Heyward does not expect to play Tuesday

Jason Heyward will not play a Minor League rehab game with Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday and the Braves 20-year-old right fielder doesn’t expect to play in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. 

After completing a pain-free batting practice session the Gwinnett club Saturday evening, Heyward said he didn’t experience any problems with his jammed left thumb.  But he and the Braves decided he is not ready to play in a rehab game Sunday. 

Because of this, Heyward doesn’t believe he will take advantage of the opportunity to serve as one of the National League’s starting outfielders Tuesday night.  He has been sidelined since June 26 with the thumb ailment he suffered while sliding into third base on May 14.  

“I haven’t played any games,” Heyward said told reporters when asked if he still planned to play Tuesday. “I would have liked to rehab in the game [Friday] and [Saturday]. But we figured this was the best timetable for it. It might have been rushing it a little bit.”

Heyward will travel to Anaheim on Sunday to begin enjoying the All-Star Game festivities.  He will likely take batting practice with his National League teammates on Monday and then be unavailable for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic. 

“I’m just going to go and see what happens,” Heyward said. “We’ll play it by ear. What I’d like to do is be ready to play July 15, the first game of the second half for us. I’d also like to respect the National League team and give them the best chance to win the game. I don’t want to be selfish and play in the game, because this one does count.”

Heyward impressed during Saturday’s batting practice session, which consisted of 50 swings.

“I was able to take that high pitch up and away and stay on top of it and use my top hand to hit it,” Heyward said. “I couldn’t do that before, so that’s a sign it’s feeling better.” 

Thanks to Guy Curtright, a regular MLB.com contributor, for supplying Heyward’s remarks after today’s BP session. 

5 Comments

We have just won 2 road series against the “powerhouses” of the NL East. If we keep winning on the road like this, we are truly a juggernaut. The close games, 20 games decided by 2 runs or less since June 1st concern me, but our pitching has been extraordinary, especially our BP. O’Flaherty, Venters, Moylan, Saito and Wagner. That’s a poker hand I’ll play with any time. 5 Aces.

Good signs all around.

Seeing what we’ve done lately with our patchwork outfield, I’m sure we’ll be happy to see what we can do when an All Star is playing in RF after the break.

Me too. I’d also love Diaz to get more at bats, like he will today against Johan, and see if McLouth can return to 08 form. We wouldn’t need another Outfielder. Diaz the average hitter and role player, Heyward the power and run producer, McLouth the doubles hitter and speedster. If he can’t step up, I’m fine with Blanco. Kind of interesting, if you look at Blanco’s 08 and McLouth’s 08, the roles have kind of reversed now.

What is the deal with the optomism about McLouth but always pessimism with Blanco. Blanco had a mediocre (~.250) year with the bat in ’08 and most of the Braves fans forgot that he existed. McLouth has looked more like a pitcher hitting this season as compared to a former All Star center fielder. Blanco has done nothing but impress this season so far. Can’t we be optomistic about both? In fact, once McLouth comes back I’m sure Blanco will go back to Gwinnett, so we are losing a .300 hitter for a .150 hitter, so let’s hope McLouth gets his swing back. . . . .

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