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.