Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/23/13
The Atlanta Braves lost a huge bat in the lineup on Wednesday, as outfielder Jason Heyward fractured his jaw in two places when New York Mets’ pitcher Jonathon Niese hit him in the sixth inning in what would prove to be a 4-1 victory for the Braves. The injury is a very significant one for the Braves’ first round pick from the 2007 MLB Draft, as it will likely be 4-6 weeks before he returns to the lineup. Although the losses of both starting pitcher Tim Hudson (out for the season with a broken ankle) and second baseman Dan Uggla (currently on the DL due to Lasik eye surgery) has hurt this season, the loss of Heyward for an extended amount of time may be more crippling than the loss of one of the staff’s aces or one of the team’s leading home run hitters. For those who have been unaware, the Braves have kept pace with the Los Angeles Dodgers as Major League Baseball’s hottest team due in part to the great play from Heyward, who has served as the team’s leadoff hitter and has promptly batted .348 with four home runs in August. The loss of Heyward may not be as devastating at this point due to the Braves’ fourteen game lead over the Washington Nationals, but that does not mean that the team won’t have to adjust accordingly. It appears at this point that the team will more than likely see more playing time from Evan Gattis along with outfielders Joey Terdoslavich, Jordan Schafer and Reed Johnson to compliment the Upton brothers, which means that there is a legitimate chance that the team chooses to stay with their current roster (the team did acquire second baseman Elliot Johnson earlier this week to replace Tyler Pastornicky). Although it is probably unlikely with so many options coming off the bench, if the team does look outside the organization for a temporary right fielder, my guess is the team goes the waiver wire route and pulls in a veteran player like Mets’ outfielder Marlon Byrd to fill the void temporarily. Expect “El Oso Blanco” to get more playing time in Heyward’s absence With a long road ahead, it is imperative that Jason Heyward recovers from this jaw injury and is ready for an October run, because you could make a legitimate argument that his absence could be as harmful as any other current Atlanta player. With that being said, I truly believe that if Heyward’s rehab takes longer than the regular season lasts, the Braves will once again fail to win their first playoff series of the postseason.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michigan AD: Nike deal is largest in the country

Randy Moss beats Antonio Brown in sprints during workout

LeBron James believes his ‘legacy will speak for itself’

WATCH: Crash at Tour de France sidelines riders

Buehrle drank beer during World Series game he pitched

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redick gives Clippers ‘F-minus’ grade for losing Jordan

Report: PGA pulls Grand Slam event from Trump course

Three things to watch for on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

Report: Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics for Gerald Wallace

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

T.O. has advice for Donovan McNabb after latest DUI

Sonnen: McGregor is 27 pounds over his weight limit

WATCH: Connor McDavid turns heads in Oilers scrimmage

Member of Pirates grounds crew swallowed by tarp

Video allegedly shows BYU RB recruit being shot

Vin Scully teaching the history of the American flag is a national treasure

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

How the Pacers' new identity will look

Matt Bonner blames iPhone 6 for elbow injury, shooting woes

Evaluating Tarasenko’s eight-year, $60M contract

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

Five running backs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Five RBs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Watch to watch on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.