's not like Uggla, the team's highest-paid player and No. 1 second baseman during the regular season, is coming through that door. He was left off the playoff roster for the NLDS because of ineffectiveness.
No problem, Janish said (probably nasally so):
Janish said he was lifting weights when a 45-pound barbell popped off a squat rack and hit him in the face.
“It was a freak deal,” said Janish, who said he was not paying close attention to how the barbell was situated. “I’ve had some stitches, but it’s not bad. It doesn’t affect anything so long as I don’t get hit in the nose again. It’s just a little uncomfortable. It’s all right.”
Just rub some dirt on it and go take some grounders. True professional. While accidents do happen, it would be frowned upon by somebody like McCann, a team leader, if there were any shenanigans leading up to Janish's mishap. Barbell's usually don't go flying off racks by themselves. Say, where was Uggla when this barbell went flying?
It's not quite like when Michael Taylor hurt himself throwing away his gum wad, or when Joel Peralta suffered a sandwich-related injury, or Francisco Liriano trying to scare his kids for Christmas and breaking his arm, but it's still unusual.