The issue isn't considered serious, and Cunningham is expected to return to action Tuesday. The outfielder is competing for the starting role in center field and is 3 for 10 with two walks in five spring games.
"You can call me the safe bet," Cunningham said. "You can say I'm not the sexy pick or whatever you want. But I still feel I can personally bring a lot of value to a team. So, if I get a chance to compete out there, I plan to bring everything that I've got."
He added that he doesn't have one particular skill that sets him apart, but he is a good all-around player.
"I'm definitely not trying to trick anybody and I'm definitely not trying to be anything that I'm not," Cunningham said. "When I describe what kind of player I am, I wasn't gifted with unbelievable pop or blazing speed. I pride myself on doing the little things. From what I've heard, I'm the kind of player that the more you see me, the more you like me."
"You’re kidding anybody if you don’t see it as an opportunity," Young said Saturday. "It’s an unfortunate situation. Melvin hopefully gets healthy soon and gets back to playing the game that he loves the way I know he can. But in the meantime, I came into camp with a bunch of gloves, ready for whatever situation or scenario they threw at me. And right now with my speed, we’ve got a void in center and I’ve got this opportunity and just got to go out there and make the most of it."
Perez may be the early favorite as the only natural center fielder of the bunch, but Young is the only player of the quartet with significant major-league experience. Cunningham is a career minor-leaguer and Almonte has limited experience in center field.
"I think the other three guys have played (center) more than Almonte, but we’ll see," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We’ll run them out there and watch. Even E.Y. Jr. has got, I think, 30-some games in center field in the big leagues. Perez is a natural center fielder. (Braves third-base coach) Bo (Porter) had him with the Nationals and he really likes him as a defender."
Cunningham made his Braves debut last season, going 2 for 8 at the plate and making five appearances in left field and two in right field. He has no infield experience in his minor-league career.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|4/4/2014 vs Washington|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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