After hearing more on Jason Heyward’s concussion symptoms last week, I thought it would be a surprise if he returned this season. Unfortunately, that appears to be the way things are going.
Heyward seems to want to return, but you just don’t want to mess around with the kinds of more serious concussion symptoms he was dealing with:
Ross says “doubtful” Heyward returns this season, given seriousness and tricky nature of evaluating concussion symptoms. But says Heyward wants to return.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) September 22, 2021
Ross: “Doubtful” Jason Heyward (concussion) returns this season, but the veteran outfielder is showing improvement and would like to try to comeback before end of schedule.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 22, 2021
At a human level, you hate that Heyward didn’t get the final month of the season to try to at least put something better together. It probably wouldn’t have mattered in the 2022 calculus, but it still stinks.
I don’t know what the future holds for Heyward and the Cubs. There are two more years left on his deal, but it was already a situation where the roster spot was the real question. Gut says the Cubs won’t release Heyward this offseason, though, and will instead give him a chance to transition into a part-time role next year. I don’t know if that’s the best use of the 40-man roster spot this offseason (much less the 26-man roster spot next year), but I also don’t really want to dig too deep into it in a post about his concussion. For now, I just want the guy to get real life healthy. You deal with the baseball discussions later.
In Heyward’s absence, there has been more playing time for Trayce Thompson, who will get even more starts now that Alfonso Rivas is also out for the year.
The play that may have ended Heyward’s season: