DENVER -- When Jason Heyward awoke on Monday feeling some of the same discomfort that had plagued him throughout this past weekend's series in Pittsburgh, he visited the team's physician, Dr. Joe Chandler, in his room at the Braves' hotel in Denver.
It proved to be a wise decision.
Per Chandler's instructions, Heyward arrived at a Denver area hospital to undergo successful laparoscopic appendectomy surgery before his appendix burst.
Heyward will likely be placed on the disabled list on Tuesday, with the expectation that he could return to Atlanta's lineup in two weeks.
With backup outfielders Reed Johnson and Jordan Schafer already on the roster, the Braves could fill Heyward's roster spot with utility infielder Tyler Pastornicky, who has hit .351 with six doubles and a home run through his first 18 games with Triple-A Gwinnett this year.
Pastornicky has never played the outfield at the professional level. But his athleticism would allow him to play one of the three outfield positions in an emergency situation.
If the Braves promote Pastornicky, Schafer and Johnson could see most of the playing time in right field. Atlanta also would have the option of moving Justin Upton from left field to right field.
Evan Gattis could play left field if necessary. But it seems doubtful that the Braves would ask the 26-year-old catcher to try to play left field during their current three-game series at cavernous Coors Field.
Heyward has batted .121 with a .519 OPS through the first 17 games this season. He went 1-for-11 with three strikeouts during the weekend series against the Pirates.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.