Braves place Smith on DL; recall Bonifacio

Braves place Smith on DL; recall Bonifacio

MIAMI -- The Braves placed outfielder Mallex Smith on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left thumb and recalled Emilio Bonifacio from Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday.

Smith is expected to miss 8-10 weeks. The rookie left Sunday's 6-0 win over the Mets in the seventh inning after taking an Antonio Bastardo fastball off his left hand.

Upon his callup on April 11, Smith manned center field, but he assumed the left-field role in late May. Braves manager Brian Snitker said the left-field duties will be a toss-up moving forward.

"We'll probably just spread it around," Snitker said. "Boni, [Jeff Francoeur] and Jace [Peterson] can play out there. Chase [d'Arnaud] can go out there. We've got a lot of options, and we'll just look at the matchups and on a day-to-day basis and see where we're at."

Bonifacio, who started in left field and hit eighth in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Marlins, provides the Braves with versatility in the outfield and infield. The 31-year-old was hitting .270 with 23 stolen bases in 57 games for Triple-A Gwinnett. He appeared in 41 games for the Braves in 2014.

Bonifacio's RBI groundout

"He played mostly outfield," Snitker said. "He's played some second. When he broke through with the Marlins, he was at third. Just his versatility, he can play all the outfield positions. He was doing pretty well there, too."

Although Bonifacio wasn't atop the lineup in his 2016 Braves debut, the hope is that he can help fill the speed void with Smith out. Despite a .237 average in 58 games for Atlanta, Smith scored 25 runs and stole a team-high 14 bases, which ranks fifth in the National League.

"Just a shame," Snitker said of Smith's injury. "He was doing well. He brings a lot of energy to your team, so I hate it for him and that he's gotta be down that long. We're still kind of waiting to see, and maybe it's not that long. It's one of those things where even if he didn't break it, he'd probably go to the DL anyway because of where it hit."

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.