Braves Hope Heyward Can Return Before End Of September

Atlanta Falls 6-2 To Cards In First Game Without Heyward

Friday, August 23, 2013
Justin Upton's two-run homer accounted for all the runs in Atlanta's loss to the Cardinals.
Justin Upton's two-run homer accounted for all the runs in Atlanta's loss to the Cardinals.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Jason Heyward underwent surgery Thursday to repair the fractured jaw he suffered when he was hit by a Jon Niese fastball during Wednesday's win over the Mets.

Heyward had two metal plates inserted into his jaw during the surgical procedure performed by Dr.

Glen Maron in Atlanta. One plate was inserted on the right side of his face and another around his chin, where a second fracture occurred.

It appears Heyward will need 4-6 weeks to recover, which would sideline him until at least the latter portion of September. The Braves have not released a definitive timetable. But the club remains hopeful the valuable 24-year-old outfielder will be available in late September or at least once the postseason arrives.

Gonzalez was encouraged that Heyward did not have his jaw wired shut. This could help the 6-foot-5, 240-pound right fielder as he attempts to maintain his strength with proper nutrition.

Time will tell how long it will take Heyward to physically and mentally recover from this unfortunate incident that led him to walk off the field spitting blood while being supported by Atlanta head trainer Jeff Porter.

Once Heyward is cleared to begin participating in on-field activities again, he will have to get used to seeing live pitching again while participating in Instructional League games or simulated games completed by members of Atlanta's pitching staff who need work in late September.

In the meantime, the Braves will have to attempt to preserve their comfortable National League East lead without the services of Heyward, who had hit .345 with a .418 on-base percentage in the 23 games he played after moving to the leadoff role on July 27.

To account for Heyward's absence, Gonzalez will shift Justin Upton from left field to right field. The manager plans to mix and match the players that fill the other two outfield spots. It appears Jordan Schafer will continue to platoon with B.J. Upton in center field. Evan Gattis will likely get regular playing time in left field, and be spelled by Joey Terdoslavich when the opposing team is starting a tough right-handed pitcher.

Schafer will handle the leadoff duties when the Braves are opposing a right-handed starting pitcher. Gonzalez said Andrelton Simmons will likely be at the top of his lineup when his club opposes a left-handed starting pitcher.

While Schafer has compiled a .400 on-base percentage in 21 games as the leadoff hitter, Simmons compiled a .259 mark in the 62 games he has manned the lineup's top spot. Simmons' struggles influenced the decision to move Heyward to the leadoff role.

Schafer, who hit lead-off Thursday night at St. Louis, played center field and went 0-for-5. Left fielder Evan Gattis went 0-for-4, while right fielder Justin Upton was 1-for-3 including a two-run homer. The Cardinals beat the Braves, 6-2

---- Source: MLB.com

Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

UTC's Russ Huesman is Quarterback Club Speaker Today

UTC head football coach Russ Huesman is the scheduled speaker for today's Chattanooga Quarterback Club lunch at Finley Stadium at noon. The lunch is open to the public and the cost is $10. Coach Huesman will talk about the upcoming NCAA playoffs as the Mocs are a No.8 seed and will host the Eastern Kentucky-Indiana State winner Sat. Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. at Finley Stadium. ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern Win Two at Welch College Invitational

After two narrow losses in their past two games, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats took out their frustrations in a big way at the Welch College Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. Over the weekend. The Bobcats thumped St. Louis Christian on Friday night, 81-44, before whipping Appalachian Bible College in Saturday’s finale, 91-42, to improve to 2-4 overall on the season. ... (click for more)

2 Chattanooga Bounty Hunters In Jail After Man They Sought Not Home And They Take His Wife

Two Chattanooga bounty hunters are in jail near Atlanta after police said they took a man's wife away in handcuffs after the man they were seeking was not home. Khalil Abdullah and Kevin Roberson were charged with kidnapping, false arrest and false imprisonment. In an incident in Gwinnett County, police said the pair broke into a home wielding guns and found the man they were ... (click for more)

Bradley County Police Investigating Shooting; Victim Dies

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Georgetown Road. The sheriff's office said Sunday night that the victim had died. The victim's name has not yet been released.  A BCSO officer was waved down at the intersection of 25 th Street and Peerless Road by the driver of a vehicle who told the officer a gunshot victim ... (click for more)

When Black Friday Comes

So it’s Thanksgiving morning. You stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom to pee. Push the handle and away it goes (where does it go, anyway?) Better head to the kitchen and get the coffee on. While it’s brewing maybe a hot shower – love that gas water heater, I mean, it heats the water, and lots of it. Now time to enjoy a cup o’ joe and some breakfast while catching up with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UVa --Time For Change

The University of Virginia is, by any measure, one of the finest universities in the world. I have long admired it, whether covering dozens of sports events, cavorting with countless friends, or benefitting repeatedly from the surgical skills of the late world-class humanitarian Frank McCue. But today there is a terrible pall over “Mr. Jefferson’s university” – no, make that a ... (click for more)