Jason Heyward RF STL 5 Months

Heyward (thumb) could be used as a defensive replacement or as a pinch hitter in Friday's game, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's David O'Brien reports.

This suggests Heyward is pretty close to returning to the starting lineup. He's still considered day-to-day for now. Ryan Doumit will start in right field Friday.

Jason Heyward RF STL 5 Months

Heyward (thumb) is not in the lineup Friday.

X-rays on Heyward's left thumb were negative, but with the Braves out of the playoff hunt, Atlanta has every reason to take a cautious approach with his return to the field. Ryan Doumit will get the start in right field and Heyward should still be considered day-to-day.

Jason Heyward RF STL 5 Months

X-rays on Heyward's left thumb were returned negative, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.

It's certainly encouraging news for Heyward, who was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning. He did acknowledge that thumb injuries have a tendency to linger, but with just a little over a week to go in the season, Heyward figures to play through it as much as he can. That said, consider him day-to-day ahead of Friday's opener against the Mets.

Jason Heyward RF STL 5 Months

Heyward left Wednesday's game against the Nationals in the eighth inning with an apparent injury, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.

The team has yet to provide a reason for his removal, but Bowman suggests his thumb may have swollen up in the innings prior to his exit. Joe Terdoslavich came in to pinch hit for Heyward, who will be afforded a day of rest for whatever's ailing him, before the team resumes play Friday.

Jason Heyward RF STL 6 Months

Heyward will bat fifth Saturday against the Rangers.

Heyward was originally penciled in atop the order, but apparently manager Fredi Gonzalez has had a change of heart, as Emilio Bonifacio is now set to lead off for Atlanta. It marks just the second time Heyward has been out of the leadoff spot this month.

Jason Heyward RF STL 6 Months

Heyward didn't record a hit Monday, but did manage to steal three bases after walking twice.

Despite the steals, Heyward did not cross the plate as the Braves couldn't muster any hits against the Phillies. The outfielder is now hitting .272 to go with 17 steals and 11 home runs while hitting at the top of the Braves' order.

Jason Heyward RF STL 6 Months

Heyward is not in the lineup Saturday in Cincinnati.

While Heyward hasn't hit for much power this season, advanced metrics rank him as one of the best outfielders in baseball, so he's rarely out of the lineup. Emilio Bonifacio will get the rare start in right field Saturday.

Jason Heyward RF STL 6 Months

Heyward went 2-for-4 with a walk, RBI and pair of runs scored in Thursday's 8-0 win at Cincinnati.

Heyward was recently mired in a 1-for-12 slump, but he's gone 8-for-17 with six runs and six RBI in his last four games. He's been hitting leadoff for over a week now, so it looks like he'll stick there, meaning less RBI opportunities, but more chances to score runs.

Jason Heyward RF STL 6 Months

Heyward went 3-for-4 with one home run and two RBI Monday against the Pirates.

Heyward was 1-for-12 in his last three games entering Monday, so this outburst was a welcome sight for his fantasy owners. He hasn't provided much power this season as he only has two home runs since June 16th and 10 on the season overall.

Jason Heyward RF STL 7 Months

Heyward will return to the leadoff spot Wednesday and manager Fredi Gonzalez said he intends to use him there for a while, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Gonzalez has mercifully pulled the plug on B.J. Upton in the leadoff spot, allowing Heyward to return to the top spot after two months or so in the five-hole. Tommy La Stella is out of the lineup Wednesday but Gonzalez said he will likely be moved down in the order starting Thursday, so as to not have three lefty bats in a row atop the order. Heyward has hit .254/.334/.384 with eight homers from the leadoff spot this season.