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Jason Heyward will continue to wear protective guard on his helmet

Feb 15, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

Jason Heyward AP AP

Braves outfielder Jason Heyward wore a protective guard on his helmet after returning from a broken jaw last season and Mark Bowman of reports that he’ll continue to wear it in 2014.

Heyward broke his right jaw when he was hit in the face by a pitch by Mets’ left-hander Jon Niese last August 21 and required surgery to have two plates inserted. While it was initially feared that he would miss the rest of the season, he managed to make it back within a month and was active for the Braves’ NLDS loss to the Dodgers.

Heyward, 24, hit .254/.349/.427 with 14 home runs and 38 RBI in 104 games last season. He’s expected to be the regular leadoff hitter for the Braves this year.

  1. craigssideburns - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Thanks for that crucial piece of information. Now I can sleep tonight….

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Feb 15, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      The sound sleep of an internet douche bag.

      • yahmule - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:27 AM

        Sound and lonely.

  2. rbj1 - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Smart move. I wonder if they’ll eventually be mandatory all the way down to Little League.

  3. mdpickles - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Is not fully healed? Why does he still need it? I’m not so sure it would even help all that much? If he takes one square to the jaw WITH the flap, it will still break his jaw, right?

    • yahmule - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:28 AM

      I defer to your experience with high impact head trauma.

  4. sc101071 - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    that padding would spread the impact out over the jaw, not just the spot hit by the ball.

  5. Carl Hancock - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    You could be right. It wouldn’t possibly protect his jaw from impact. In fact why wear a helmet at all? He should just wear his ball cap the way real men used to play baseball. Of course it will protect his jaw. As the commenter above said it would help absorb the impact by spreading it out. Obviously there is concern about him taking another blow to his surgically repaired jaw.

  6. cur'68 - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    If I’d taken a fastball to the jaw I’d probably never step in that box again. I value the contents of my skull too much. Heyward’s doing the right thing. If you can make a living hitting baseballs around, then go for it. If it means you gotta wear a goofy helmet to do it, then more power to you for even getting back in a batter’s box, helmet or no helmet. I hope he has a great season.

  7. timdix1 - Feb 15, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    When will HARDBALLTALK change its name to HARDBALLTALK powered by Derek Jeter?

  8. slystone111 - Feb 15, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    What a Pu$$y…

  9. jcmeyer10 - Feb 15, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    I bet half of it is mental. I remember getting hit by pitches in Little League in the arm/back and being reticent to step back in the box.

    • yahmule - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:31 AM

      When I was 11, I used to absorb fastballs like a mini Don Baylor. I would stroll disdainfully down to first base and NEVER rub the spot that got hit. At least that’s how I remember it and there’s no videotape to say otherwise.

  10. bravestomahawkchamp - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Placebo effect or not, if it helps Jason feel more comfortable at the plate I’m all for it . Oh and yeah, someone being a little gun shy after taking a hardball to the face MUST be a little girl. Freaking trolls …..

  11. slystone111 - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    I’m guessing that you all are pu$$ies, too.

    • yahmule - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:33 AM

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