Just a day after reporting some good news about a pair of injured Atlanta Braves, I now have some bad news: left fielder Justin Upton, center fielder B.J. Upton and right fielder Jason Heyward are all now members of the walking wounded.
The trio, which was much ballyhooed prior to the season, hasn’t lived up to expectations for much of the season — at least at the plate — but the Braves will still miss having their regular outfield in tact.
On Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta had a starting outfield of Jose Constanza in left, Reed Johnson in center and Joey Terdoslavich in right, marking Constanza’s first start of the season and Terdoslavich’s first career start, along with a rare start for Johnson.
Although the Uptons and Heyward won’t require a trip to the disabled list given that their injuries aren’t serious enough — Justin suffered a left calf strain and B.J. a strained right abductor muscle on Friday and Heyward went down courtesy of a strained right hamstring on Thursday — and the fact that the All-Star break will give them four days of rest at the beginning of next week, their ailments will make it even harder on the Braves against a tough Reds ball club.
“I think that we’re lucky that the All-Star break is around the corner where you can use those four days,” manager Fredi Gonzalez told Eric Single of MLB.com. “If we were in the middle of a 19-day stretch or something like that, it would be a lot tougher to deal with the injuries, but with the four days of the All-Star break, I think it comes at the right time, if there is such a thing. I think if it’s in the middle of a long stretch, it would be a no-brainer to say ‘We’re going to have to DL somebody.'”
And while you never want to see anybody get hurt, that fact should give the Braves just a little bit of solace.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Backup outfielder Jordan Schafer, who has been out since June 26 after he fouled a ball off his right foot, will spend at least another month on the DL due to a stress fracture in said foot.
I hated to even mention that, but it’s the unfortunate truth.