MRI comes back negative on Jason Heyward’s shoulder

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The Braves haven’t promised Jason Heyward the starting right field job next season, but he’ll at least go into the winter with some peace of mind about his right shoulder.

According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, an MRI on Heyward’s shoulder came back negative. The 22-year-old missed four weeks during the first half of the season due to recurring soreness, an injury which likely contributed to his disappointing sophomore campaign. While tests haven’t revealed anything serious, he’ll be placed on a “maintenance and stretching program” to help strengthen the shoulder.

After finishing as the runner-up to Giants’ catcher Buster Posey for National League Rookie of the Year in 2010, Heyward batted just .227/.319/.389 with 14 home runs, 42 RBI and a .708 OPS over 454 plate appearances this season.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.