They weren’t just run of the mill, season-ending injuries, either. Both Jason Heyward and Tim Hudson’s injuries were jaw-dropping, chill you to the bone injuries. Hudson’s was worse, considering he needed surgery, and will have a long rehab. But watching live as Jonathan Niese’s fastall went head-hunting on Heyward was downright scary.
How many more players can this Atlanta Braves team lose and keep getting up off the mat? During the Braves current 20-4 streak, Heyward hit .349 with 24 runs and 15 RBIs. Since Fredi Gonzalez put Heyward in the lead-off spot, he has been hot as a south Florida tin roof in August.
As good a baseball player as Heyward has turned out to be, and considering that he would probably have made one helluva defensive end or tight end with his size and speed, I think his best career could have been boxing. After taking a 90-mile per hour fastball in the jaw, it was amazing that he got up as quick as he did and walked relatively normal to the dugout. Granted, trainer Jeff Porter was there to steady him, but the dude showed incredible toughness.
The report on Heyward is 4-6 weeks, so that would mean he could potentially return for the playoffs, but I’m guessing it is very doubtful. He won’t be able to do much with that broken jaw, and that isn’t an area where you want to mess around. The jaw/ear area is very delicate and can result in eyesight/vertigo problems if not healed properly.