Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gave Jason Heyward a rest day Tuesday against left-hander Clayton Richard, and started right-handed hitting Reed Johnson in right field. Heyward was out of the lineup for the first time since June 12 against the Yankees. He entered that game in the seventh inning and has played every inning since then over the past 54 games.
“Just give him a little breather,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just another way to use Reed a little bit.”
Gonzalez said in the coming weeks he might also rest Freddie Freeman against a left-hander by moving Martin Prado to first base and playing Johnson in left field.
Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy has not cut his hair since a week before his “Tommy John” elbow reconstruction surgery on June 21. He said he won’t again until he starts throwing again, which could come in mid-October as he continues his 12-14 month recovery.
“Why not?” said Beachy, who still plans to keep his beard groomed. “I’ve never had it long in my entire life.”
Beachy (@Brandon_Beachy) tweeted his plans on Tuesday: “I have not and will not, until I can throw again…cut my hair #Sampson,” referencing the Biblical story of Samson, who was granted supernatural powers if he did not cut his hair.
“I was planning on it anyway but I might as well have 25,000 people to keep me accountable,” Beachy said.
It’s still short on the sides, since his last cut was a “fade,” but longer on the top. Beachy said he’s going for a Neal Caffrey look, Matt Bomer’s character on the TV show “White Collar.”
Beachy said he used the phrase “throw” to give himself wiggle room. “I used that word so that gives me a lot of outs,” he said.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has not yet been cleared to begin baseball activities. He’s scheduled to have another X-ray on Friday, when he will be six weeks out from breaking his fifth metacarpal right about the back end of his scheduled recovery time. The Braves are hopeful he can return in early to mid September.
Classically trained violinist Matthew Tosca, 22, son of Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca, performed the national anthem before the Braves game Tuesday night. Tosca is a graduate student at New York’s Mannes school of music.