Braves activate Heyward from DL

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Jason Heyward is back from a most gruesome injury. (USATSI)
Jason Heyward is back from a most gruesome injury. (USATSI)

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Braves outfielder Jason Heyward hasn't played since Aug. 21, when a pitch from Jon Niese accidentally struck him in the face and broke his jaw. On Friday, though, the Braves activated Heyward from the DL, and, as Mark Bowman noted on Twitter, he'll be in the lineup against the Cubs and manning center field.

On the season, Heyward is batting .253/.347/.423 (109 OPS+) with 13 homers in 95 games. However, at time of his injury Heyward had been quite hot -- .317/.405/.554 in the second half.

There's no doubt that Heyward has the skills and track record to be a substantial asset as the Braves head toward the postseason. Following such a frightening injury, though, there are concerns. How will Heyward respond to inside stuff? Has having been on a liquid diet sapped his strength? Can he recapture the groove he was in at the plate? Those questions figure to be answered soon enough. The Braves, though, are certainly glad to have one of their core contributors back, uncertainties and all.

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