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

Barry Young's Sports Memorabilia To Be Auctioned

Barry Young for years dedicated himself to his love of youth athletics and athletics in general; through his love of being an official for youth baseball, youth football, youth basketball and more all the way through college athletics.   Barry was always the guy who had “cool” stuff like team jackets and jerseys with mementos sewn into the pieces, the signed autographs ... (click for more)

Covenant Men Fall At Piedmont 59-56

 On a night where both teams struggled shooting from the field, the Covenant men's basketball team rallied late but ultimately fell to host Piedmont 59-56 in USA South action inside Cave Arena on Wednesday night. The teams both shot just over 30 percent from the field, but it was a key 3-pointer from Piedmont's Peyton Luken that gave the Lions a 55-52 lead with over a ... (click for more)

First Chattanooga Parking Study Since 2004 Gets Underway

The first comprehensive study of parking in downtown Chattanooga since 2004 is getting underway. The project  Is being led by the River City Company and CARTA in partnership with the city of Chattanooga. It is funded by the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations along with several downtown stakeholders including Erlanger Health System, UTC and Siskin Hospital. The study ... (click for more)

Cleveland To Get Bus Service To Chattanooga Under Federal Grant

Cleveland, Tn., will be getting bus service to Chattanooga under a federal grant. The city was notified recently that the Tennessee Department of Transportation selected its proposal for funding under the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program. Tanisha J. Hall, state long range planning division director, said, "The Cleveland-Chattanooga Commute ... (click for more)

Bikers Need To Have Licenses And Insurance - And Response

I am okay with Haslam’s idea of raising the gas tax and lowering the food tax.  But, I want to see a tax of bicycles since they have their own lanes now and they also have to be maintained. How much revenue would that bring in?  I would think if we have enough bike riders to have the lanes in the first place, there must be enough to generate some money for road improvements. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where Is Central’s Auditorium?

I am surely one of the biggest proponents of high school athletics there is, especially after half a decade of being an eye witness to the vast array of lessons that are learned every day by anyone associated with sports. That said, I have watched the Hamilton County Commission waffle on a $500,000 track at Central High School with a certain curiosity because the same high school ... (click for more)