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Moylan could miss rest of season


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ATLANTA -- Peter Moylan has spent the past couple of weeks hoping to avoid another back surgery. But as his lower back discomfort has persisted, the Braves have had to look at the possibility this is something their valuable right-handed reliever can't avoid.

Moylan didn't provide details after visiting with a doctor early Wednesday morning. But as he gingerly walked through the Braves' clubhouse before Wednesday afternoon's doubleheader against the Brewers, it was quite obvious that he is still feeling significant discomfort in his lower back.

An MRI exam performed two weeks ago showed he has a bulging disc in his back.

While there was hope that Moylan could return soon, there's certainly a possibility he'll need to undergo a season-ending surgical procedure. It appeared he is attempting to get multiple opinions and then weigh his options.

Moylan underwent back surgeries while playing what amounted to recreational baseball in Australia in 2001 and '03. The sidearm delivery that helped him get noticed in the 2006 World Baseball Classic was a product of attempts to lessen strain on his back.

If Moylan is unable to return, the Braves might ask Scott Proctor to fill the void once he is eligible to join their roster on May 15. Proctor struggled in Spring Training and was released. But he quickly re-signed with the Braves and has since prospered while working with Triple-A Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed.

Proctor has allowed two earned runs in 12 innings for Gwinnett and limited opponents to a .205 batting average this year. The 34-year-old right-hander combined for 166 appearances for the Dodgers and Yankees during the 2006 and '07 seasons.

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Yeah, not good news at all. Hopefully he'll be able to avoid surgery.

Following is a list of minor leaguers I'd rather have on the roster than Proctor:

Juan Abreu

Jario Acencio

Kenshin Kawakami

Rodrigo Lopez

Stephen Marek

Todd Redmond

Or just sticking with Cory Gearrin.

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