The Braves’ right fielder is gonna take some time off after having an emergency appendectomy last night in Denver. No other details apart from the fact of the surgery were released by the team.
A couple of players have had in-season appendectomies relatively recently: Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn. Holliday missed about ten games, Dunn six. Holliday was fine, Dunn took some time to get his groove, such as it is, back. They do these things laproscopically now, so it’s not terribly invasive.
And frankly, Heyward could use a break as he’s been struggling something fierce at the plate. No word on how long he’ll be out, but I’d assume the Braves will DL him and let Evan Gattis play some left field while Heyward recuperates.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.