Budding outfielder Jason Heyward was lifted in the second inning of Wednesday’s game against the Washington Nationals due to a left groin injury, the Braves revealed to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
Melky Cabrera replaced the young superstar in right field and may need to man the position for the next few days while Matt Diaz covers left. Heyward, 20, has youth on his side and should be able to bounce back and put the issue behind him. But he’s sure to miss at least Thursday’s series finale with the Nationals.
Heyward is batting an alarming .286/.408/.619 this season with eight home runs and 24 RBI in just 26 games. He’s been as good as advertised, if not better.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.