Apr 12, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) at bat in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. The Braves defeated the Nationals 6 – 4 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
For such a “minor” injury, it sure does seem like we have missed Jason Heyward for a while. Still, I’m glad he took all the time that he needed to come back from his appendectomy (see Dunn, Adam). I feel like I have said this a lot–especially when talking about Brian McCann–but having Jason Heyward back healthy and hitting will do wonders for the team.
He is slotted in the 2-hole, which has been absolutely abominable for the Braves so this season. If he’s able to avoid hitting .121 like he was before the injury, the lineup might actually be as good as we anticipated before the season. I’m still a believer in Heyward even though many people are down on him after a good amount of disappointment at the plate. He’s got a lot to prove, but I’m confident he will come around.
Here is a bit of the official announcement of his return from the DL courtesy of Mark Bowman:
"To create a roster spot for Heyward, the club placed right-handed reliever Jordan Walden on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.Heyward has been sidelined since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on April 22 in Denver. The 23-year-old right fielder spent the past week playing for Triple-A Gwinnett on a Minor League rehab assignment.After remaining relatively sedentary for the first week after the surgery, Heyward steadily regained his strength and started working himself back into baseball shape. He hit .300 (6-for-20) in the six games he played for Gwinnett."
The one downer to Heyward’s return is the fact that Jordan Walden is hitting the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. As I’m sure you know, Jonny Venters is undergoing another Tommy John surgery, and having this Walden injury turn into something worse would be a huge blow to the ‘pen.
He’s had a few rough outings, but has the ability to go out in key situations and put out the fire. In 13 innings pitched, he has impressive strikeout to walk numbers (11.08 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, 5.33 K/BB) with a rather unimpressive 4.85 ERA. Arguably, the worst part is that the Braves no longer have a guy that leaps off the mound when he delivers the baseball.
Stay tuned for updates on his injury, as more information will be sure to come.
Also, check back in for the Braves-Dodgers liveblog we will be having again. Tell your friends. Game time is 7:30 and if you haven’t, be sure to check out Brad Rowland’s series preview here.