Heyward provided another day to rest

As Jason Heyward went back to the right field wall on Tuesday night to attempt to rob Jayson Werth of the two-run homer that he hit off Kenshin Kawakami, I was half expecting to see the young phenom leap to the top of the wall, make the catch and then perform a dismount that would have made Shaun White proud. 

Instead, Heyward proved mortal while running face-first into the wall and watching helplessly as the ball fell into the Braves bullpen.  In the process, the 20-year-old right fielder tweaked his upper back and led Bobby Cox to take the precautionary route by giving a chance to rest during this afternoon’s game against the Mets.

“It’s nothing, he could play easily,”  Cox said. “I told (our trainer Jeff Porter) that I’m going to make 10,000 people mad today.”   <p>

Heyward, who compiled each of his three plate appearances after running into the wall, is expected to be back in the lineup on Thursday night, when the Braves visit the Yankees. 

As this camp has progressed, it has been fun to hear writers, players and coaches compare Heyward to a number of different players from yesteryear.   Fred McGriff, Darryl Strawberry and Dave Parker have been popular choices. 

Cox provided an interesting comparison yesterday when he linked his young outfielder to Larry Walker, who arrived in the Majors with a large athletic frame and the same kind of five-tool talents possessed by the Braves young outfielder. 

Thoughts about Halladay: When Matt Diaz arrived this morning, he asked if Roy Halladay had been as impressive on Tuesday night as his line (3 IP, 3H, 0ER, 5 Ks) indicated.  My immediate response was “ask Martin Prado”. 

Halladay froze Prado with front-door cutters for called third strikes during the first and third innings.  It would have been great to see replays of both of these picture-perfect pitches to see just how identical they when they crossed the inside black portion of the plate. 

Four of Halladay’s five strikeouts came at the expense of Prado and Nate McLouth, who has struck out five times in the 12 at-bats he has recorded entering this afternoon’s game. 

Like it’s too early to begin worrying about McLouth, it’s also far too early for Troy Glaus to be overly excited about the fact that he has singled in each of his past eight at-bats. 

“It’s a positive reinforcement,” Glaus said. “But I’ve been doing this long enough that it doesn’t matter right now.  I’ve had good springs.  I’ve had bad springs.  I’ve had in between springs.  It doesn’t matter.”

Glaus’ hot streak will be delayed until Thursday.  Like Heyward, he has been given the day off.

BRAVES LINEUP
McLouth 8
Prado 4
Chipper 5
Hinske 3
Cabrera 9
Diaz 7
Infante 6
Ross 2
Lowe 1

Lowe is scheduled to pitch three innings today.  Takashi Saito, Kris Medlen, Kyle Cofield, Mariano Gomez, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel are scheduled to serve as the relievers.   

12 Comments

Mark, I’m guessing Lowe didn’t get hurt or anything and shorten his day… or did he?

Lowe got hit hard during the first inning and didn’t return. I’ll let you know when we receive an update.

Mark, why did bobby sit Lowe after an inning? Is he hurt?

You guys were sending those as I was typing. Hopefully we’ll get an update soon. He didn’t appear to be hurt as he left at the end of the half-inning.

Well, now is the time to play with the idea of not wrapping his toe. I guess he got his answer. Glad to hear it wasn’t anything more serious.

If this team continues the trend of walking more than it strikes out offensively, they are going to win a bunch of games this season. Especially since every guy in the line up has 15+ HR potential given the ABs. Last year it would have just been a bunch of double plays waiting to happen, but there is enough thump in this season’s line up to make the walks count.

Lowe left because of a blister on his right big toe. He felt in on the third pitch he threw and had trouble dragging his back foot during the remainder of the frame.

He took total blame for the fact that just this year he stopped wrapping this area around his toe before throwing bullpens or pitching in games. His early guess is he’ll be ready for his next start. To make up for this wasted day, he says he could extend the bullpen session he will complete before his next session.

I disagree. It is definitely not too early to worry about McLouth. I was worried about him before ST began. Maybe that was too early. But he has not performed well at all since he got here. What does he offer? You can say that he should be batting lower in the order, but a strikeout is a strikeout. That would just make it worse if he is striking out with runners on base. He will be a problem. I just hope that Bobby doesn’t wait until the end of June as usual to address his problem players. Also, what is the deal with Saito? Are we seriously trying to say this is just an issue of contact lenses again? Is their a vision virus infecting the team or what?

Good to see Saito is… um… I got nothin’…

I love how people love to keep their finger on the panic button during Spring Training. I don’t think Jo Jo Reyes and Blanco will be that good and I don’t think Saito and McLouth will be that bad. Just sit back and enjoy baseball being back and worry about all the other stuff when the actual season begins.

If I remember correctly, I think it was David Justice (or maybe it was Ron Gant) who always had a horrific spring training and then always turned it on when the real season began. Spring Training is not really a great gauge for how a veteran will perform during a season. So far, the big disappointment for me was the fact that Heyward didn’t run through the wall and make the catch. . . .

What I hate about Heyward is how his name lends itself to all these really silly word plays. The J-Hey Kid, Hey You, Needle in a Jaystack, Heyward Bound, The Heymaker, Making Hey while the Sun shines…….Boy this is gonna be a long career of bad word plays. OK, everyone, say I am negative, but I’m just really just playing until the games start counting.

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