While the Braves are currently leading the Cincinnati Reds 3-2, they might have lost something much more important than this game.
Heyward, who was on the disabled list from April 21st to to May 15th following an appendectomy, left the Braves’ contest with the Cincinnati Reds early after running from first to third on a single before going to the ground. He appeared to be grasping his right hamstring while he was down.
Heyward has been off to a slow start in the 2013 season. After hitting .121/.261/.259 in April, he’s brought his season numbers up to .225/.323/.369 with 7 homers and 21 RBIs following a hot June. The Braves’ slugger bounced back from his disappointing 2011 sophomore campaign to hit .269/.335/.479 with 27 homers and 82 RBIs while playing premium defense. He’s still only 23 years old, so his ceiling is high.
Hamstring injuries are fairly common for MLB players, and especially outfielders. However, they usually will require a DL stint, which is exactly what the struggling Braves don’t need right now. Reed Johnson took his place out in right.
An extended absence for Heyward could mean that the Braves join the hunt for an outfielder at the trade deadline. Atlanta’s outfield has had some major struggles this year, with Heyward, Justin Upton, and BJ Upton having sub-par seasons.