The Atlanta Braves are limping towards the finish line and on Tuesday they got some news that’s really not helping their cause.

According to’s Mark Bowman, via Twitter, Braves 2B/3B Martin Prado will be done for the season with a hip pointer and torn oblique muscle.

Prado originally suffered the injuries on Monday night against the Florida Marlins, when he made a diving catch in the fourth inning.

This is a massive, massive blow for the Braves.

Prado had a slash line of .307/.350/.459 with 15 HRs, 40 doubles, and 184 hits. His 184 hits were second in the National League.

Not only is losing Prado a blow offensively at the top of the Braves lineup, but losing him defensively hurts as well; Prado was already filling in at third for the injured Chipper Jones.

At this rate, the Braves might have to bring back Ken Oberkfell or Terry Pendleton.

It looks like the Braves are going to have to roll with Brooks Conrad at third the rest of the way. Conrad, who is probably best known for hitting a walk-off grand slam off Francisco Cordero in the Braves’ wild 10-9 win over the Cincinnati Reds on May 20, is hitting just .239 with seven HRs in 138 at-bats this season.

Bobby Cox did mention that Troy Glaus could be a possibility at third but would only be used in an emergency situation. With his knees completely shot, I can’t imagine that happening.

The Braves entered Tuesday night’s action having a half-game lead over the San Diego Padres in the wild-card race, and with now Prado, Jones, and Jair Jurrjens spent and a starting rotation and bullpen on their last legs, it will be very interesting to see if the Braves can somehow hold on to a playoff spot.

Prado is expected to recover in about two months and should be ready for spring training in 2011.


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