The Atlanta Braves swapped two key players off and on the disabled list, as star right fielder Jason Heyward was removed from the 15-day DL, whereas reliever Jordan Walden was placed on the DL with an undisclosed injury.
First, let’s get to Heyward. The 23-year-old went hitless in his first two rehab games, so the Braves decided to give Heyward some more time to shake off the rust before being activated from the DL. He could have been activated as early as Monday, but the Braves later targeted Friday as the day to take Heyward off the DL, and that’s where we are right now. That also has to do with some of the soreness Heyward felt, but he should be good to go after getting some extra rest, and appendectomy is a thing of the past for Heyward right now. Hopefully, he can bounce back from a poor start to the season and get things going coming off the disabled list, because Heyward had an OBP of just .261 through his first 58 at-bats.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem like Walden is suffering from an injury, but that’s largely because the Braves just suddenly placed him on the DL with what is described as right shoulder inflammation. Walden, however, did allow five runs in his last three games, and he didn’t even get an out against the Cincinnati Reds. It hasn’t been a good spell for Walden recently, so the 25-year-old right-hander could indeed be suffering from an issue. The added time off to relax both mentally and physically will surely help Walden, who has struggled in his first season with the Braves with a very poor 4.85 ERA. Hopefully for the Braves, Walden can get back to the All-Star talent he showed while a closer with the Los Angeles Angels.
We’ll see how severe this right shoulder inflammation is, and there is little doubt that something was up with Walden. At least Braves fans can relish in the good news that Jason Heyward is back, and hopefully he can treat baseball fans to some great play and some better hitting than his first 17 games showed; I’m sure that will be the case.