CHICAGO -- About an hour before the Braves began batting practice Wednesday, Jose Constanza sat outside the dugout wearing his batting gloves and seeming determined to play a game.
But Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he decided to give Constanza at least one more day to rest. The speedy outfielder suffered a minor right ankle sprain during Monday night's series opener against the Cubs.
Coming off of Tuesday's three-hit performance, which was highlighted by a grand slam, Jason Heyward started in right field again Wednesday night.
Gonzalez said Heyward's encouraging performance had nothing to do with his decision to give Constanza another day to rest.
"I'm glad to see Jason swing the bat like he did last night," Gonzalez said. "But if he had gone 0-for-4 with four punchouts, I still would have had him back in there."
Irene may alter Braves' Sunday game in NYC
CHICAGO -- With Hurricane Irene making its way up the East Coast, Braves union representative David Ross said there have been some early discussions about the possibility of not playing the Mets at Citi Field on Sunday.
With some of the Braves players expressing concern about how the storm could affect them, Ross contacted Phil Bradley, a special assistant for the Major League Baseball Players Association, to see if this weekend's schedule might be altered in advance of the storm's arrival.
"They said it's in discussions right now," Ross said. "They've talked about it, but no decisions have been made."
While attending Wednesday night's Braves-Cubs game at Wrigley Field, Commissioner Bud Selig said he has discussed contingency plans for East Coast games that could be affected by the storm this weekend.
The Phillies, Orioles, Red Sox and Mets are all scheduled to play home games this weekend.
"I'm not a meteorologist, but sometimes [the weather reports] are wrong," Selig said. "We'll see what path it takes. But we are trying to make as many contingency plans as possible."
According to Wednesday evening's projections, heavy rainfall could begin hitting the New York City area late Saturday night, and tropical storm conditions are projected for most of Sunday.
While there is a chance Sunday's game could be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader Friday or possibly Saturday, the Braves had not been contacted by the Mets or Major League Baseball as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Braves and Mets share just one common off-day, Sept. 8, next month. The Braves are scheduled to conclude a three-game series against the Phillies on Sept. 7. They could make the short trip from Philadelphia to New York to play at least one makeup game and then travel to St. Louis for a weekend series.
Jurrjens focuses on mechanics to aid command
CHICAGO -- While playing long toss in the outfield at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon, Jair Jurrjens was doing more than simply attempting to build arm strength. As he went through the exercise with pitching coach Roger McDowell at his side, the Braves right-handed pitcher was focusing on his mechanics.
Instead of simply throwing the ball from center field to left field, Jurrjens was concentrating on stepping toward his target and keeping his front side closed as he completed his follow through. He believes some of his recent struggles have been a product of inconsistent command created by some mechanical flaws in his delivery.
Jurrjens posted a 6.52 ERA in his first five starts after pitching for the National League at this year's All-Star Game. He finally gained an encouraging result Monday, when he battled to keep the Cubs scoreless while allowing eight hits and issuing five walks in 6 1/3 innings.
According to STATS, Jurrjens became just the 31st Major League pitcher and third Braves pitcher since 1946 to throw at least six scoreless innings while allowing at least eight hits and issuing at least five walks.
Expos pitcher Woodie Fryman is the only member of this group who qualified while throwing just six innings during a July 28, 1976 game against the Cardinals. Mike Hampton (Astros, 1998) and Shane Rawley (Phillies, 1987) are the only other members of this list who qualified while throwing fewer than nine innings.
The other Braves pitchers on this list are Vern Bickford (9 IP, 8 hits, 6 BB on Oct. 1, 1949) and Ed Wright (9 IP, 9 hits, 5 BBs on Sept. 16, 1946).
During Tuesday's night's victory over the Cubs, 23-year-old Mike Minor earned the win, 23-year-old Craig Kimbrel notched a save and 22-year-old Jason Heyward hit a grand slam. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first time since Major League Baseball adopted the save rule in 1969 that three teammates 23 years old or younger earned a win, notched a save and hit a grand slam in the same game.
Chipper Jones needs two more homers to increase his career total to 450. The 39-year-old third baseman entered Wednesday having batted .435 with three homers, a .460 on-base percentage and .696 slugging percentage in his previous 13 games.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.