While any surgery is not good news an appendectomy is not way up the list of procedures that delay a major league players return to action. A quick review of injury data shows that most y players return in two to three weeks. Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn had laparascopic appendectomies and came back in just one week without going on the DL. Usually however a player does hit the DL to make sure everything is healed up internally. The Braves press release didn’t say whether the surgery was done with a scope but this is now the preferred method so that is probably the case. Some suggested that his appendix could have been part of the reason he wasn’t hitting well but that is extremely unlikely as appendicitis comes on quickly and requires surgery shortly after it presents. If Heyward does hit the DL what happens with the roster?
The Braves already carry 5 outfielders with Jordan Schafer and Reed Johnson on the bench so it’s unlikely Jose Constanza gets a call up particularly as he’s hitting just .250 at Gwinnett. David Carpenter had already been return to Gwinnett when Freddie Freeman was recalled but rules allow for his immediate recall due to injury so that is a possibility. Tyler Pastornicky is tearing up AAA (.351/.372/.473/.845) so his bat could be added to the depleted bench and while Ernesto Mejia is hitting well (.311/.405/.721/1.127) it’s unlikely a one position player would be called up instead of Rev.
Skipper Fredi Gonzalez could start Schafer in right and have him leadoff instead of the completely ineffective BJ Upton. Schafer couldn’t be worse there than Upton the elder and with Andrelton Simmons behind him Justin Upton might actually have runners on base when he comes to the plate. Starting Schafer instead of Reed Johnson makes a lot of sense. Johnson is a part time player and Schafer is a better defender than the 36 year old Johnson. The big outfield at Coors Field requires faster defense and Schafer’s speed gives him the edge over Gattis or Johnson.
Some have suggested moving Justin Upton to right and using Evan Gattis, Johnson and Schafer in left. That’s not likely as Gonzalez will want him to continue getting used to playing left instead of moving him around. And as noted using Gattis who’s not the fleetest of foot in left would make the outfield weaker at Coors.
Who fills the Roster spot depends on what they Braves feel is their weakest point. They could recall Carpenter to bolster a bullpen likely to be stretched with the double header, particular if Julio Teheran struggles tonight as many expect. Ramiro Pena can play all over the infield while Gattis and Johnson can cover the outfield. If they feel they need a bat Pastornicky would be the choice as they continue to push Brian McCann back to avoid making the hard decision about what to do with Gattis and Gerald laird when he returns.
That’s A Wrap
I’d opt for the Schafer in right solution, it makes sense and could jump start the offense. I’d also add a pitcher since out long man is still on the DL and double headers tress a staff on the best of days. That of course mean Fredi will do something completely different. We’ll find out in a couple of hours how lineups today’s games will be handled. When I find out I’ll update this post or generate a new one. if you were GM what would you do with the roster today?