But there's a pretty good chance that Gonzalez is going down a dark path. Jason Heyward is in a pretty serious gutterfunk right now. He's hitting .222/.317/.403 for the season, and that's a pace he's sustained for the last couple of months. Jason Heyward is also certainly one of the three best outfielders the Braves can play. Those two points aren't mutually exclusive. It wasn't a question before the Braves acquired Michael Bourn or while Chipper Jones' injuries allowed Martin Prado to shift to third base, but now things are a little fuzzy.
Jones is back, Prado is in left, and Bourn is in center. And in right field ... well, that's up in the air. Heyward has started three of the last eight games in right, yielding significant time to Jose Constanza. Now, we can do this the stat way or the scout way. First, here's what Constanza has done in the minors:
Its great that Constanza is having a really good couple of weeks. And its fun that his name is close to Costanza, as in George from Seinfeld. But its hard to justify not giving Heyward the vast majority of at bats. Remember, Fredi had Jason hitting 6th in the lineup to start the year instead of 2nd where he put the very mediocre Nate McClouth. So its almost as if Fredi doesn't understand Heyard's value. Granted, he has had a bad season so far this year. But the guy got on base 39% of the time last year as a rookie. He has issues but he has a ton of potential. Surely enough that Constanza shouldn't be getting the significant amount of playing time he has over the past few weeks. Luckily for Fredi it has worked. But as Brisbee says, I'm not betting on Constanza being better in the long run.