LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The Gwinnett Braves, in conjunction with the Atlanta Braves, have announced the addition of outfielder Jason Heyward to the Gwinnett roster. Heyward, on Atlanta's 15-day disabled list as he recovers from an appendectomy, will begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment with the G-Braves on Thursday, May 9 at Coolray Field.
Heyward, 23, underwent surgery on April 22 and was placed on the disabled list on April 23. He hasn't played a game for Atlanta since April 20 at Pittsburgh. In 17 games with the Braves this season, he's hitting .121 (7-for-58) with two doubles, two home runs, eight runs scored and five RBI.
Last season, Heyward hit .269 with 30 doubles, 27 home runs and 82 RBI in 158 games for Atlanta, his third year at the Major League level. He won his first career National League Gold Glove for his stellar play in right field. Thus far in his four-year career with the Braves, he's hit .256 with 61 home runs and 201 RBI in 445 games.
This injury rehabilitation stint marks Heyward's second with the Braves' Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett. Heyward played in two games for the G-Braves in 2011 as he recovered from right shoulder soreness, going 1-for-6 with a double and a run scored. Including his brief three-game stint during the club's inaugural 2009 season, Heyward is 5-for-17 (.294) with a double, four runs scored and two RBI in five career games with Gwinnett.
Heyward is set to be the fifth player on Atlanta's 40-man roster to play for Gwinnett as part of a minor league injury rehab assignment this year. Shortstop Paul Janish (left shoulder surgery) is currently on his second rehab assignment with the club, while right-hander Luis Ayala (anxiety disorder) began his first rehab assignment with Gwinnett on May 8. First baseman Freddie Freeman (strained right oblique, three-game stint from April 19-21) and catcher Brian McCann (right shoulder surgery, three-game stint from May 2-5) have both completed rehab assignments.
The Gwinnett Braves conclude a four-game series against the Pawtucket Red Sox at Coolray Field on Thursday, May 9. First pitch on "Belk Education Day" is set for 10:35 AM. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Coolray Field Box Office at (678) 277-0340 or by visiting gwinnettbraves.com.