Jason Heyward and “sore shoulder” in the same sentence causes some consternation among Braves fans, many of whom remember a shoulder injury undermined the right fielder’s second season in 2011.
But after Heyward was scratched from the lineup Monday against Washington for a sore right shoulder, team officials made it clear this was a minor thing and that he was rested strictly as a cautionary measure with opening day still three weeks away.
“It’s nothing major at all,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “It’s fine.”
When Heyward showed up at camp early Monday and said his shoulder was a little stiff, Gonzalez told him to skip the 75-minute road trip to face the Nationals. Heyward stayed back at camp in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and took batting practice with rehabbing catcher Brian McCann and other Braves not on the trip.
“Little sore in his right shoulder,” Gonzalez said. “Just a precaution. I think it’s just fatigue, just a little soreness. I didn’t want to take a chance, so he’s going to stay back and hit some balls off a tee…. I didn’t want it to turn into something major.”