Heyward unlikely to return to lineup for Phillies series

Braves right fielder Jason Heyward has seen improvement in his sore right shoulder but is unlikely to return to the Braves starting lineup for the remainder of the Phillies series.

Heyward was available to pinch run Friday night and could see limited action off the bench before the series is up, but Heyward said anything beyond that on Sunday might be “pushing it.”

“I’ll see how it feels Sunday, but my plan is probably four days,” said Heyward, who received two cortisone shots in his shoulder on Thursday afternoon.

Four days of rest would put his return Monday in the series-opener against the Astros. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez didn’t plan to put Heyward in the lineup again until then.

Joe Mather replaced Heyward in right field on Friday night against Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, having gone 3-for-6 against him. Gonzalez said Eric Hinske will start in right Saturday and Sunday against the Phillies’ scheduled starters Joe Blanton and Roy Halladay, both right-handers. Hinske is 14-for-40 (.350) with three home runs and 10 RBIs against right-handers this season.

Heyward has felt shoulder pain on and off since spring training but has seen it worsen this month. He’s hitting 2-for-28 with 13 strikeouts in May.

An MRI taken Thursday showed no significant damage, just some inflammation in his rotator cuff.

“(Doctors) said three, four days, don’t come back until you’re ready,” Heyward said. “Thank God no DL, no tears. (But Sunday) is pushing it a little bit. You’re taking time to get it fixed.”

Jurrjens’ using Venters grip

In his second game back from an oblique injury, Jair Jurrjens added a new twist to his sinker – a Jonny Venters-style grip.

Venters has earned the admiration of the rest of the Braves pitching staff over the past year for his 94-95 mph sinker from the left-hand side, which baffles hitters.

So Jurrjens, who felt like his fastball was flattening out, asked Venters about his grip in batting practice one day. Venters holds the two-seam fastball with his index and middle finger between the two seams. Jurrjens held his two fingers split in a more traditional position on the seams.

Jurrjens said he tried the new grip in a couple of bullpens, then debuted it against the Dodgers in LA. He gave up one run in six innings in that game and has been using it since.

“It’s sinking more, going down,” Jurrjens said. “The other one was running.”

Jurrjens is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five starts since returning from the disabled list. He’s looking for his second win in a row against the Phillies Saturday.

Not that Venters thinks he has much to do with it.

“I’m going to take all the credit for his success,” Venters said with a smile.


Gonzalez planned to give Venters Friday night off after he’d pitched six times in eight days, including an off day. He’d pitched in six of the last seven games, including three in a row entering the Phillies’ series….

Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish missed Friday’s game for his daughter’s graduation in Bainbridge…Braves minor leaguer Mycal Jones was arrested for DUI early Friday morning in Pearl, Miss. and has been suspended from the Double-A Mississippi Braves. Jones was converted from shortstop to center field this season and was hitting only .174 in seven games, after opening the season on the disabled list with a foot injury.

27 comments Add your comment


May 13th, 2011
7:07 pm

get the pain out then come back and induce pain with the bat


May 13th, 2011
7:09 pm

Heyward seems to be injury prone, for such a young fellow.


May 13th, 2011
7:09 pm

This is a broken record already


May 13th, 2011
7:12 pm

give him a break, he hasn’t hidden anything, they were treating with anti-inflammatories early in the season… remember Wren says these guys play “sore” or with pain all the time…. Gonzo has a groin strain, others have stuff too…

“Guys have things that are sore all the time, and they play with them, just like he has, and it hasn’t been an issue,” Wren said. “And it gets to a point where it’s a little bit over that line and then you start feeling like it’s affecting your performance, and I think he got to that point this week.”


May 13th, 2011
7:15 pm

at least we can stop speculating which Gwinnett outfielder should get called up to cover a DL stint

Smart Jay

May 13th, 2011
7:34 pm

Is that a style thing at the AJC to write in the past tense, even though the game hasn’t even started?


May 13th, 2011
7:35 pm

Well, I’d rather have a properly healed Heyward than to rush him out and potentially make the injury worse. Hope to have him back soon.


May 13th, 2011
7:44 pm

YESS!!!!!!! Thank GOD for youtube! The full 17 minutes of IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA!!!!!!

Dennis Reynolds

May 13th, 2011
8:27 pm

With Beachy down, I wonder if the Braves will call up the rookie who’s been tearing up AAA or the veteran who’s been doing the same?

Id like to see Minor come up but odds are, we’ll see Lopez

Jess Phillips Jr

May 13th, 2011
9:22 pm

I’m a retired NFL football player and I’m in Emory Medical Center Midtown. The reason I’m here would make for a great human interest sports story.

Jess Phillips, Jr
2138 Emory Medical Center

Doctor: Jay Miller

These Braves don't ROCK!!

May 13th, 2011
9:26 pm

Lardass McCan’t comes through in the clutch again. Hits into double play with bases loaded. Most overrated player in the national league. There’s a great chance he isn’t through hurting the team, he always has at least one passed ball late in the game when it is crunch time.


May 13th, 2011
10:07 pm

Who the hell wants him to return, not me! He’s a big time flop.

[...] Heyward is unlikely to play this weekend against Philadelphia. He is still being bothered by the shoulder. This “minor” injury is starting to get a [...]


May 13th, 2011
10:45 pm

Best news i’ve heard lately.


May 13th, 2011
10:53 pm

Uggla is pathetic! He was hitting .199 prior to tonight’s game, and now it is less than that. He struck out 3 times tonight with men in scoring position. Who is the genius that got him and let Infante go? He needs to be on the bench or playing for another team.


May 13th, 2011
11:28 pm

Look for the Braves to DL Beachy but bring up a reliever Saturday, since they don’t need a starter until May 18. Most likely, Proctor will be the guy called up Saturday. Then, someone will have to go down when a starter is called up for next Wed.


May 13th, 2011
11:33 pm

Uggla, Freeman and Heyward = MURDERERS ROW.


May 14th, 2011
2:14 am

Freeman on learning curve right now and will be a good one in future. How frustrating is it to see all those runners on base and can’t get them in? As for Heyward, if he keeps getting these nagging injuries, it will be of concern for his future here. Uggla’s name should end in y instead of a. We in middle of May now and he should have warmed up by now. We can’t keep winning consistently with Half the infield hitting so meekly and lately a bullpen that can’t hold a lead. I am a long standing Brave Fan. Heck, I grew up outside of Washington D C nuff said

McCann Fan

May 14th, 2011
8:32 am

Hey These Braves Don’t Rock,
Check the stats idiot. McCann is leading the league in batting average with runners in scoring position. Have you already forgotten the game-winning hit in the 10th from Thursday night? And who won the all-star game last year with a 3-run walk-off double? It was McCann. Get a life loser

face it

May 14th, 2011
9:32 am

last night the Phillies manager said “I’m going to make McCann or Uggla beat us” and they didn’t.


May 14th, 2011
9:41 am

Would someone explain to me the difference between Mycal Jones’ DUI and Derek Lowe’s? Why is one player suspended and another allowed to keep playing as if nothing happened? Other than the fact that Jones is hitting.174, of course. Inquiring minds would like to know.


May 14th, 2011
9:46 am

Ok I’m ready to trade Uggla now.

Tommy Boggs

May 14th, 2011
10:02 am

When the Uggla trade was announced I was stoked until I saw we let Infante go. I hate to be fair weather but Infante is a much better situational hitter. This team steals no bases and has way too many strikeouts.


May 14th, 2011
11:25 am

joe mather hit two doubles last night leave haystack on the bench where he can spend his time thinking up his next non exsistent injury to cover awful preformance lol

[...] Heyward is unlikely to return to the Braves lineup this weekend. Heyward’s sore right shoulder remains sore and there is no need to rush him [...]


May 14th, 2011
1:19 pm

DOB, will you PLEASE have Fredi explain why he had our #2 hitter sacrifice 3 times (and thus literally giving up an inning’s worth of outs)? This needs to stop, and you need to ask him about every dumb sacrifice (which happens at least once a game).

[...] Suspended after DUI arrest [...]

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