Jason Heyward has become something of a regular in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup of late, but he endured an injury scare this past weekend while attempting to stretch a single into a double against the New York Mets.
Heyward went head-first into second base and collided with Jeff McNeil as he was tagged out to end the second inning. He was slow to get up but initially remained in the game to play defense.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning that Heyward was replaced by Jake Marisnick, who since has landed on the 10-day injured list because of a left hamstring strain.
Thankfully for Heyward and the Dodgers, his injury was ultimately considered day-to-day with neck stiffness.
Heyward suffered a concussion with the Chicago Cubs back in 2021 that ended his season, and that injury loomed on his mind after this most recent collision, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“It was nice to know this wasn’t a direct knee across the head like that one was,” Heyward said Monday. “Knowing right away was not going to be the best test. Even through the night, a travel night, you’re going to feel tired, all that stuff. You have to see how you feel getting up today. And I’m in the lineup.”
Heyward, who signed Minor League contract prior to the start of the season, has had a resurgent year for the Dodgers since making the Opening Day roster. Even with some recent struggles, he’s batting .251/.350/.465 with 13 doubles, nine home runs, 25 RBI and a 117 OPS+.
The veteran outfielder has consistently made hard contact and provided the Dodgers with quality defense whether playing center field or right field. Heyward is in the 89th percentile in outs above average and arm strength.
When Jason Heyward plays, the Dodgers find success
It is indeed a good thing for the Dodgers when Heyward is in the lineup. Used almost exclusively against right-handed pitching, they are 38-20 when Heyward starts.
He has remained in the Dodgers lineup the first three games since suffering the minor neck injury.
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