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


#6 Roadrunners Fall To #9 Running Eagles

In a battle of top ranked teams, #6 Dalton State fell to #9 Life (Ga.) 72-71 in overtime at the Eagles Nest in Marietta, Ga.  on Tuesday  night. It would be a back and forth battle early with both teams trading the lead. The Roadrunners would take command at the  15:31  mark on a three from  Deshawn Ruffin  to go up 11-10. Dalton ... (click for more)

Lee Men Win 90-78 At Tusculum

The Lee University men’s basketball passed its first road test of the season with a 90-78 defeat of Tusculum College. It was the Flames’ second win over the Pioneers in seven days. Lee beat Tusculum 83-67 in Cleveland on Nov. 15. The Flames (4-0) trailed Tusculum (1-4) 37-36 after the opening 20 minutes before outscoring their hosts 54-41 in the second half to secure the victory. ... (click for more)

City Council Votes On 1st Reading To Lower Rain Retention Requirement In South Chickamauga Creek Basin

The City Council on Tuesday voted to lower the requirement for rainwater retention in the South Chickamauga Creek basin. The move from holding the first 1.6 inches to one inch had been requested by the Home Builders Association and the Berke administration. Sandy Kurtz, longtime leader of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, said the resolution was "not yet ready ... (click for more)

Former Pilot Regional Account Specialist Says Former President Mark Hazelwood Approved Of Fraud

When well-known attorney Rusty Hardin on Tuesday asked a former Pilot regional account specialist if she believed that former president Mark Hazelwood knew of a plan to cheat trucking firms he didn't get the answer he expected. Holly Radford told a jury in Chattanooga, "I know he had knowledge of the rebate schemes that were going on. "I had conversations with him about it ... (click for more)

Thankful For Tennessee

While Christmas reigns supreme as a holiday marking the birth of our Lord, I have always felt a special connection with Thanksgiving. These days Christmas unfortunately includes ubiquitous commercialism which can distract us from the true meaning of the day. Thanksgiving stands apart from all that. This day gives us an opportunity to reflect and take stock of our many blessings.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Eve

I don’t know who was the first to do the Famous Pregnant Turkey prank but I’ll bet you a handful of giblets there will be a lot of copycats who try it today. The trick is finding a Cornish hen that is small enough to stuff inside the larger turkey. Then you skillfully pack the bird with some of that sausage-sage dressing and put your Thanksgiving dinner in the oven. When all ... (click for more)