NEW YORK (AP) — Braves outfielder Jason Heyward is back in the lineup after missing six games with a right hamstring injury, and starting pitcher Paul Maholm has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a bruised left wrist.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has Heyward batting second and playing center field Monday night against the New York Mets.
Usually a right fielder, Heyward shifted to center for his first game since July 11 because B.J. Upton is on the DL with a muscle strain in his right leg. Upton ran for the first time since his injury. Still, Gonzalez said Upton won't be ready to come off the DL when he is eligible this weekend.
Heyward was on a hot streak before he was hurt, hitting .290 (42 for 145) with five homers and 13 RBIs in 36 games since June 3.
"Really happy I didn't have to go on the DL. Happy it healed like it has," Heyward said, "and now I can get back to helping my team out."
Gonzalez was comfortable putting Heyward in center because he said the 6-foot-5 23-year-old played right field with the range of a center fielder. Gonzalez also had shifted Justin Upton to right field when Heyward was out, allowing him to give more playing time to rookie Evan Gattis.
Maholm initially injured the wrist while batting in his start at Miami on July 10. He walked off the mound Saturday after aggravating it in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox. Maholm flew back to Atlanta Sunday and had an MRI.
"It was swelling and it was hurting him," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez thinks Maholm would only miss two starts. Alex Wood will start Thursday in the series finale against the Mets.
Wood made his only other major league start against the Mets on June 18 in the opener of a doubleheader. The rookie has made 16 appearances and has a 2.45 ERA over 22 innings.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Can't find what you're looking for?