If things go well this week, Jason Heyward is planning on taking batting practice with his teammates when they return home from Miami on Friday. This could be a huge step forward for Heyward in his recovery from the broken jaw he received on August 21. Heyward has hit a few times off a tee and has been doing some light conditioning exercises to this point, but is now going to try to ramp it up a bit. The Braves are hopeful that he will be able to start taking some at bats in the instructional league that starts next Monday. If all goes well, there they hope to get him back in the lineup for the last week of the regular season. This is all still very up in the air so all we can do now is wait.
According to various reports, Heyward had all of the bands and bars that have been restricting his jaw movement removed on Monday. The plates that were inserted into his jaw will not be removed. Heyward has been cleared to start eating more regularly, but according to the Braves he has mostly maintained his weight with the help of the team cook. Jason has been fitted for a mouth guard that he will wear during all his baseball activities moving forward. Still no word on if he will wear some kind of protective equipment on his helmet.
After cutting his bullpen session short after only 5 pitches last week, Braves set-up man Jordan Walden reportedly thinks he is ready to get back on the horse and try again. Jordan is trying to return from a strained groin that he first injured while running before a game a few weeks ago. He referenced that he just tried to come back too fast and that is why he cut his last session short. Since Walden has been out for a while now, he will likely need to throw another bullpen session even if this one goes well. His recovery has taken a bit longer than expected, presumably because of his wild delivery that causes him to use his legs more than most. It will be nice to get Jordan back in the ‘pen and be able to slide everyone back to their normal slots.