HOUSTON -- Jason Heyward found himself as the odd man out on Monday night, when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez decided that he wanted another opportunity to see Juan Francisco play before Chipper Jones is activated from the disabled list.
"I want to have a chance to see him play against lefties just in case I have to [play him against lefties in the future]," Gonzalez said. "And [Matt Diaz] is swinging it good right now against left-handed pitching."
With the Astros starting left-hander J.A. Happ on Monday, Gonzalez wanted Diaz's bat in the lineup. The veteran outfielder entered the game with eight hits, including two doubles and a homer, in 15 career at-bats against Happ.
Like Heyward, Francisco had never previously faced Happ. But when Jones returns from the disabled list, Francisco's role will become limited.
While most of Francisco's pinch-hit at-bats will come against right-handers, Gonzalez wanted to gain a better idea of how well the left-handed-hitting third baseman would fare against lefties if pressed into a more regular role.