Heyward working to rid himself of bad habits

Heyward working to rid himself of bad habits

ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward will spend the remainder of his stint on the disabled list, which began last Sunday, strengthening his right shoulder and attempting to rid himself of the bad habits he developed while trying to play through pain this year.

"That's why right now I'm shut down as far as my swing goes," Heyward said. "I don't need to create any bad habits or make it worse."

This has been a trying season for the 21-year-old Heyward, who has undergone two MRIs -- the latest showing wear and tear around his labrum -- and gone without an RBI this month.

The discomfort in Heyward's right shoulder started in March and worsened to the point that he missed six straight starts and received a cortisone shot earlier this month. He returned to the lineup for just three games before being placed on the DL.

"I thought I could play with it some," he said. "I had some stretches this year where I thought I was where I should be. But the wear and tear and how I play every day and how hard I play and swinging the bat made it worse. It's a little frustrating, but I still have time. This is only year two of my career, so I need to take care of it for the long run."

Even though he has been sidelined for a week, Heyward still feels some discomfort in the shoulder. Once he begins feeling better, the Braves plan to send him to extended spring training, where he will be able to compile at-bats and possibly regain the swing and approach he lost while hitting .214 with seven homers and a .724 OPS through 140 at-bats this year.

Heyward struggled early and then righted himself while hitting .400 with two doubles and three homers in his final eight games of April, but he batted .098 (4-for-41) with 15 strikeouts this month.