Heyward on track to take batting practice this weekend

Philadelphia – Jason Heyward is progressing well in the physical therapy on his left thumb and is on track to begin taking batting practice this weekend, Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday.

Heyward will take one more day to work with the physical therapist and then either join the Braves in New York or possibly take some batting practice in Gwinnett starting on Friday.

Wren said the decision will come down to logistics and whether the Braves can have medical staff in place in Gwinnett who are familiar with Heyward’s case, or if the Braves want him working in New York with Braves trainers.

“It’s going well, he feels good and that’s a good sign,” Wren said.

Heyward still has a chance to play in Tuesday’s All-Star game depending on how he progresses through the weekend.

Nate McLouth started his minor league rehabilitation stint in Gwinnett Thursday and his first assignment was to stay out in the dugout during Gwinnett’s day game and get acclimated to the heat. That’s been the last hurdle in McLouth’s recovery from a June 9 concussion, getting over some dizziness he’s experienced in the heat.

Wren said McLouth’s next step would be to go full speed during batting practice on Thursday, and if all goes well get in a game on Friday.

“Power shagging, going at it hard throughout bp, push him to do things he’s going to do in a game, so symptoms don’t come back,” Wren said of the plan for Thursday. “So far so good.”

61 comments Add your comment

eastbound and down

July 7th, 2010
6:17 pm

eastbound and down

July 7th, 2010
6:21 pm

very good news! After reading TP’s assessment awhile back, i was worried this was going to be an issue for the remainder of the year. hopefully, he can return and give the Bravos’ offense a much needed jolt! McLouth can stay in Gwinnett..

SD Dawg

July 7th, 2010
6:23 pm

Can’t understand the fast decline of McClouth. Did the league just figure him out. I am astonished the Braves look so strong with so many starters with par to sub-par averages. Says a lot for the clubhouse. They just get the hit they need when they need it no matter the hitter. Hopefully that bodes well for the rest of the season.

Don’t underscore how huge last nights game was. Losing the series with the Phils would have been back for the psyche. To go into extras and win one on the road….SWEET! Win tonight, win the series against the Mutts and enjoy the break!

Braves fan80

July 7th, 2010
6:33 pm

Need Heyward to come back plus add another starting outfielder through a trade.As for McClouth will Cox give him back his starting position with the way Blanco is playing?

Kreate

July 7th, 2010
6:43 pm

I wonder the same thing Bravesfan80. The Blanco/McLouth situation reminds me of Prado/Johnson. Hopefully Blanco will keep up the good work.

Michael Procton

July 7th, 2010
6:57 pm

e&d, it very will COULD last all year. He won’t be back to 100% until the offseason. But this was the best shot they were going to get to rest him without having him miss a lot of games until then.

As for Bf and K, yes, McLouth will get his job back. Blanco will, in all likelihood, end up back in AAA where he belongs. A few weeks of decent hitting with huge platoon advantages doesn’t make him a starter, or even a #4 OF.

SB75

July 7th, 2010
6:58 pm

Good news on Heyward and McLouth. I know we all want a better hitting outfielder, but with us in a race for the east wouldn’t mcLouth be servicable as a late defensive replacement in LF or pinch runner?

lee

July 7th, 2010
7:01 pm

Cox is such an iddiot, of course he will give McClouth back the position and Blanco will end up back in minors. I mean he has done that before with Blanco. if you remember last year Blanco came up and did and outstand job and was sent down again. McClouth will come back and be lousy again and Blanco will be back in the minors again –its not right–i am so SICK of Bobby Cox and his iddiotic decisions!!!

BravesAreDone

July 7th, 2010
8:23 pm

mclouth is terrible

JMAYNE

July 7th, 2010
8:23 pm

Good news and the ASG would be a good mini-rehab stint for Heyward. Get him back. Add an right-handed bat in the OF for diaz and some prospects. Leave McLouth down as long as possible. THat would give an outfied of Hinske/Willingham or Hart, Melky, Heyward. Could try to keep Blanco up for the spped and defense. Need a bat though. Hopefully Willingham or Hart and not Bautista.

[...] According to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Heyward, who is continuing to recover from a left thumb injury, is considering playing in the All-Star Game this weekend in Anaheim, depending on how his injury progresses this weekend. [...]

the truth...

July 7th, 2010
9:49 pm

McLouth is zero better than Blanco….He cannot hit and couldn’t throw the ball from 3rd to 1st….much less from center to the plate. Since he first came here from Pittsburg I have been amazed how weak the arm is…he is a good pinch runner and ok defensively as long as he doesn’t have to throw the ball…

hAL

July 7th, 2010
10:17 pm

amazing how haystacks injury appears and disapears as it suits him lol lets get willingham to play rf the other two postions are covered

Big Bravos Fan

July 7th, 2010
10:31 pm

Anybody that knows anything about baseball should know that McLouth can rebound once he’s healthy and can contribute to the team. Only the haters, those that have no life, will continue to bash him and any other player on this team that has a couple of bad games.
You idiots that have been bashing Diaz should stop making comments on this post because you have know idea what it takes to play baseball at this level.
McLouth can be a bonus if he returns to his previous form.
And those of you that bad mouth Wren, wtf?? Every GM makes good and bad moves. Name one GM in the NL that has done better than Wren this year. Name one!!
I’ve said my peace and the rest of you idiots out there that have nothing better in their lives than to bad mouth whats going on should shut the F up!

Taco

July 7th, 2010
10:44 pm

Good post Big Bravos Fan. Mclouth, Diaz and all these guys are good. Bashing Bobby is also ludicris, do you want to fire him now in his last season. Shut the F up all you losers and cheer for the boys. NO Haters needed.

We have 50 wins with 3 games left before the break. Are you kidding?

JoD

July 7th, 2010
10:48 pm

FU guys. Fire the DONK, Booby Cox now! He will demote Blanco and bring back McClumsy, and will choke!

Johnny 5

July 7th, 2010
10:54 pm

Great post JoD, I do believe Cox will bring up McClouth and send down Blanco. You cant stop the Good ole boy club.

Gwinnett Braves Bible.com

July 7th, 2010
11:25 pm

Big Bravos Fan,
It’s great to be a Braves fan, especially this year, but seriously, let’s look at facts, not hope for the best.
McLouth has batted .230 since being traded from Pittsburgh. In 2008, he was an All-Star, hitting .276, with 26 HR and 23 SB.
Since coming to Atlanta, McLouth has hit .230 with 14 HR and 16 SB.
I would love to see the 2008 McLouth play for the Braves, but sometimes, players don’t respond or play well when they are traded.
It’s great to support the Braves, but there’s no evidence to say that Nate is going to turn this around, not as long as he’s with the Braves.
I hope I’m wrong, but 141 games with the Braves led me to believe he won’t come around.

http://gwinnettbravesbible.com/

Gwinnett Braves Bible.com

July 7th, 2010
11:27 pm

Bottome line, for whatever reason, Nate isn’t the same player with Atlanta, and just saying he will turn it around because you think or hope he will won’t make it so.

hucker

July 8th, 2010
7:46 am

Really nice to have Diaz back on the field. He adds a lot to the attitude of the team. The Braves don’t have a superstar in the outfield but what they’ve been putting out there has been pretty good. Even Cabrera has been hustling of late.

Peachtree John

July 8th, 2010
7:57 am

Frankly, I’m more concerned with Heyward coming back healthy—physically and mentally. Before his injury, when he came to the plate, there was, at worse, hope that he would come through. After the injury, he was just another old time Brave with no hope for helping the team. We need his return to health–physically and mentally.
Mc? He is toast in Atlanta. Hopefully, Bobby will realize that. Unload him. We have too much other talent that will outperform him any day of the week.
The Braves still need the constant threat of another big bat. (who doesn’t)
Go Braves.

Braves FAn #22

July 8th, 2010
8:03 am

Heyward play in ALL-Star GAME!!!

Nick

July 8th, 2010
8:35 am

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Big Braves Fan. Take off those rose colored glasses for a minute and and reflect upon what McClouth has done over the past year for the Braves…. nada. Like the poster above said, he hasn’t shown any sign of coming out of his atrocious season (I’ve submitted to the fact that it’s not a fluke anymore that he hasn’t produced– you can’t call a drought as long as he’s had a slump anymore). I’m sorry, but you may be the “idiot” (I’d prefer Homer) in this argument. I’m all for having a 2008 McClouth on this team- or heck, anything close to that. However, until he proves that he can hit MINOR LEAGUE pitching, I wouldn’t want him being an automatic out in our Major League lineup.

The Grinch

July 8th, 2010
8:40 am

Big Bravos Fan, as I’ve stated on another blog Wren has done a wonderful job putting together this team which I think is gonna go deep in the playoffs and with one more outfield bat could well make the WS. If you really think that bat is Nate McLouth then you’re high as a kite. 141 bad games is not a “couple;” replacing ANYONE on the current roster with him would weaken what is proving to be an almost magical team. Why would you do that? Wren is a genius and has done a fantastic job so far, but like anyone he occasionally makes a mistake. Nate is it. For whatever reason he’s no longer as good a player offensively OR defensively as Blanco or Cabrera; don’t fix something solid by replacing it with something that’s broken.

Tami

July 8th, 2010
8:43 am

Good question, BravesFan80. I had the same question about Diaz as well. And, throughout last night’s game, I admit being a bit irritated that Diaz was even in the lineup. He wasn’t hitting well before the DL stint, and it looked like that was where he was headed last as I saw him blow at least one scoring opportunity. But, then he got that great, multi-RBI hit in the later innings. Yeah….{{sheepish laugh}} I had to eat crow with that one.

I’d like to see Infante, Prado & Blanco in the lineup all the time – personally. But, Infante & Blanco give the Braves an awesome bench, so I’m torn. And with Jason coming off the DL next week, Blanco needs to stay on the team (someone else can go back down). These guys together can make sweet things happen for the team down the stretch. Prior to this season, I’ve always wanted either Prado or Blanco as the leadoff hitter as they both make things happen (got my wish with Prado). McLouth…..man, I don’t know. I don’t want to knock a guy while he’s down for a concussion of all things. But, he wasn’t doing much before. Put him on the bench, I guess? Can’t have enough guys on the bench this time of the season.

By the way….have you all bought your ticket to the game on October 2nd yet? That’s Bobby Cox Appreciation Night – the next to the last day of the regular season. I’ll soooo be there. We need to turn out en force and fill that place up to the rims and overflowing. Bobby – no matter what you think of him as a manager – needs to go out in style!

. Don

July 8th, 2010
8:54 am

What do you think Bobby Cox will do with McLouth when he comes off the DL

The Grinch

July 8th, 2010
8:55 am

Tami, agreed about Oct. 2nd. I’ve been as critical of Bobby as any over the years, but he’s a great guy and deserves a packed house for his send-off. He may drive us nuts sometimes, but I expect most of us will miss him when he’s gone.

Tami

July 8th, 2010
8:58 am

@ The Grinch: Yeah. You KNOW as well as I do that many comparisons will be made between Bobby and the New Guy(s) (whoever that will be). It will take us a long time to adjust to life in the post-Cox era.

Melky Way

July 8th, 2010
9:40 am

McLouth should not start period. Blanco deserves to start ,but loyal Bobby will start McLouth.Its a shame.Just have to see how it plays out.

GaryG7

July 8th, 2010
9:48 am

It will be good to have Heyward back again. The Braves still have some weaknesses that must be addressed if they are to be an elite team again. Ofante has a good batting average, but he has no punch and rarely walks. Prado is doing well at the top of the order, but he isn’t a basestealing threat. They should send Escobar to a doctor to test him for ADD. What else can explain his dumb mistakes? What happened to the pop in his bat? In 2008 and 2009 25.5% of his hits were for extra bases, including a total of 24 HRs. This year only 18.6% of his hits were for extra bases and they are all doubles.

fieldofdreams

July 8th, 2010
10:21 am

Regarding McLouth: they wouldn’t really disturb this teams’ chemistry, would they?

timthebrave

July 8th, 2010
10:23 am

When Mcclouth comes back he should get some starts. Even if he belongs on the bench you still need to get him some at bats so that when he does come off the bench he can be productive. I’m not going into the bobby cox argument with people anymore. I will watch him be inducted into the hall of fame where he belongs and root on the Braves whomever is managing. Go Braves!

timthebrave

July 8th, 2010
10:32 am

GaryG7, Escobar was hurt at the beginning of the season. He’s starting to get his timing back and the power will hopefully follow. It took Glaus a month to start heating up. I expect big things from escobar in the 2nd half. Go Braves

Kenny Powers

July 8th, 2010
10:58 am

I can still pitch!

Piedmont Blues

July 8th, 2010
11:05 am

hAL,

Step away from the crack pipe.

Piedmont Blues

July 8th, 2010
11:08 am

Until Schafer shows he can do something at the plate, the Braves have to hang on to both McLouth and Blanco, even if Gregor is in AAA. Besides, McLouth has about zero trade value unless he shows something when he returns to the majors. It’s not as if the Braves could get anything of value for him …

Wonder if Nate has any options remaining? If so, and he really stinks it up when he gets back, you could park him in Gwinnett and bring Blanco back to the big club.

Mr. Wizard

July 8th, 2010
11:49 am

There is no room for McClouth on the active roster. With Heyward coming back & Diaz showing signs of life plus the production of Hinske, Infante, & Blanco who will he replace? Even milk dud is a better option. His “rehab” needs to last until September callups.

Jo-Bu

July 8th, 2010
12:11 pm

SD Dawg

July 7th, 2010
6:23 pm
Can’t understand the fast decline of McClouth.

The only thing I can think of is that McLouth was very confident with the Bucks as their star player. He rode that confidence coming to the Braves last season. This season, the Braves are very talented. Maybe he sees himself as an outsider or something? This game is all about confidence and if you don’t have it, this is what can happen.

cdog

July 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

GREAT NEWS! NOW IF SOMEONE WOULD KEEP JASON HEYWARD AWAY FROM CHIPPER JONES, HE CAN BECOME THE PLAYER HE IS SUPPOSE TO BE.HOW CAN YOU GET HURT IN BASEBALL ANYWAY?

[...] with a bone bruise in his left thumb and is not expected to return until after the All-Star break. [Source] from → Atlanta Braves, Jason Heyward ← MRI Reveals No Further Tricep Damage to RHP [...]

Austin

July 8th, 2010
1:02 pm

“power shagging…..going at it hard”…….YEAH, baby, yeah!

ijudgenot

July 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

The Braves are winning for the first time in 4 years for three basic reasons (1) Bobby Cox in his last year is finally a proactive manager. He is not stiting back and just letting the players decide the outcome. He is making moves in game to give his team a chance to score a run, protect the lead with pitching change, or put runners in scoring position by demanding everyone but Chipper and Glaus sacrifice bunt, or utilizing the hit and run.(2) All the hitters on the team except Diaz are patient batters that make the pitcher work for an out even the homerun hitters Glaus,Heyward,Chipper, and McCann. Most of the batters are also contact hitters who don’t strikeout alot. and (3) For the first time in a long time the team has chemistry. All the players except Escobar can be seen outwardly cheering for their teammates to succeed . I’m not trying to be hard on the kid but I don’t see a lot of enthusiasm from him on the bench, hopefuuly he is showing it but the camera has just missed it.
The last reason, Chemistry, is the reason I hope Nate is given the rest of the summer in Gwinnett until the September call ups to prove that he can be helpful to this team. Although I agree with those who say the Braves could use another homerun hitter in the outfield, Nate is not that player. That is probably why he has sunk as low as he has. He has tried to be a homerun hitter despite his build by developing an uppercut swing that causes him to be an easy out for most major league pitchers. A line drive, gap hitter who can beat out bunt hit, like Blanco is more valuable to Braves right now than a guy who would be a hole in the lineup right now. If he hits for .280+ average and 2-3 home runs at Gwinnett with a bunch of doubles and triples, rarher than .220 and 7-8 homeruns off AAA pitching then bring him up on August 31 to replace Blanco for the playoffs.

Chpatt

July 8th, 2010
1:48 pm

I am telling you guys. I have a friend in Pittsburgh. The rumor was that nate was on steroids. I would not be surprised by this at all.

ijudgenot

July 8th, 2010
2:09 pm

Just looked at roster, and I had forgotten that Hicks is still on roster. The Braves have seven infielders now but could easily get by with only six because of the versatility of Conrad and Infante. Conrad has played third and second, and Infante has played 3 of 4 infield positions and 2 of outfield positions(no wonder he is an All Star). Therefore McClouth could be added and Hicks demoted and Blanco retained. I still would rather see McClouth get an extended stay at Gwennett in order to work out his swing problems.

Mathman

July 8th, 2010
3:45 pm

ijudgenot: Your scenario is not possible. Hicks goes down when J-Hey returns. When McLouth returns, that would mean, either Blanco, Melke, or Diaz would have to go. Well, we all know who will go. It will be Blanco.

ijudgenot

July 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

Mathman

July 8th, 2010
3:45 pm
“ijudgenot: Your scenario is not possible. Hicks goes down when J-Hey returns. When McLouth returns, that would mean, either Blanco, Melke, or Diaz would have to go. Well, we all know who will go. It will be Blanco.”

My bad, somehow I forgot about the next NL rookie of the year coming off DL.

Chief Pitchanono

July 8th, 2010
5:00 pm

Sound like CR was reporting the other day that the Braves were waiting on McClouth to decide if they needed another outfielder. I certainly think they do, but most teams that are willing to sale may want too much in return. The best possibility would be to find a team that would want Melky, Nate,Diaz or possibly Escobar in the deal, to lessen the blow to the farm. Don’t be surprised though if no deal can be reached and we end up staying pat. This may be the toughest trade deadline that Wren has had yet, because their are no obvious answers. To me the injury to Heyward and Mclouth’s eternal slump has clouded the whole picture and I don’t think that we will know how this is gonna work before its too late to make a deal. If Heyward comes back strong, then we would probably be Ok without adding a bat, but if he doesn’t and we have to go with the outfield we currently have it will eventually catch up with us and could cost us a chance at the World Series. Its gonna be a gamble either way, but the best we can hope for is for Heyward to come back strong in the next couple of weeks and then we will all feel allot better about the second half nomatter what Wren does.

bp

July 8th, 2010
8:47 pm

We do not need McOut on this roster.Weak arm uppercut dead pull swing.He will never hit MLB pitching.

Johnny Brave

July 8th, 2010
9:56 pm

If Mclouth wasn’t so busy trying to make his swing look better than Griffey Jr. he might hit something.

[...] Heyward is on the mend and on track to take batting practice this weekend. posted by admin in Daily Fantasy News and have No [...]

bravesfanbob

July 9th, 2010
9:01 am

While Blanco is hot, I’d shop him and Freddie Freeman and possibly a bullpen arm to the Orioles for Nick Markakis. He is the most underrated outfielder in the game. All he’s done the last 3 years is averaged over .300, averaged 21 homers, and 100 RBI. He has 1 more year on his contract after this year, and has been critical of the Oriole’s ownership because he wants to win so bad. If we can give them McLouth instead of Blanco, so be it, but we need to dump Freeman before the rest of the league finds out he isn’t the player the scouts thought he was.

. Don

July 9th, 2010
9:17 am

Even though McLouth’s HR and RBI production were not that bad in the two years before this year, his BA has always been in the .250s or below in every single season except one. But there was absolutely no excuse for Bobby Cox keeping him in the lineup on and on and on and on this year and even through the 9 game losing streak with him hitting in the .170s – without giving Infante and Hinske playing time for them to produce. No telling how many games this cost the Braves. There is a slight chance that after some time off coming off the DL, McLouth might come back hitting his career average in the .250s or better – but it probably is not likely. And the problem is that the Braves Boob of a manager is probrably going to give him significant playing time regardless and cost more games.

. Don

July 9th, 2010
9:29 am

No one wants a player to be injured.
But McLouth going on the DL made it impossible for Booby to put him in the lineup.
How many of you think that we would have won as many games during the time McLouth was on the DL – if this had not happened and the Boob had been free to put him in the lineup?

Arkansas Transplant

July 9th, 2010
9:53 am

. Don
July 9th, 2010
9:29 am

Oh yes Don your so right cause we were getting crazy production from cf after he got hurt. Note the sarcasm. The team has been winning as of late because of timely hitting, not mad numbers.

. Don

July 9th, 2010
10:13 am

Arkansas, you seem to be forgetting that Booby was using BOTH McLouth and Melky in the outfield at the same time for most of the season. At least McLouth on the DL made this impossible.

Horner's Corner

July 9th, 2010
10:18 am

Bravesfanbob-

I’m sorry, but what makes you believe the scouts are wrong and Freeman won’t be the player “they thought he was”? He’s done nothing but hit at every level of the minor leagues while still in his teens! At 20 years of age, he’s sporting an .826 OPS at AAA. Take away the first 9 games of the season (he got off to a terrible start) and his OPS is .900

Maybe he’s not HOF material, but he is the ONLY position player in the Braves system with any near-term potential. With Chipper & Glaus on the back sides of their career, it would seem foolish to trade Freeman and his league minimum salary.

heyward22

July 9th, 2010
11:51 am

look, mcclouth is basically done in atlanta. Whoever can post something good about mcclouth at the plate either is a pirates fan from 08, or you got a concusion. seriously, you still believe in mcclouth? get real! he has had plenty of at bats to show us how he is an allstar. time is up for me! maybe not for cox. he has more patient than anyone. lets say mcclouth goes 2-4 in a night, im still not buying it. when was the last time he had a multi hit game? i feel like hes the greg norton of the team this year. i have more faith in hudson batting instead of mcclouth!! please dont send mcclouth up, the braves are doing just great without him.

. Don

July 9th, 2010
11:55 am

Heyward 22, I am inclinded to agree with you.
But problem is — What do you think that our manager the Boob is going to do?

. Don

July 9th, 2010
11:55 am

Heyward 22, I am inclinded to agree with you.
But problem is — What do you think that our manager the Boob is going to do?

Colin

July 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

LET HEYWARD PLAY :D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bravesfanbob

July 9th, 2010
3:02 pm

Horner’s Corner

July 9th, 2010
10:18 am

Bravesfanbob-

I’m sorry, but what makes you believe the scouts are wrong and Freeman won’t be the player “they thought he was”? He’s done nothing but hit at every level of the minor leagues while still in his teens! At 20 years of age, he’s sporting an .826 OPS at AAA. Take away the first 9 games of the season (he got off to a terrible start) and his OPS is .900

Maybe he’s not HOF material, but he is the ONLY position player in the Braves system with any near-term potential. With Chipper & Glaus on the back sides of their career, it would seem foolish to trade Freeman and his league minimum salary.

Because Freeman has trouble with a good right-hander’s split or tailing fastball away, and because he has troble with the left-handed curve or slider away. When he gets to the big leagues, he will face those pitches more often, just like Francoeur. We can win now, and I would be more satisfied with a proven player who has hit around .300 every year of his career, and can win me a World Series now, that to hope that a player may be able to help me later.

Here are Markakis’ lifetime stats:
Games: 710, Missed an average of 5 games a year
Runs scored: 407, Averaging 93 a year with that sorry team
Hits: 802, Averaging 185 per year
Average: .2998
Doubles: 187
HRs: 82
OPS: .838

Simply put, he is the best player in the Major Leagues that no one has ever heard of, and he is not happy as an Oriole. He is an excellent outfielder that can play center, and is much better than Freddie Freeman will ever be, and we can win with him now. If we can’t sign Glaus or Henske next year, we’ll go after Adam Dunn. But that’s next year, and I want to win now.

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