Fredi Gonzalez on Heyward, Simmons, and Replay

USA TODAY Sports

Fredi Gonzalez spoke with the media before the game and talked about his decision to sit Jason Heyward down for a game, Andrelton Simmons' development, and what his thoughts on replay are a few weeks into the season.

The lineup today will not feature Heyward, who would have been opposing the pitcher who hit him in the face with a pitch last season, as Ryan Doumit will replace him in right field. Fredi mentioned that he believes Heyward has been unlucky this year and was referencing BABIP to do so -- he checked in with me to make sure he was using and saying it right. He was, and it's true. Today is just a normal day off according to Gonzalez and he will be back in the lineup tomorrow with Andrelton Simmons dropping back down to the lower part of the lineup. Against a lefty it does make some sense if he wanted to just give him a day off for some rest as he stated.

With regards to Simmons developing as a hitter, Fredi stated that "we don't know what he is yet," meaning that he's been continuing to develop and surprise them.

I asked Fredi if he knew about Simmons' pop up issue last season and if he took any action to correct it. For reference, Simmons had a league high infield fly ball rate of 17.8% last season and this year so far it is just 5.6%. Fredi said he had no idea that he had a high pop up rate and make a joke about Brian Kenny.

"Everyone wants a perfect player but they just don't exist," said Gonzalez.

As for replay, Fredi has had no issues with it yet. One reporter asked whether the lack if he thinks some of the entertainment value will be lost, as in guys like Larry Bowa and Bobby Cox arguing with the umpires added entertainment in his view. Fredi said "Yeah some of that will be lost but for us it isn't really about entertainment it's about getting the call right."

We will speak with Fredi after the game tonight and tomorrow as well, as well as a few of the players.

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