After taking a fastball to the jaw on Wednesday afternoon, outfielder Jason Heyward had plates surgically placed at the two fracture points by Dr. Glenn Maron in Atlanta on Thursday, the Braves announced. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks but could be done for the season.
The pitch, which was delivered by Mets left-hander Jon Niese, was clearly unintentional. It was just a fastball that got away and hit the wrong target. It appeared Heyward turned his head in time for the ball to hit the earflap of his helmet, but obviously that wasn't the case.
In 95 games before the injury, the 24-year-old Heyward hit .253/.347/.423 (109 OPS+) with 13 home runs. He missed time earlier this year following an appendectomy. Heyward has also dealt with shoulder problems in his career. Obviously, taking a pitch to the face is a fluke injury.
The Braves figure to use Jordan Schafer and Joey Terdoslavich more regularly with Heyward out. B.J. Upton, who had been playing less often due to his poor year, will see an uptick in his playing time as well.