Headley To Wear Protective Mask


After being hit on the jaw by a pitch Thursday night, Yankees’ third baseman Chase Headley is expected to wear a helmet, with a protective mask attached to it, to protect the jaw.

Headley says the mask will resemble one worn by Braves’ outfielder Jason Heyward, which covers about half his face.

Headley did not initially travel with the team to Baltimore, instead staying behind to get tests on his jaw. The tests came back negative, and he has since rejoined the team. Headley has been out of the lineup the last three games for the Yankees, but says he hopes to return soon.

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“It doesn’t feel any different than a normal helmet,” Headley told NJ.com “You can see it a little bit out of the corner of your eyes. I’m sure that will be an adjustment.

“At the same token, if I were to get hit there again right now, I don’t know how well I could handle that. It’s just sore to touch. I’ll deal with the uncomfortableness for a short period of time.”

Headley said the mask won’t totally protect him from form re-injuring the jaw, but says it can’t hurt.

“The way the helmet’s crafted, it’s probably going to get up against (my jaw),” Headley said. “But it’s going to provide a lot more cushion than I would have had. … The helmet fits tight but if you hit it, it’s going to spin a little bit. But it’s going to be better than being hit by a ball.”

Headley says he has been fielding grounders, and taking batting practice to stay ready to play.

He says he doesn’t expect to wear the mask when he’s fully recovered. But there might be some chance…

“If I come out there and hit a couple of homers with that thing on, maybe I’ll have to stick with it,” he said.

We’ll see just what kind of effect it has on him.