Jun 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) runs out on the field in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Heyward is scheduled to be back in the lineup today and in a spot we didn’t really expect Fredi Gonzalez to put him. Center field.
"He said the change in plans came after manager Fredi Gonzalez told him the Braves wanted Heyward to play center field until B.J. Upton (adductor muscle strain) returns from the 15-day disabled list.“He let me know he’d like me to play center until B.J. gets back, which is A-OK with me,” Heyward said. “I just wanted to make sure that my legs were 100 percent before I go out there and attempt to do that. So, having this extra day is great for me."
While this is surprising, it is definitely a good surprise. With BJ Upton and Jordan Schafer both on the disabled list, Jason Heyward is easily the best option to patrol center field. Reed Johnson can work in a pinch but with BJ out for some time, it’s more of a punch than a pinch, and Fredi Gonzalez made the perfect call by playing Jason there.
What will likely follow is Justin Upton playing right field and Evan Gattis getting the majority of the starts in left field. Given what we have to work with I can’t really imagine a better situation. If Simmons is in the eight hole and Chirs Johnson isn’t than we should all just give Fredi a gold star or something.
Stay tuned for our Braves-Mets series preview.