After leaving Tuesday’s game prior to the eighth inning, Jason Heyward admitted that he’s been dealing with soreness in his right shoulder since the spring. He’s set to have an MRI.
Heyward, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts tonight, said the soreness has worsened in recent days and that he’s recently experienced numbness in his forearm.
Heyward is just 2-for-28 during May, and he’s yet to homer after hitting seven during the first month of the season. His average is down to .220.
If Heyward lands on the DL, the Braves will go to Eric Hinske as their primary right fielder. Such a switch would particularly hurt them defensively and deprive them of their top left-handed pinch-hitter. Hinske, who had an RBI double off the bench tonight, is batting .359 in 39 at-bats.
With Jordan Schafer and Wilkin Ramirez both struggling at Triple-A Gwinnett, the Braves may well call up veteran Jose Constanza take Heyward’s spot on the roster. Their lack of outfield depth is a real issue and something that might be addressed in a trade later on.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.