Heyward gets another day off
When Jason Heyward arrived at the stadium this morning he was surprised to see that his name wasn’t in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays.
Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton quickly chimed in with, “Don’t worry kid, you’re going to have plenty of chances to play for a long time.”
Given that two rainy days and one very minor back ailment have limited Heyward to three innings since the completion of Tuesday night’s game against the Phillies, there was certainly reason to believe the 20-year-old right fielder would have been back in the lineup for this afternoon’s contest.
But because Heyward is scheduled to travel to Dunedin tomorrow and to Viera on Monday night, the Braves opted to give him a chance to enjoy this bright sunny day in the Disney area.
If the Braves were still seriously debating whether Heyward was going to be on their Opening Day roster, I think it’s easy to assume he would have played Saturday under the watchful eyes of Bobby Cox, who won’t be making the trip on Sunday to see the split-squad team play in Dunedin.
Cox will instead be with the split-squad team that will send Kenshin Kawakami to the mound to face the Astros in nearby Kissimmee. The ever-versatile Kris Medlen will start Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.
SATURDAY’S BRAVES LINEUP
NOTES: Derek Lowe completed his bullpen session in pain-free fashion this morning and was happy to report that he “got everybody out.” With the blister on his right toe once again covered by tape, Lowe will likely make his scheduled start on Monday night against the Natoinals…Before today’s game, the Braves will introduce Edward Salcedo, the highly-regarded Dominican shortstop that they signed a few weeks ago…Cox was pleased with what he saw while watching Takashi Saito complete a live batting practice session this morning. Saito has had trouble keeping his fastball down during his first two appearances this year.