Braves' Top Replacement Options for Jason Heyward After Appendectomy
The timetable for his return is unknown as of now, but he shouldn't be out more than a couple weeks at the most. Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn both underwent appendectomies in 2011, with Holliday missing nine games and Dunn missing seven (h/t CBSSports), so that gives at least some idea of a potential time frame for his return.
The Braves have won despite Heyward in the early going, as he's hitting just .121/.261/.259 with two home runs and five RBI, so replacing his production won't be hard.
The team is not likely to sign anyone or try to swing a trade, but they do have a handful of in-house options to chose from in the short-term. So here is a look at some potential replacements for Heyward, at least over the next couple weeks.
Johnson was acquired from the Cubs along with Paul Maholm at the deadline last season, and the Braves re-signed him to a one-year, $1.75 million deal this season with an 2014 option to be their fourth outfielder.
He's just 2-for-16 with six strikeouts, but the veteran has proven capable of stepping in as an everyday player and putting up decent numbers throughout his career.
With an .825 career OPS against left-handed pitching, compared to .702 against right-handers, Johnson will at the very least likely get the starts against southpaws until Heyward returns.
A former top prospect for the Braves, Schafer was dealt to the Astros back in 2011 as part of the package to acquire Michael Bourn.
He rejoined the Braves this offseason when he was selected off waivers, as the team picked him back up as an insurance policy in center field prior to signing B.J. Upton.
The 26-year-old has great wheels, and he's off to a terrific start in 2013, going 4-for-9 with a pair of steals in limited action.
A left-handed hitter, he could make up the other half of what could actually be a productive platoon with Johnson until Heyward returns.
The 29-year-old Constanza has seen big league action each of the past two seasons, hitting .281/.332/.341 and swiping 12 bases over 185 at-bats.
He's on the 40-man roster and seems like the most likely candidate for a call-up should Heyward wind up on the disabled list.
The 5'9" spark plug is currently hitting .250/.292/.279 with four RBI in 68 at-bats for Triple-A Gwinnett, and while he may not be the most exciting option, he has proven a capable stand-in when Heyward dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness in the past.
A corner infielder who has transitioned to the outfield this season, the 24-year-old Terdoslavich entered the season as the team's No. 18 ranked prospect, according to the Baseball America Prospect Handbook.
He hit .395/.400/.558 over 43 at-bats in spring training, and he's off to a hot start in Triple-A where he's hitting .312/.333/.597 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 77 at-bats.
He's not currently on the 40-man roster, so the team would have to make a move to open up a spot for him, but he may be the best in-house option the team has from a potential production standpoint.
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