The Atlanta Braves have a ton of pretty important players banged up, on the disabled list, and recovering from surgeries. They haven’t really been seen as a big deal yet, however, probably due to the team’s early season success. MLB’s Mark Bowman has a column detailing all of these things, but I am going to give you the big stuff here.
Jason Heyward: After a surprising emergency appendectomy on April 22, Jason has pretty much being doing nothing in order to successfully recover for the surgery. Immediate reactions to this surgery were ones of disappointment but not much concern, as it shouldn’t affect him too much when he gets healthy again. The problem is actually getting healthy. It is a long, slow process and Braves management is not going to be in any hurry to get him back on the field and risk “straining an oblique muscle or sustaining a hernia” as Bowman says.
This is a smart decision, of course, but the Braves could start to miss Heyward’s bat more and more if guys like Uggla and Upton aren’t able to pick up their own slack in the lineup. Heyward is going to start taking dry swings today (Saturday) and his full recovery time will depend on how he reacts to that, and the tee/cage work he will begin within the next few days.
Juan Francisco: Last night Francisco rolled his right ankle while in between second and third base. If you want to see the video, check the Hub, as I will be putting it up there shortly after publishing this piece. All accounts of this injury seem to say that it is just a day-to-day thing, and no DL time is anticipated. That is all well and good, but ankle injuries are normally nagging types that can keep messing with a player until it is absolutely healed. Either Francisco is going to miss about a week of playing time, or we are going to hear about his ankle bothering him again at some point down the road.
Brandon Beachy: Beachy’s progress is going extremely well. He is scheduled for two more live bullpen sessions before going on his minor-league assignment. Bowman says that at this pace, it is possible that he is ready to pitch in Atlanta by some time in June. Throughout the off-season and Spring Training, the ETA on him was always at some point in July, so his quick recovery is an encouraging thing to see.
Brian McCann: McCann played in his first Triple-A assignment game last night with Gwinnett and went 2-4 with another home run. In his 24 combined plate appearances in Single-A and Triple-A, McCann has four homers and eight hits total. While I don’t want you to get jazzed about this and think McCann is going to come back to the bigs hunting a home run title, it is great to see early power returns after his shoulder surgery. Look for McCann in the lineup at some point against the Reds next week, with the best case scenario will be Monday for him.
So that’s it for the injury news today. Some annoying/nagging minor injuries for Heyward and Francisco, but Beachy and McCann’s recoveries should leave people with a good feeling.