Heyward still unsure about status for All-Star Game

As you know by now, Jason Heyward will be spending the rest of the season’s first half on the disabled list. MRI results revealed that he is dealing with a painful bone bruise that will only provide his left thumb more discomfort until he gets a chance to rest for an extended period.

 “It’s a deep bone bruise,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said in reference to Heyward.  “That’s all it is.  The only way it’s going to get better is to get better.”  <p>

Heyward is in good position to be elected to this year’s All-Star Game and if he is, he may at least fly to Anaheim to participate in the festivities.  But at the same time, he is wondering if it would be better for him to spend those days playing in some Minor League games. 

 “Whatever (Major League Baseball) says they would like to have happen.  If I can go and give thanks to the fans by showing up, then I would like to.  If MLB says we respect what the Braves want for Jason and they want him to rehab and play some games before he comes back, then I’m hoping to do that also.”

It would be nice for Heyward to at least fly to California to experience the Home Run Derby/Media Day festivities on July 12 and then at least be introduced before the Midsummer Classic, which will be played the following day at Angel Stadium.

But you have to like the fact that the young outfielder is already looking toward the second half with the understanding that he could benefit from a brief Minor League rehab assignment before returning. 

One solution and I’m simply thinking out loud is to have him enjoy those two days in California and then return on a red-eye flight to prepare to begin a two-game Minor League rehab stint on July 14.  This would mean he wouldn’t be available for the July 15 game against the Brewers.

But that’s just one game that can be won without him. Heyward will never again have a chance to experience the thrill of experiencing his first All-Star Game as a 20-year-old rookie. 

Or maybe Heyward’s thumb improves quickly enough that he is actually able to start rehabbing the weekend before the All-Star Game.  This would allow him to reacquaint himself with the speed of the game and still participate in the All-Star festivities. 

After Monday night’s win, the Braves also announced that Kenshin Kawakami will go to the bullpen when Jair Jurrjens returns to the rotation on Monday night. 

Matt Diaz will take Heyward’s roster spot tomorrow night.  When Jurrjens is activated, the Braves will likely send Cristhian Martinez  back to Gwinnett.  Martinez has been available to serve the long relief role that Kawakami could now fill.   

52 Comments

I have to admit that I am shocked and amazed that we are sending KK to the bullpen. For FW to admit that failure makes me a little more confident in his growth as a GM. I think AA calls that the 1st step. I am also glad that they are being very careful with Heyward. Heyward’s glory came in receiving the votes from the fans, not in flying to some falsely glorified series of appearances before a overeager press(present company excepted of course, Mark). He knows what he has accomplished, no other reward is so valuable.
My only other joy tonite was sending an email after the game to my Nationals fan brother-in-law. I said that I had heard that they had a really hot rookie and that I was wondering if he would be pitching this week. You see I am as diabolical with my family as I am with you guys.

Is there any chances of trading KK ro anyone desperate for pitching or sending him to the minor to see if he cant work on pitching in this leauge. I was a fan of him signing but now i wish someone will take him off our hands. I hope that heyward is healthy enuff for the ASG and maybe part take in the Home Run Derby.

Bill,

Glad to see “Reefer Madness” is not only contained to the blog but family members are subject to the withering assualts also.

Just kidding Bill,

Braves are playing well even with injuries and that seems to make the blogosphere hum with less acrimony.

hey katjam i got two words for u and it aint pretty as Dibble but Hawk Harrelson, I had to listen to him when the Braves played the Chisox and i wanted to kill him everytime the a Brave player struck out and Hawk would blurt out “He gon” he is as bad as that yankees announcer everytime the yankees win yelling out BAll GAME OVer and the Yankees win THEEEEEEE YANNNNNKKEEEESS WIN. I’d like to punch both those guys in the mouth with there stupid catch phrases. BUt Dibble isnt as bad bc i live in Eastern NC and having Direct tv i get to watch the Braves everytime they play the Nats so i dont mind listening to Dibble. Trust me he aint as bad as Hawk and the guy for the Yankees who i don’t know is name and don’t wanna know his names. And ohh yea i want to thank the Braves for hiring Tony Schiavone doing the Gwinnett Braves i always loved him back in the day when he did the WCW Nitro show b4 they went out of business Thank U AOL/TW. i had to get that off my chest but i would love to see him doing the Major League team if anyone wants to take some time off.

I agree Bill, I thought for sure Mark hit it on the head with the reasoning for why KK would stay in the rotation. I am glad to see that the Braves appear to be putting winning before the balance sheets. I have my fingers crossed that JJ comes back tomorrow and shows some signs from last year. I don’t imagine he will come back and be dominant right away, but hopefully his troubles from before the injury will be behind him. If he does come back strong, what a rotation we will have!

Off topic. I am stuck having to watch the games on MASN, which means I am stuck listening to Rob Dibble. For those of you, that have never had to endure a Rob Dibble broadcast, consider yourselves lucky. I have never heard an announcer, bad mouth the team he calls for, as much as this clown. I guess I will be watching with mute on for the next two games.

Ok, back on my soap box about the all-star game. Utley has received 1.3 million more votes than Prado…… That is absurd. I had come to grips with the fact that Utley was going to get the starting job, but come on, it should at least be close.

David, unlike your “Reefer” reference my reef, is made of coral, and usually sits just off the edge of an island. You might have to smoke a little more before you understand that. And yes, it’s a bit easier to curb my tongue when we are winning but I can’t get too complacent or FW will be trading for another mediocre outfielder.

Glad to hear they are making the right move in terms of who to demote to the bullpen. I was never big on the idea of KK pitching in the starting rotation. He is much more suitable for long relief work.

As for Heyward, my principal hope is for him to get healthy and get his swing back. He finished late May flirting with .300 and being among the league leaders in HR and RBI. His average has since plummeted 50 points and he’s only hit 1 HR since. Playing in the ASG is nice, but please get right for the second half first!

So Utley goes on the DL. They say for a sore thumb. I think it’s guilt. He knows he doesn’t deserve to start the ASG over Prado… j/k

Seriously, the Braves need to take advantage of this opportunity and keep the press on to put some distance between themselves and the Phillys. I don’t think the Mets will maintain. I am still more worried about Philly.

U know if it was up to me I would send KK back to Japan or to a team desperate enuff for pithcing like the Mets or Twins for money.

I wouldn’t give Wren credit for that. I see that as a Cox decision. But KK went to the pen last year down the stretch for awhile so it has litte to do with eating his pride. I have to express concern that we are being told JJ and Heyward will likely not be 100% healed until after the season. Hard to say what that will mean. But I guess we will know within a month how they perform again.

Did I miss something? Who is saying that JJ and Heyward won’t be 100% until after then season?

I don’t know that the KK signing was ridiculous, but in retrospect we surely paid ALOT of money to an unproven guy. At the time, we were starving for pitching (my how things have changed). He was OK at the time, and now his time has past. Let’s see how he does in the pen and maybe he does well enough to be good trade bait for us. Also, I like the move of Heyward to the DL for a few reasons. 1. He will have time to rest his thumb, 2. He will have time to sit back and relax instead of getting no break if he would have played in the AS game, 3. This gives us a chance to take a look at Matty Diaz and see what we are going to have in him this season. Because if he’s not swinging the bat well, we may have to look for an outfield bat.

ERA G IP H R ER HR HBP BB SO
Lowe: 4.42 16 95.2 94 49 47 7 3 39 55

KK: 4.48 15 82.1 87 48 41 9 1 28 57

Amazing what a little run support will do for you.

viva- in an article on the braves website Mark said the Braves have told JJ he won’t be 100% for the remainder of the season. Didn’t see anything like that about Heyward though. Hopefully he’ll get to rest during the break and come back able to actually grip the bat properly in the second half.

Cox has said numerous times even before the MRI that Heyward will be sore all year.

Would like to point out that we are really enjoying the strength of this team, which is its depth and bench strength. We have had our share of injuries, but the players in waiting are doing a wonderful job filling in. Kudos to Bobby as well for managing these personnel moves extremely well, keeping everyone fresh and active.

What is that kissing sound? Sounds a lot like lips on a sphincter. Be careful Barry there, don’t get anything on your nose.

unlike baseball, that seems to be something you know a lot about, bill.

will this mean that the braves may go after kemp with heyward gone til the all star break? or will they go after someone cheaper?

NC, Can I give you yet another good piece of trade advice? The Team that makes the most trades does not seem destined to the World Series. Case in point, The Seattle Mariners. They made so many moves in the off season with signings, trades, etc and look where they are. Dead last place in their division. You REALLY want the Braves to follow their example and jostle their altogether winning formula and go into last place? Haven’t you heard about baseball superstition? And you know how superstitious most ball players are when they are winning a lot.

billreef – I think I heard the “puckering” after I read your new-found confidence in our GM.
Barry is spot on with his kudos- you’re just a tool. who can’t admit when you’re wrong… but quick to tell everyone when you’re right… which isn’t as often as you think it is.

ncbravesfan82 – here’s some semi-legitimate trade rumors circulating today. If you insist on discussing it… as least read this since there seems to be some credibility to it.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/MLB-latest-news-from-June-052910

It says the Braves are interested in Corey Hart, Josh Willingham, or Jose Bautista. However, none of these discussions will take place without the mention of Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, and Arodys Vizcaino. I wouldn’t rule out teams asking about Kris Medlen either.

Don’t worry Bravo I said “a little more confident” in FW. When you are a horse who is 17 lengths back in the race running “a little faster” doesn’t mean you are gonna win the race. And as to your recent spate of name calling who really needs to respond to that. Your just like a cowardly playground bully. All big talk, not much upstairs.

You’re right, Viva – I hate to see any of those young pitchers go. Although with Huddy on board for three more years, Hanson, Jurrjens, and Medlen for the next 5 (at least), our best chance at winning is to add to our offense. Many Braves fans think we have the pieces in place now and there’s no need to go out and get another bat. It’s the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. I’m not really sure where I stand. I think I’m leaning towards making a move for another bat because of games like last night. We still have WAY too many games where we get them on base, but we can’t seem to score at all.

The sad thing is, there’s not a team in the majors who would make any deal with us without mentioning our young pitching. Medlen/Minor/Teheran/Kimbrel/Viscaino… they’re all on the board or there’s no deal.

Just read the trade rumor article that Bravo posted.. I know you have to trade the future to win in the present, but does anyone actually think Kimbrel would be dealt?as the article suggested? I really hope not. I also REALLY doubt Teheran would be included in any deal. Definitely wouldn’t mind having Hart or Willingham.. Melky or Diaz would probably be included. I doubt anyone would take McLouth.. he would probably be kept around with the hope that he could still turn it around, or as speed and defense from the bench. I don’t know.. why is our outfield so cursed? Did Andruw cast some Curacaoan juju on the outfield when he left??

Also, if the Brewers are probably going to deal Fielder, would they also want to part w Corey Hart?

Corey Hart is having by far his best run of it right now. This is Milwaukee’s “Tyler Flowers” moment. Corey Hart will never be worth as much as he is right now. I can’t think of a better time for them to deal Hart, if they feel that he is more likely to be the 2009 guy than the new and improved 2010 guy long term. It will be interesting to see who is willing to buy high on Hart. I like him as a player, but I don’t think he is going to become the 35-40 HR, 120-130 RBI guy he is projecting to be this season.

There’s no need to talk trade right now. We have no idea what we have in Matt Diaz, or Jair Jurrjens at this point. Also, Tommy Hanson has been struggling and Derek Lowe has been inconsistent. This is not the time to unload pitching prospects in the thought of getting a middle of the road power hitter with the hopes we can hit a homerun to win a game instead of just hit a double to get him in. We don’t need a Tex trade all over again. The chemistry is right for this team. If Heyward is able to regain his swing after his DL stint, there is your 30HR hitter. Glaus should turn things around soon hopefully and there’s another. McCann has been hitting the ball harder lately so there is a 15-20HR guy. The big contributer we need to step up now is Yunel Escobar. As much of an asset he was last year offensively, he has been that much of letdown this season. If he picks it up, we are good to go. So get off the trade talk and let’s get ready for an exciting 2nd half.

Speedy, I think the idea is to just get an outfielder who can produce, and let the big bench guys (Hinske, Melky, Infante) play their roles. I love having Hinske start, but would rather have him come off the bench to hit than Blanco. I would also MUCH RATHER have Melky come off the bench down the stretch than Blanco. We’re basically (once again) getting minimal production from LF, RF, and now CF. The school of thought is that you can never have enough offense.. and if you’ve put yourself in a position to make a run to the post-season, might as well give up some prospects to help that cause, and I’m sure there won’t be anything close to the magnitude of the Tex deal.
Pitching has been spotty, but we’re obviously not gonna be trading for any more. Those boys will pick it back up. Lowe is gonna be off and on all year, Medlen is a gamer, Hanson has had AWFUL luck in his past couple starts.. Hudson is Hudson, and we’ll see about JJ.
Maybe Willingham has the most return for the price if Diaz doesn’t pick it back up? I’m still not sure.

Corey Hart is my pick of the litter. Bautista is playing over his head. Willingham would be a close second but is older. I think the Braves are really after Hart, the others may be just camouflage. They have been after him for a while now, I think Bobby really likes him. The question is what Milwaukee would want for him. They undoubtedly want one of our young pitching stars which we CAN afford. The question is how much more would we have to give up. Maybe we could unload McLouth or Melky as part of the deal. If so we would have to give up money as well, who can even guess what FW has for a budget for a deal. All in all I think Corey is the target, he is under team control through 2012 and if we are gonna have a new batting coach here next year, I think he will flourish.

He’s apparently a free agent after the 2011 season, according to that article.

I am a huge Hanson fan, but you can’t say that 14 runs over hit last 7.1IP (which was 3.2 IP in 2 starts) is bad luck. That’s like saying Kawakami could be on the All-Star team if he had a few more breaks. I thought Hanson was finally starting to roll after that horrible start vs Cincy, but these past two starts have proven that is not the case. He has some maturing to do, and hopefully he can get out of his funk in a week or two.

I read that, but also read that he wasn’t eligible until after 2012. Here’s the citation:

http://jorgesaysno.blogspot.com/2009/10/hypothetically-speaking-would-you-trade.html

I have no clue which is right, the last thing I want to become is an expert on MLB contracts and eligibility, that stuff makes my head spin.

Not sure Wren is capable of doing any big trades. We’re not giving up our young pitching prospects for a bat so they will be too expensive for us. And he is not a creative deal-maker. Personally I think we need pitching worse than a bat but everybody needs pitching so I doubt we can compete for that either. If any deal is done my guess is Willingham. High OBP, some power, good overall player. They like him. I doubt if we would have to give up one of our top prospects for him.

I guess we can tell why Willingham is available, Two bad defensive plays in a row. He is not helping his case.

Boy JJ really looks comfortable on the mound tonite. He is bouncing around after his pitches and I think his shoulder had time to heal while he was rehabbing the Hammy. His pitches are a lot crisper and are moving a lot more than they were before he went on the DL.

What a great pitching performance tonight. What a luxury to have Venters, Moylan, Saito, and Wagner in the later innings of a game. Great way to bounce back. This team is going to be tough for anyone to beat if we can get Hanson and Lowe throwing consistently. What a great sign from Jurrjens tonight. I really like the team we have on the field this year. The only troubling thing is that Gregor Blanco has been out best offensive player at CF….weird. Anyways, bring on the fish!! (and their annoying announcing crew that I must listen to while living in FL)…

Well on DOB’s blog JJ just said the exact same thing I said earlier about his shoulder. I guess I am just a ******* who doesn’t notice anything and know’s nothing about the game. Hmmmm. Vizcaino is headed for the DL with a ligament tear. Ouch, i thought he might be the centerpiece in a trade offer. I hate the thought of who else might have to go to get us another outfield bat. Now I am not so sure FW can get this done. I really don’t want to part with Minor, Marek or Dunn and Kimbrel should be untouchable and nobody wants JoJo, Proctor, Resop, Martinez, KK or Chavez. What’s a poor GM to do??? i wonder if someone would take Lowe off our back?? It might be now or never for that.

Speedy.. what I meant about Hanson’s “bad luck”.. he didn’t exactly pitch amazingly, but the last couple games he was victimized by strings of bloop hits, with some screamers thrown in here and there. He won 4 out 5 before those 2 games. Big Red will bounce back.
Speaking of bouncing back.. I think we can take JJ off the “unknown” rack. And how about that hit he got? That ball was 2 inches below his chin.

Benji Molina for a relief pitcher and a player to be named later? That’s as close to a DFA as you are going to see. Like Kotsay for Luis Sumosa was a couple years ago. I’m still not sure why that deal was even made. Kotsay would have been just fine in his role in Atlanta for the rest of that season, and Sumosa is one of only 9 million or so light hitting outfielders available throughout the Caribbean at any given time.
I hope the Braves don’t overpay this time, it does not appear to be necessary at this point

Has anyone else noticed that Yunel is unable to square up a baseball anymore? I’ve been watching him all season and its the same thing night after night: weak pop-up to right field, foulout to the 1st baseman, groundout to 2nd.
This is very concerning to me because Yunel has a tendency to sit and pout rather than trying to fight and pull himself through a problem. I know I’m just stating the obvious though.

Something tells me that Escobar may be on his way out. When the Braves signed Salcedo, I originally thought that they would groom him for 3rd base to take over for Chipper when he retires. Now, they may keep him at SS and take over for Yunel. It’s no secret that there are several in the organization that don’t care for his approach to the game. Salcedo was just promoted to Rome. If he continues to tear the cover off the ball… we could see him in the bigs sooner than we think.

I don’t really think that is the case.

O’Flaherty, Venters, Wagner. Is there any pen in baseball with three more dominating lefties?

I don’t think Escobar will go anywhere before the end of the season. If his second half is just a repeat of the first, then I doubt we will see him as a Brave next year. I don’t know who in the organization wants him gone, but I would think Bobby is not in that camp. If he was, then I am pretty sure Escobar would already be gone. So, with Bobby being gone at the end of the year, those that want him gone might just get their way. If he has a huge second half then it’s all a moot point anyways.

True. If he tears it up in the second half, I definitely think it would be difficult for the Braves to part ways with him. It’s just a gut feeling that I have based on his history, and what I read from Mark, that Escobar is not irreplaceable. Another thing to consider is that he is incredibly cheap right now. But he will demand more money soon.
…I just don’t see him in Atlanta for much longer. I could be completely wrong… just a gut feeling.

He’ll be out there everyday while he’s making highlight reel plays in the infield. I think Escobar was a victim of the team-wide slump in the beginning of the season, but then he got hurt and wasn’t part of the big momentum shift, so he’s still trying to adjust and might be overcompensating. I can tell in his reporting that Mark doesn’t seem to like Yunel very much?though i could be wrong. Personally, I have always liked emotional players.. not Zambrano style or anything, but a little flashiness can be refreshing since baseball can get a little too Stoic at times. I mean, how awesome was it when Bo Jackson broke the bat over his knee (and Pedro Cerrano breaking the bat over his head)?

Yunel hit .289 in June with a .407 OBP. Still lacking in power numbers though showing only 4 doubles and no home runs out of 26 hits for the month. He only struck out 17 times, and walked 17 and was HBP once.

Difficult to see how Bautista, Hart, or Willingham would be upgrades over Diaz or Cabrera. Especially considering the cost of trading for one of them – one of our young arms. None of the 3 have career averages over 270.

Hart is definitely having a career year and no one knows if he could keep it up or not. And besides the acquiring cost, I would much rather have him in LF than Melky or Diaz. I really like Diaz, but Hart is just way better..

The biggest thing about Yunel is that he is not hitting with RISP. I don’t care if he hits .250, but in the past he has had great defense and excellent average with RISP. He’s never going to be a 25 HR guy (20 is a push for him IMO). If you have researched Escobar’s past, you would see that the kid has been through ALOT, more than I would want to handle. The fact that the kid is not getting pulled over for DUI or getting suspended for drug use says alot about his “character” that we always question. I have absolutely no problem with Escobar, he just needs to get it going with RISP. The rest of his game is perfectlly fine.

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