Chipper: Braves need Heyward back on field

MIAMI – Jason Heyward was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list and play Tuesday, but the Braves’ young slugger had not swung a bat in more than two weeks and was still probably a few days from even hitting off a tee.

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said he understands that Heyward wanted his sore shoulder healthy before he plays again, but said the 21-year-old right fielder needs to realize how important he could be to the Braves right now.

Heyward recently said that he wouldn’t return before his shoulder was completely recovered, that he learned his lesson from trying to play through injury as a rookie in 2010. The quote got a lot of attention, not just from fans and media but other players.

“There’s not [pat answers]; it’s within each individual player,” said Jones, who has been plagued by injuries since his mid-30s, after averaging about 158 games played per season for nearly a decade.

“I think where Jason might have erred was the comment that he made, ‘I’m not coming back until it doesn’t hurt anymore.’ That has a tendency to rub people the wrong way,” Jones said. “And we understand where he’s coming from – he wants to be healthy when he plays, so he can go out and give himself the best opportunity to be successful. I get that.

“What Jason needs to realize is that Jason at 80 percent is a force, and Jason at 80 percent is better than a lot of people in this league. And that there are a bunch of his teammates that are out there playing with discomfort and not healthy, and still going at it.”

Heyward last played on May 21, and for the past week has been rehabbing at the Braves’ extended-spring training site in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Utility players Eric Hinske and Joe Mather have split playing time in right field.

Braves right fielders ranked last in the National League with a .225 average and .302 on-base percentage before Tuesday.

Heyward hit .214 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and a .317 OBP in 45 games before going on the DL, including 4-for-41 with one double, no RBIs and 15 strikeouts in 17 games during May. He said his right (non-throwing) shoulder had bothered him since late in spring training, but worsened to being painful to swing by mid-May.

An MRI exam showed inflammation but no structural damage. He had cortisone shots in the front and back of the shoulder, rested for a few days, then returned to the lineup. A few days later, he said the pain returned.  Heyward was placed on the DL and flown back to Atlanta from Anaheim on May 22 for another MRI.

The second MRI was a dye-contrast type that produces more detailed scans. It  showed no structural damage, only inflammation of the labrum that the Braves characterized as “normal wear and tear.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez had initially anticipated having Heyward back from the DL within a few days of the 15-day point, but Heyward continued to complain of soreness in the shoulder. Monday was the first day that he told team officials the shoulder felt significantly improved.

“He’s feeling a better, so that’s a good sign,” Gonzalez said. “Probably about three or four days away from swinging a bat. What I mean by that, probably hitting off a tee, soft-toss.”

If Heyward has no setbacks in a few days of hitting off a tee, then in batting practice or extended-spring training games, he would probably begin a short minor-league rehab stint of two or three games.

“By that point he’ll be [out] almost three weeks, right?” Gonzalez said. “So you hate to run him back in there and hurt his legs or something. So when he’s ready to go, I’m assuming three rehab games, maybe.”

Along with Dan Uggla’s season-long slump, Heyward’s diminished production has had a profound effect on the Braves’ offense. As a rookie, Heyward hit .277 with 18 homers, 72 RBIs and a .393 OBP that was one of the highest in history for a player so young.

“It’s just a situation where, I don’t think he really realizes how much of an impact he has on the game just by his presence,” Jones said. “And that’s something I had to learn, too. When I started going through my injuries early on, obviously I wanted to get healthy and whatnot. But I realize that, even now, my presence in the lineup means something. Whether I’m healthy or not.

“And he’s more of a benefit to us standing out there in right field than he is down here in Florida [at extended spring training].”

Jones was asked whether the Braves’ lagging offense was any more difficult to address via the trade market, given the uncertainty of Heyward’s return and the continued struggles by Uggla.

“All the more reason to go out and get somebody,” Jones said. “If you’re not certain, if you don’t know that you can count on him to come back, then you’ve got to do something. Obviously that’s not a decision for the players to make. That’s a decision that Frank {Wren, Braves general manager] going to have to weigh.

“Meanwhile, there are a lot of question marks right now with the ballclub. Time is going to have to bear out the answers.”

250 comments Add your comment

chpatt

June 7th, 2011
7:37 pm

First!

By the way, I hope Jason sees this because Chipper is right. I think Jason is being somewhat selfish. But who am I to accuse? Go Braves.

Kat

June 7th, 2011
7:44 pm

I’m enjoy Chipper’s honesty about the situation. Heyward’s young and should take note from a veteran like Chipper…not only about how to go out there on the field pushing through uncomfortable aches but the importance of club cohesiveness.

JD

June 7th, 2011
7:47 pm

Bout time Chipper said something…jason you got to cowboy up dude…you and your old man disease gotta kick it in gear …it’s called PRO ball.

kwajbraves

June 7th, 2011
7:49 pm

Jones wants Jason back so he can take his place at DL. (lol)

Martin Elginbrod

June 7th, 2011
7:49 pm

Chipper, keep it out of the papers. Right or wrong, this sh** is unnecessary. Punk move.

RHR

June 7th, 2011
7:50 pm

Wow. You can always count on Hoss to tell it like it is. Hope Jason doesn’t take this the wrong way.

SB75

June 7th, 2011
7:51 pm

I agree with what Jason is doing. He played through pain last year and got ripped by us the fans ( Yes us the fans) for slumping. He watched Jordan get hurt the year before and try and play through it, guess what? We ripped him to. If it was just something minor, I’d say he should be playing. But if the pain is there every time he swings and it’s messing with his swing ( as it has), take the time and get healthy. Get healthy Jason, we do need you back!

TommyJack

June 7th, 2011
7:52 pm

If there’s any pushing done, it will be Chipper. Fredi won’t say squat. Way too passive.

KnightInATL

June 7th, 2011
7:52 pm

I love it. Call it like you see it, Chipper. Heyward needs to sack-up.

worm

June 7th, 2011
7:53 pm

How can D. Lowe refuse a breathalyzer and keep his license-It’s Ga. law that it’s a mandatory suspension…His attorney is Bubba Head-Surely you jest?

chpatt

June 7th, 2011
7:55 pm

Martin Elginbrod: Keep it out of the papers? He’s the only player who speaks the truth on this team. Tell Carlos Zambrano to keep his thoughts on his own team and accusations of his own pitcher Carlos Marmol. THAT needs to be kept in the locker room and not in the National news.

We need smarter fans.

Martin Elginbrod

June 7th, 2011
7:56 pm

“Martin Elginbrod: Keep it out of the papers? He’s the only player who speaks the truth on this team.”

One’s got nothing to do with the other. Tell the truth to the player’s face. Or pick up a phone. Dragging it in front of the public is Bush League.

“We need smarter fans.”

Then read a book.

jonathan Simeone

June 7th, 2011
8:00 pm

At this point, you really have to question if Heyward has the toughness and health profile needed to be a good player. I would be surprised if Jason reached the potential we all had for him a season ago. That’s sad.

i love it

June 7th, 2011
8:03 pm

Thats right chip. Hey J Hey chipper is 39 he has had 4 or 5 days off this entire season he is limping around cant run but he is still out there giving his all and hitting. Gata get tough kid 162 games is a long season we need you.

Are u sure he keeps his license

June 7th, 2011
8:07 pm

Seems he won the case fair & square- cop misidentifies car…other racer goes free…he is not knee-walkin drunk….That said – he may have still lost his lic-4 refusing breath tests.Experts & lawyers????

Dawgdad (The Original)

June 7th, 2011
8:08 pm

I am with Jason, I haven’t missed him because he was doing so poorly while trying to play through his injury. If you aren’t contributing, Chip, you need to give someone else a chance.

My frustration is that the Braves started out way to light in the outfield at the get go. So Heyward gets hurt and they haven’t done anything to remedy the situation. I would have brought up Wilkin and given him a fair shot at some consecutive AB’s. Mather and Hinske have done better than Jason was doing, but with them in the lineup we have no bench. Wren should have not let us get in this situation.

They only draft pitchers and Wren says it is great strategy because if we need a position player, we can always trade for one. Yet, he never does. He falls in love with every pitcher and says they have too much potential to trade.

Jipper Chones

June 7th, 2011
8:10 pm

Yeah Heyward has a big contract to look forward to, no need for him to play hurt and spoil his numbers. Its all about the money honey.

alex

June 7th, 2011
8:10 pm

If it’s all about the team, sure could use chipper’s money to buy another outfielder and an everyday 3rd basement who can move…….Hmmmmmm

Gonzo-HR,lovely to see
Chipper fly to right……

chpatt

June 7th, 2011
8:19 pm

Hey ALEX:

From 2005-2008 Chipper restructured his contract and saved the Braves 15 MILLION DOLLARS. This restructured contract has allowed the Braves to sign players/afford them through trade. How do you think we were able to afford the multiple millions of dollars we had to pay for Teixeira??

We need smarter fans.

alex

June 7th, 2011
8:26 pm

moron chpatt so how is he saving the braves THIS YEAR-wake up,it’s 2011,using teixeirra as an example proves your utter brilliance-idiot You need to restructure your thinking,if you have had any worthwhile thoughts in the last 3 years….

Another great at bat by uggla

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

farmer

June 7th, 2011
8:35 pm

good for Chipper. he needs to grab this situation and tell Heyward to man up. he is a being a little wimp for not going out there and being a gamer.. get off your butt and play dude. everyone else is.,

Grincheee

June 7th, 2011
8:37 pm

I completely agree with Heyward; there’s absolutely no reason to waste your entire season playing through an injury that keeps you from contributing anyway. I’d much rather have Jason at full speed for the 2nd half of the season than have him be worthless the entire time. Chipper needs to mind his own business; if he’d gotten his knee scoped back when they first found the tear he’d be coming back about now and playing at close to full strength instead of hobbling around at 60% until it finally tears all the way. He’s the LAST person who needs to be giving this kind of advice.

Anon21

June 7th, 2011
8:42 pm

Chipper has earned the right to speak out like this, but in this case, he is completely wrong. We saw what this injury does to Jason before he went to to the DL: it turns him into a garbage hitter. We don’t need that guy back in our lineup, we need the Jason who’s at 100% and killing the ball.

Jason: ignore Chipper. Stay out until you’re nice and healthy, then come back and play like we know you can.

chpatt

June 7th, 2011
8:43 pm

The point I was trying to make is that he saved money that the Braves we’re allowed to use on players that are currently on our team. That money was used to sign and trade for players and/or use on team/club options to keep players on the team. I didn’t even call you an idiot….anyways, hit me where it hurts…Teixeira was a good example bc that’s how we were able to trade for him. Then we traded him and STILL HAD THE MONEY LEFT OVER! (Angels willing to pay)

Here’s a list you Jackass (curent AND former):

Troy Glaus
Eric Hinske
Omar Infante
Using Alex Gonzalez’s option for this year
Billy Wagner
Nate McLouth

He took one for the team. That was his reason. To pave the way for the future. Whether it was 3 years ago or 3 years from now. It all adds up.

Rupert

June 7th, 2011
9:32 pm

I am 100% with Chipper. First, he is the man on this team. Folks need to understand he can say/do what he wants at this point. Chipper has earned the right to be the defacto captain of this club.

Secondly, what he is saying is right. Heyward HAS NO INJURY. For all the folks on here saying “get well J-Hey” “We love you buddy, see you in the second half” read the dang article. HE HAS NO INJURY BESIDES NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR. Read between the lines on Chipper’s comments and you can tell Heyward’s comments have rubbed the team the wrong way. When you have guys trying to grit it out, hearing someone essentially say he’s too good to grit it out for the good of the team is frustrating. So to you folks, you with Chipper and the whole team, or with Heyward?

Thirdly, there is a huge difference between playing hurt and playing injured. Heyward is not injured. He is maybe not even hurt. You play when you are hurt/discomforted, you shut it down normally when you’re injured.

Finally, I love Heyward. I love his tools. I think he’s the future of this franchise. But this is a learning moment. If he wants to take the helm, he has got to learn to play through the wear and tear of a season, and play well. He had similar issues in the minors. The real problem this year has been his approach at the plate, very pull happy. He didn’t get results, and seemed to take his toys and go home with this injury deal. He also has to learn to not say things that tick off his teamates and make him seem selfish, which I’m sure he’s not. And why does Chipper say this in the media? He’s already talked to Heyward and it did not ressonate. I guarantee you this didn’t just pop in his head and come out. This is a message. Maybe it will piss Jason off, maybe that’s what he needs, some motivation.

rAdnay

June 7th, 2011
9:33 pm

Once aginn, chippie opens his white trash mouth. Mather needs to be in right and chippie needs to retire. Don’t play on Sunday and mounes all the time. How do you spell BUM.

rbrave

June 7th, 2011
9:33 pm

What the heck do we need Heyward for ? he’s done nothing. At least Chippie has a history of years of excellent play with many offensive records and headed to the HOF. Heyward has been hurt from day one and uses these injuries as excuses! He’s a 6 ‘5” baby.

smallmouth6

June 7th, 2011
9:35 pm

Heyward needs a Mickey Mantle talk from his daddy. Good job, Chipper.

TS

June 7th, 2011
9:48 pm

Chipper is wrong. We’ve seen repeatedly that Jason at 80% is flat out terrible. Jason at 100% is a superstar waiting to happen. Here’s hoping it happens.

[...] that are out there playing with discomfort and not healthy, and still going at it.” – Chipper Jones on Jason Heyward who was eligible to come off the DL today. Sounds to me like he is calling out a [...]

Deedle Nick

June 7th, 2011
9:57 pm

Unbelievable. Braves win on two hits and move into second place, three games out.

alex

June 7th, 2011
10:07 pm

So fast forward can we say that his cash for this year is screwing the team for the next few years. Chipper’s current play is an excellent example of why a player should not play at 80%.Chipper(LARRY) your hooters wings are waiting…

Anon21

June 7th, 2011
10:08 pm

Rupert: You’re a moron. Sorry, no nice way to put it. Your assertion that Heyward is not injured is not just utterly without support, it’s completely belied by 1) the information about the type and nature of the injury released by the team; 2) the way the team has handled the injury; and 3) Heyward’s self-reports. What on Earth makes you think you know better than doctors, sports trainers, and the man himself about whether or not Jason Heyward is currently injured is beyond me.

mark

June 7th, 2011
10:12 pm

Jeff Francoeur has more Home Runs and RBI’s than anybody on the Braves. Oh, and he plays everyday. Just saying…….

jw

June 7th, 2011
10:18 pm

This is ridiculous….Jason DID “grind it out” for a month with this injury and he was hitting just over .200. How long do you people propose that he hit .200 before he shuts it down, just so you can feel good about what a gamer he is??? And for people who are saying “he has no injury,” how do you presume to know? On what evidence are your presumptions based? How do you know how bad a shoulder injury hurts? Don’t be stupid…let the kid get healthy and then let him play. There is no sense in risking permanent injury by being a gamer. You don’t like when Schafer plays hurt, but then you expect Heyward to….figure it out people.

mark

June 7th, 2011
10:21 pm

Jason is thinking about Jason, not the Braves.

carlchamblee

June 7th, 2011
10:24 pm

Chipper sure didn’t like it when he thought Smoltz was questioning him not playing through an injury. Went crying and whining to the media then said later it all should have been kept in house.

Guess it’s ok for him to publicly call guys out but when the shoe is on the other foot…

Of course, hyposcrisy is what one expects with a guy who still hits on waitresses all the time while married

Jo-Bu

June 7th, 2011
10:25 pm

Major League Baseball history is littered with players who’s careers were cut short due to not being able to handle the rigors of a 162 game season. Hope Heyward does not profile that way. That’s a huge bat to count on in a lineup when he’s not in it. It’s my hunch that he is too injury-prone and could very well be one of those statistics.

ijudgenot

June 7th, 2011
10:26 pm

Martin Elginbrod

June 7th, 2011
7:49 pm
“Chipper, keep it out of the papers. Right or wrong, this sh** is unnecessary. Punk move.”

OK Chipper since you are telling it like you see it. Will you now tell the press that Uggla is killing this team with his “stepping in the bucket, whirlly bird swing” Will you say that Hoss? No you will keep your trap shut just like you should have done for Heyward. If Chipper does not retire after this year this kid may go elsewhere.

Mark Duncan

June 7th, 2011
10:27 pm

I agree with Chipper, especially in light of how awful this current offense his. I’m not trying to rip Heyward but we need him in right field unless he is totally unable to produce. Waiting until he feels totally pain free may mean waiting to play in March of 2012. Something has to give with this offense and Heyward’s return may spark something. Great game by Hanson and the pen, Uggla still brutal.

mark

June 7th, 2011
10:28 pm

carlchamblee………….When is the last time you dined with Chipper?

Daniel

June 7th, 2011
10:44 pm

Chipper is exactly right. It hurts Heyward, we get it, but if theres no structural damage isnt 15 days enough?

benchwarmer

June 7th, 2011
10:54 pm

Uggla can’t hit an away pitch. He has an awful stance which prevents him from doing so. Fix stance improve plate coverage. Real simple. I am beginning to believe he is simple minded. No one pitches to his inside anymore. The book has been written on ol’ Dan-o. Where is Larry Parrish. What is going on with this teams hitting?

Steve

June 7th, 2011
10:55 pm

Jason Bobblehead doll will break.

Powder Blue

June 7th, 2011
11:16 pm

Congrats to Heyward on becoming the first female to play in MLB.

well chipper

June 7th, 2011
11:20 pm

if you feel that way about heyward, then how ’bout letting him hit third?

NORRIS

June 7th, 2011
11:48 pm

at what point do you part with some young pitching and go get a sure fire outfielder that is consistent? im tired of having the worst outfield in the majors…

CRMAC300

June 7th, 2011
11:57 pm

Practically everyone plays at less than 100%. Heyward needs to start taking the outside pitch to left field, like he did early last year and pull only the inside pitch. That shoulder will feel a lot better when he remembers how to hit. Larry Parrish is invisible on this team. There is no excuse for letting Heyward get pull happy and for Uggla to continue to do what is not working. Might as well let Terry Pendleton take his old job back. Chipper has earned the right to say what he thinks. You Chipper haters can’t call yourselves Braves fans. Find another team to complain about. Chipper is the face of the Braves and has more guts in his little toe than Heyward has in his whole body. With this pitching staff, all we need to do is hit a little and we will win the division. Get Heyward off his pansy ass and back in the line up. Get Uggla in the batting cage until his hands bleed. This is a big boy game.

acbwcmm

June 8th, 2011
12:12 am

Heyward was hitting .214 before he went to the DL. I don’t think he’d be helping too much if he was back, especially not if he is still injured.

BOISESTATEBRONCO

June 8th, 2011
12:17 am

It’s Uggla that I am worried about… I mean, 5yr contract with this guy?!? Sure hope he finds the answer soon

BOISESTATEBRONCO

June 8th, 2011
12:19 am

80% of .214= a .171 batting average. This is better than half the league?? That’ll make Uggla happy!

GameCock Brave

June 8th, 2011
12:25 am

Do you really think Chipper sought of Dave O? Or was he simply providing a honest answer to a question by a beat writer? I will go with the later, I agree that Jason needs to be in the lineup and I suspect his DL assignment is very similar to Kelly Johnson’s “sore wrist” two years ago aka give them some time off to clear their heads and get their timing back with some “minor league” rehab. I wish we would do the same with Uggla, call up Wilken R and move Prado to 2nd base.

BravesfaninAugusta

June 8th, 2011
12:34 am

Chipper showing his leadersip there….I agree 100% the Braves can’t let a still unproven player dictate when he plays if the docs give him a clean bill of health. BUT I think Heyward will react negatively to this…. Bad situation all around

mathman

June 8th, 2011
12:56 am

This team certainly has problems: Chipper should have kept his opinion inside the clubhouse. Truth is, he is not hitting worthy of a 15mil contract either. McCann hits, but is not a good pitch caller or defensive player; Prado swings for the fence more this year, hits a lot more fly balls and hits into DP’s. Prado needs to go back to using the entire field.
Schafer is good defensively, can’t hit. McLouse is neither a good hitter or defensive player. Freeman is a rookie, but is actually our 3rd best hitter and one of top defensive players; Gonzalez swings for the fences, can’t hit 2nd, and will hit .250 with an attitude. Uggla is beyond help this year. Evidently, can’t or won’t seek help. Mather hit one series, now can’t hit. Severe uppercut and can’t hit the breaking pitch. Hinske is slumping as he did a year ago when playing fulltime. Folks, this team has problems.

Pitching is a strength and is even better when Ross is the catcher. It appeared Ross was looking to the bench tonight. Maybe, they were calling the pitches. Maybe, that would help McCann. Whoever was calling the pitches, mixed them up tonight, more than usual. We simply are with Hudson and Lowe throwing too many fastballs early in the count. The opponent simply takes the fastball the other way. Something, the Braves hitters might think of doing. It is amazing with this offense that we are only 3 games out. Amazing.

just saying...

June 8th, 2011
1:04 am

Agree with Rupert.

You can bet Chipper has already told him to his face.

If Heyward was anyone else on the team everyone in the media and fans would be giving him hell. What’s different about Heyward?

Linebrink For Cy

June 8th, 2011
1:17 am

Chipper, JHey stunk in May, which was apparently the result of his injury, and you want him to come back before it’s 100%? No, even if it means you have to take a few lickings here and there you gotta let his shoulder heal otherwise even if he is playing he’ll be about as useful as Uggla is right now.

It’s easy for Chipper “The Man of 1000 Injuries” to say “play through pain” but Jason is still a rookie. One guy has built of a sort of pain tolerance due to the amount of injuries he’s sustained over the years while the other guy doesn’t want to permanently damage his shoulder before he’s even gotten started in the majors.

Maybe try to get the guys already in the lineup to do a bit more first before talking to guys who are not.

Linebrink For Cy

June 8th, 2011
1:21 am

“What’s different about Heyward?”

Star future rookie?

rob from sc

June 8th, 2011
1:33 am

Hey Chipper. Maybe if Uggla didn’t suck Jason wouldn’t need to come back still injured
Chipper how did you feel when smoltz called you out

dilly

June 8th, 2011
2:17 am

Chipper is right. I suspect he has talked with Jason. I agree he was probably answering a question from one of the reporters and don’t believe it was anything bad that he said. He knows that Jason, even though he has not done much so far, can be a very valuable part of this lackluster offense. Chipper probably remembers when Smoltzie called him out and knows how it gave him the boost to try harder.

need4speed

June 8th, 2011
2:24 am

Has anybody considered trying Hayward at first? This would give his arm and back a rest, and at least get him back in the line-up.

bob

June 8th, 2011
3:52 am

Can we go ahead and trade J-Hey for Jay Bruce straight up?

Bobby Bobby

June 8th, 2011
5:13 am

Oh so Larry Wayne Jr plays a few games with a bad knee and decides to bash his fellow team mate for being hurt. Larry has killed this team for going on 10 years now. He should keep his mouth shut. BMac is a much better leader

Mike

June 8th, 2011
5:48 am

Selfish!!! What will you guys say if he comes back too early and tears that shoulder or has another injury trying to compensate for the current injury. Sure he is important, sure we need him out there, but we need him for the rest of the year. Patience my fellow bloggers and lets get him back when is mind and body are ready.

tim

June 8th, 2011
6:18 am

Chipper is correct Heyward is a wuss. But would you want this slug in the line up? Have we not suffered enough by watching Uggla in the lineup everyday,now you want another no hitting clown in there with him. Here is a better idea package the two of them together and ship them to a local little league team for a couple of 12 yr olds who at least would try every day. Thanks Wren

Furman Bitcher

June 8th, 2011
7:01 am

Read between the lines here guys this is Chipper’s last season and he wants to go back to the playoffs and w/o Heyward back in there and Uggla hitting that isnt going to happen. Chipper will not play in 2012.

Chipper Jones, MD

June 8th, 2011
7:03 am

I may not be a doctor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express on my last fishing trip to Florida.

stew

June 8th, 2011
7:24 am

Hunter Pence.

pocaroba biff

June 8th, 2011
7:32 am

Last year sports illustrated did an article about the specialization of young athletes. for example baseball, where you can go to all star leagues and such all year long, playing only baseball, and how this is leading to junior high and high school kids getting injuries before only seen in major league baseball players, like rotator cuff.
Is this what is happening with Heyward? I read how his dad took him to baseball camps and leagues all year long, and in his two short years with the braves he has been injury prone.

Chipper Jones

June 8th, 2011
8:00 am

Playoffs? I gotta protect my career .300 average

This will be my last season

Tami

June 8th, 2011
8:13 am

Chipper is right. Shows his maturity & experience in his comments. I do remember his young playing days and his attitude then, so he’s come a long way. And he’s very likely the best Braves player to give such a comment. I would say, though, that if Jason would learn when and when not to slide, he might actually save his shoulder. He needs to learn to slide into base, for example, feet first rather than head first. Otherwise, he’ll have more problems with one crucial future slide than just his shoulder. We’re supportive of you, but buck up, Jason!

toby

June 8th, 2011
8:17 am

I agree with Chipper 100% some times you gotta suck it up and play,over the course of a six month long season,i doubt that anybody is going to feel %100,Heyward doesnt ant to go down that road and become another Kevin Mitchell,any of you long time baseball fans can remember some of the horror stories about him,ie… managers practically having to beg him to play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your 21 yrs old,get on the f*****g field and earn your pay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vermont 39

June 8th, 2011
8:18 am

J-Hey reminds me of Sammie Smith of the Miami Dolphins…when everything was perfect…so was he…unfortunately, it wasn’t very often…
Other than occasional flashes, what has he really accomplished. We still have a hole in RF.
GO BRAVES!!!!!

alex

June 8th, 2011
8:23 am

Above comments support the conclusion that chipper’s(larry’s) comments are at best divisive for a struggling team….

Does Hooter’s serve breakfast?

bvillebaron

June 8th, 2011
8:29 am

Big time Chipper fan, but none of us would be commenting on this blog about this if he kept these comments in the clubhouse where they belong.

reckingball

June 8th, 2011
8:37 am

chpatt @8:19ppm…………..”Chipper restructured his contract from 2005 thru 2008, and saved the Braves $15million”.
As I understand it, the restructuring of his contract involved the deferral of payment, to a later date, and not less money.
If that is correct, how did that save the Braves $15million?
Or did the the reworked contract involve a lower pay out to Chipper?

warren

June 8th, 2011
8:41 am

for all those people hating on chipper just 2 years ago the guy won a batting title! and is still a very dangerous hitter. looks at too many pitches this year. needs to be more agressive. he is right to talk about heyward. if there is no injury to his shoulder he should not be on the disabled list. years ago, guys played through all these little things and still produced! players are babied and pined over now, this guy is 21 years old and bitchin about some shoulder soreness that according to all the tests is fine! premadonna players never pan out and let me say it now. jason heyward is never gonna be a 30 homer 100 rbi guy, cause he will always have a nagging injury of sorts to deal with during the seasons. sometimes cant miss prospects actually miss!!! i loved me some heyward but i think he is gonna have a very injury prone career. freddie freeman on the other hand is a gamer and in plays a longevity career position. he will work out nice.

reckingball

June 8th, 2011
8:43 am

If Heyward’s production is going to be a the level that it was while he was playing hurt, then how much does it benefit the team, for him to play hurt?
It looks like it would be of greater value to the team, for him to heal up to 100%, and then come back to play.

Dennis Reynolds

June 8th, 2011
8:59 am

And to think, we passed on Mike Stanton…..

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

June 8th, 2011
9:02 am

Highly unprofessional for Chipper to comment on a teammate, especially one that is injured.

Chipper, leave Jason’s issues to Braves’ management and the medical professionals that are treating him. I don’t recall any of your teammates questioning your inabilty to perform the countless times you’ve been unable to play.

Blaze

June 8th, 2011
9:05 am

I am with you Ruppert. I know that there is a difference between playing hurt and being injured. You injured…..you shut it down…..Martin Prado. You hurting…..you “man up” and play….there are many examples on the Braves right now. Just watch Hinske and McCann. They are great examples.

Ralph

June 8th, 2011
9:10 am

I am in no hurry to see Jason back in the lineup, I much prefer having Hinskies 300 ba in there and let Jason stay at AAA until he proves he can hit to all fields.

Damon Dingle Barryhill

June 8th, 2011
9:16 am

You’re right Chipper – they need to go out and GET SOMEBODY. 2 hits off a minor league pitcher? Seriously??? This offense is an absolute joke. Not sure that Hewyard’s “presence” is going to do anything to the lineup.. he looked completely confused before going on the DL. Somewhere this year, he’s developed an all or nothing attitude and tries to kill every pitch.

Freddie Freeman is going to be a better major league hitter than Hewyard – write that down.

Uggla and Minor for a bag of balls and 4 new bats. MAKE THE DEAL WREN!

MSBRAVESFAN

June 8th, 2011
9:20 am

IF we can keep pace with Jhay out, like we are doing, than let him stay out and get 100%.

ynot

June 8th, 2011
9:24 am

I sure JHey will be back before 100%. He just knows how he was feeling when he couldn’t hit. He needs to be healthier than that before coming back.

Joe

June 8th, 2011
9:30 am

I love that Chipper is calling him out but at the same time I want Heyward to be healthy and therefore comfortable at the plate. If he’s comfortable and swinging the bat the way he can it’ll dramatically change the lineup by alleviating the pressure on other players (Uggla). If I’m Freddi, once Jason comes back I slot him in the 6 spot until he gets his fee under him than I sandwich Uggla between Chipper (3) and Heyward (5) with McCann hitting 6th. Give Dan as much protection in the lineup as possible and hopefully he see some good pitches.

Dennis Reynolds

June 8th, 2011
9:31 am

EITHER FREE CONSTANZA OR TRADE SCHAFER FOR DENARD SPAN!!!!

Dennis Reynolds

June 8th, 2011
9:34 am

This organization may be classy, but they dont know how to win. Its kind of an embarrassment.

Lets see, we’ll call up a career .250 hitter to leadoff but we’ll leave a career .300 hitter who averages 40 stolen bases a year and who is currently hitting .328 in AAA. That makes a ton of sense.

alex

June 8th, 2011
9:44 am

HOOTERS!

And so what if he’s playing on one knee? He’s still selfish. He could be out there in a wheelchair for all I care. He’s just so selfish. He personally should go scout players, do Wren’s job and work out a trade, all while playing injured. If he doesn’t then he’s just selfish. So selfish.

Ralph

June 8th, 2011
9:48 am

@Joe

I’d sandwich Heyward between Uggla and Conrad, ON THE BENCH.

MS Braves Fan

June 8th, 2011
9:50 am

There was a game earlier this season when Alex Gonzalez left the game due to some kind of tweak or something, and the following game Jason was out of the lineup saying something was wrong with him. I remember this happening a time or two last year as well. He could very well have been legitimately hurt, but his timing looked suspicious to me.

MarylandBravesFan

June 8th, 2011
10:16 am

Heyward looked like he had regressed ( thanks Parrish) when he WAS playing this year. Hope the Braves aren’t banking on him to save the day.

Kentavo

June 8th, 2011
10:24 am

Actually, it was only one hit of minor league pitcher – Prado’s hit camee off the bullpen.

[...] not certain that I can recognize a true Braves “calling out” when I see it. But yeah, Chipper is pretty much calling Jason Heyward out here: “What Jason needs to realize is that Jason at 80 percent is a force, and Jason at 80 percent [...]

89Dawg

June 8th, 2011
10:38 am

This team needs a spark, and if this is what it takes to put a little fire in their bellies then so be it…The Chipper bashers on here absolutlely kill me…He’s a future hall of famer calling out a scared little (big) kid. Smoltz was right when he called out Chipper and Chipper is right this time. Heywards presence in the lineup changes the dynamics of the batting order and might spark the offense – it certainly can’t get much worse. I believe Heyward is feeling discomfort, but the Doctors and TWO MRI’s don’t lie – there is NO serious injury.

klmbbfan

June 8th, 2011
10:42 am

Jason-suck it up and play you big selfish baby- you are selfish and only thinking about you. Real ball players play through pain or I should say real men.

reckingball

June 8th, 2011
10:43 am

Chipper should play 3rd base, and try batting RH, fulltime. My opinion.

Felix Millan

June 8th, 2011
10:43 am

So, Gonzalez thinks he might hurt a leg if he comes back too soon? His shoulder “injury” shouldn’t prevent him from getting in a little RUNNING! I just finished rehabbing a torn tendon in my shoulder that required surgery. Didn’t stop me from going to the gym and running. And a MRI showed my injury. Heyward’s shows nothing. maybe he should go to a gynecologist to find the problem.

Braves Buff

June 8th, 2011
10:44 am

Jason Heyward…LOL….MR GLASS

DC Brave

June 8th, 2011
10:45 am

This won’t be popular and most will disagree…but for me, this is the kind of story that I wish the AJC would just put in its pocket, or save for the book about the championship 2011 season 10 years from now. Chipper is going to be Chipper…catch him at the right time and he’s got no filter…anyone who has followed this team knows that (remember Chipper and Smoltz). As it stands, this story divides the fans…and could even be detrimental to the team.

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