And the hits just keep on comin for the 2013 Braves. On Thursday, the Braves announced that Jason Heyward underwent successful surgery to repair a jaw that was fractured in two places after being hit by a 90mph Jonathan Niese fastball on Wednesday. The bad news is that Heyward is expected to miss between four and six weeks, though that is an unofficial timetable. The question becomes, where will Heyward be able to get at bats when he’s nearing a return? The minor league seasons will be over, however, when he’s ready, Heyward will be able to get his timing and legs back under him by joining the Instructional Leagues.
In other injury news: Brandon Beachy’s velocity dipped to the low 80’s on his fastball in his last start on Tuesday against the Mets. He had an MRI in Atlanta on Thursday and is going to visit Dr James Andrews on Monday. While a visit to Dr Andrews doesn’t usually end with good news, he is the most qualified to examine Beachy after performing his Tommy John surgery 14 months ago. On Friday afternoon, Beachy was placed on the DL and Todd Cunningham was recalled from Triple-A. Atlanta also added some pitching depth, acquiring veteran Freddy Garcia from the Orioles in exchange for cash considerations.
Meanwhile, the Braves expect to have Dan Uggla back in the mix on Wednesday when he’s eligible to come off the DL. Uggla will likely get some ABs in a Minor League rehab assignment next Monday.
One a lighter note, the Braves enter the weekend with a 14 game lead over the second place Nationals. Even with all the injuries, the Magic Number sits at 22, and the Braves are confident that the call ups from the Minors will provide the depth needed to get to the Postseason.
For the latest on the Braves, follow Braves Radio Network Reporter Kevin McAlpin on Twitter (@KevinMcAlpin).
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