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Jason Heyward diagnosed with fractured right jaw

Aug 21, 2013, 7:11 PM EDT

jason heyward getty Getty Images

The diagnosis is in on Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who was struck in the face with a Jon Niese fastball in Wednesday afternoon’s 4-1 defeat of the Mets. And it’s no good for anyone involved.

According to’s Mark Bowman, Heyward has a fracture in his right jaw and will likely be out for the next 4-6 weeks — which could very well mean he is done for the rest of the 2013 regular season.

The Braves have a massive cushion over everyone else in the National League East standings and can use these next several weeks to get B.J. Upton, Jordan Schafer and Evan Gattis regular at-bats, but a broken jaw is a serious injury and Heyward was one of the hottest hitters in baseball. It’s fair to wonder how six weeks off might affect his stroke.

Atlanta opens a big four-game series in St. Louis on Thursday night.


UPDATE, 8:02 p.m. ET: Bowman reports that Heyward will undergo jaw surgery on Thursday.

  1. psunick - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Have his agent call Sidney Crosby

  2. necr0philia - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Lol^^. Hope your back full strength for the playoffs JH! Get well soon!

  3. bigharold - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Tough break for Heyward and the Braves.

    But, on the other hand, .. even if the recuperation time is closer to 6 weeks than 4 he’ll still be back for the playoffs. I had my jaw fractured once and I never stopped lifting weights or running so he can maintain physical fitness. And, baseball readiness. The biggest issue will be maintaining muscle mass. When I went through this I lost 25lbs in about 2-3 weeks but then stabilized. And, he will have the benefit of professional trainers and likely a nutritionist as well.

    Too bad, but on the up side with the Braves lead, they likely will get a well rested Heyward back just in time for the playoffs.

    • ezthinking - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Biggest problem will be not seeing real pitching. The minors are done in a few weeks. No close-to-MLB-level competition is a huge problem.

      • bigharold - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        Sure, but he has the ability to hit off a tee, have simulated games and I’m sure the Braves can think up other ways to keep him close.

      • voteforno6 - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        That’s assuming he’s not skittish the first time he faces live pitching. He might get a little jumpy every time someone pitches him inside, at least at the beginning.

      • bigharold - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:37 PM


        While him being skittish is a real possibility I’m guessing he’ll overcome it.

        Every MLB player gets plunked, .. but they are MLB players because they overcame every other hurdle. Hewward didn’t make the Braves as a clerical error and he’ll deal with this too.

      • ezthinking - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:41 AM


        If physical fitness was the determining factor then every decathlete would be an MLB star and in the HOF.

        There is nowhere in late September to see pitchers who desperately are trying to get a MLB guy out that even roughly approximate MLB pitching.

        Pushing weight and running and hitting a ball off a tee, while all great practice, in no way, shape or form will prepare him for live pitching.

        Will he be ready to see to strap it up against Chapman let alone a guy that throws 8-10 mph slower than Chapman from the left side? You know, kind of like the guy that broke his jaw.

      • hasbeen5 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        I’m sure when the time comes the Braves can use some of their minor league guys to throw him the same caliber pitches he’d see in a rehab stint. Rosters will be expanded so guys on the big league roster will need side work. While none of them throw like Chapman, I think they’ll be able to get him as ready as possible.

  4. okwhitefalcon - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    This sucks.

    Here’s to a speedy recovery for JHey.

  5. jrod2go - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Sucks for him and the Bravos. Good for my Cards, but I’m not celebrating his injury at all. Feel bad for the guy.

    I don’t know anything about what a fx jaw would be like to deal with but this is baseball. Is this not something a baseball player could play with? He probably want one of those batting helmets that has the jaw protector but really, can’t he play with it? Not like its a knee, hand or foot. I guess I’d think he might be able to play through it.

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:06 PM


    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM


      • someguyinva - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        I don’t think jrod2go is quite deserving of all the scorn being heaped upon him/her here. Dave Parker, after spending only 15 days on the DL with a fractured cheekbone, played the rest of the season in 1978 and did use a football type mask on his batting helmet. A google search for “Dave Parker fractured cheekbone” even turns up an image of him wearing a hockey goalie mask while playing, as well.

        Yeah, a jaw’s not a cheekbone, but I can see how it wouldn’t be hard to make the leap, especially if one has no experience with such an injury.

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 22, 2013 at 2:12 AM

      I… I dont even

  6. scdocal - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    I said the same thing after it happened like seriously he is coming out of the game. Then I learned that he will require surgery and its all about keeping the jaw stable so it can heel properly. Jason balls out diving for balls allover the field so technically he couldn’t play. Plus u don’t want any complications because he is such a young talent and has a bright future.

  7. scdocal - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    And for all u Nats fans for the karma bs, shut up an worry about reloading for next year.

    • emdash01 - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      …huh? All the Nats fans I know have said is that they’re sorry this happened.

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      wow you’re dumb

  8. dondada10 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    First Hudson now Heyward. I’m sure the Braves are glad they’re done with Citi field.

  9. jrod2go - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    @scdocal: good point. I just found out about the surgery too; agreed he shouldn’t play. Although if TLR was managing he’d have him out there. ie, Pujols playing with the elbow issues quite a while back; told him if the ball was hit to him in left to look for the nearest relay and not try to make long throws himself. Not saying that was a good decision; was just reminded of it. I almost miss the times when I’d ask myself WTF TLR was thinking.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:35 PM


  10. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Accidents happen, and it is terrible when it does, however, this is a perfect example of why intentionally throwing at another player is stupid. Just look what happened when a player got hit accidentally. If that ball hadn’t hit the ear flap on his helmet and instead was one-two inches over, the damage could have been MUCH worse. Get well soon.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Only roid ragers like Roger Clemens threw intentionally at guys’ heads. Plenty threw inside, like Bob Gibson and Pedro Martinez, but they hit players intentionally in the soft tissue . Still, I agree that intentional beanings are dangerous.

      • eatitfanboy - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        Complete and utter nonsense. Is Ryan Dempster a roid rager? He hit Arod on the upper shoulder. 4 inches or less higher and it could easily have been in his jaw. Pitchers hit batters high all the time and flirt with the possibility of missing their target and hitting them in the head.

        It’s time to cut out the nonsense. if a pitcher hits a batter above the waist, he should be tossed. If it was an accident, tough. Learn to control your pitches or accept that you don’t have the control to go up and in. Like Joe Girardi said, you can change a man’s life forever with a thrown baseball. If you want to hit someone, you should have enough control to do if from the butt down. If you don’t, you should probably be doing something else for a living.

      • ezthinking - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:47 AM

        Hmm, Nolan Ryan hit one fewer batter in three more seasons than Clemens. I guess that makes him a ‘roid rage then.


      • plmathfoto - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        And Clemens never got punished for it, even when he threw a bat at the same guy, part of the reason he kept doing it.

    • baseballer28 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      I was watching this live and it looked fairly damn intentional to me, and that’s the Mets’ style. I think Niese should get nailed to the cross for this…that’s some fucked up shit to throw up there like that. Your right, 2 more inches over and Heyward might not ever be the same.

      • thebadguyswon - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        “That’s the Mets’ style”

        huh? This isn’t 1986.

      • baseballer28 - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        1986? They’ve always done that shit.

      • emdash01 - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        Niese put his hand over his mouth as soon as he realized it hit Heyward, and looked kind of horrified. So if it was on purpose, he’s a pretty good actor.

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  12. conwell2549 - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Braves have one of the deepest benches in MLB but this will still hurt. Schafer and Gattis have shown they will be up to the task.

  13. greymares - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    @eatitfanboy, If a batter gets hit in the head it’s because he is diving in and that’s all on the hitter even the worst hitter can get his head out of the way of a 99mph pitch, it’s not that hard to duck. now being hit in the body is much more difficult to avoid.

    • greymares - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      I’m guessing the thumbs down are from people that have never been in a batters box except little league.

  14. plmathfoto - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    I’m not a Nats fan. Hope Heyward gets better soon. I do however hope this tells the Braves that maybe they shouldn’t just throw at someone (read Harper) for no reason like they’ve been doing, or at least think twice about it, stuff like this can happen. Sucks..big time.

  15. shelbydawkins - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Get well soon Jason. We love you!

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