The Atlanta Braves activated utility man Sean Rodriguez from the disabled list Monday, some six months after both he and his family sustained injuries in a deadly car accident.
Rodriguez will make his debut in a Braves uniform Monday night when he hits seventh and mans third base against the Chicago Cubs.
Rodriguez joined Atlanta on a two-year, $11.5-million contract last November. But just two months after signing that deal, an SUV he was driving – with his wife and two children in tow – was t-boned by a stolen police cruiser in Miami and burst into flames. The suspect driving the stolen police car was pronounced dead at the scene.
All members of the Rodriguez family escaped the wreckage alive, but with injuries: his two children, aged 8 and 2, both spent time in hospital, while Giselle Rodriguez suffered a broken leg.
After initially being deemed OK, Sean ultimately needed surgery on his rotator cuff in February; the Braves ruled him to be out indefinitely at that time, with the distinct possibility he might miss all of 2017.
“My wife and my kids are alive and I get to kiss them and say goodnight to them and love them every day, so for that I’m just grateful and blessed,” Rodriguez told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following his February surgery. “So it’s hard to look at any of the negatives or the bad stuff.”
The 32-year-old appeared in 11 rehab games with four different Braves affiliates over the last two weeks, and went 3-for-39 while manning three different infield positions defensively.
Rodriguez owns a career slash line of .234/.303/.390 with 67 homers and 39 stolen bases over his nine-year major-league career with the Angels, Rays, and most recently, the Pirates. He’s made at least one career appearance at every defensive position except for pitcher and catcher.
In addition to activating Rodriguez, Atlanta also reinstated Danny Santana from the DL, while utility man Jace Peterson and pitcher Jason Hursh were both optioned to Triple-A.