Jason Heyward missed last night’s game with an oblique injury and he’s out of the Braves’ lineup again tonight, with David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting that the right fielder is “still a little sore.”
Heyward told O’Brien that he’s now aiming to return Thursday, but players are often proven to be way, way too optimistic when it comes to oblique injury timetables.
Prior to the injury Heyward was off to a solid start following an extremely disappointing 2011 season, hitting .273 with a .783 OPS and eight steals in 22 games.
Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.
Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.
Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.