Dodgers News: Jason Heyward Receives the Highest Possible Praise from His New Skipper
When the Dodgers signed Jason Heyward to a minor league deal this offseason, no one thought much of it. It appeared that Heyward’s better days were behind him, and he wasn’t expected to contribute much, let alone make the Dodgers Opening Day roster.
Nonetheless, Heyward immediately started putting in the work. He was seen working out at Dodger Stadium, and started fixing a swing that desperately needed the help.
Heyward showed off his revamped swing in spring training. The new swing, combined with the fact that his friend, Freddie Freeman, kept raving about him, and it started to become clear that Heyward was more than just a minor league depth piece.
Heyward ended up making the Opening Day roster, and has received a ton of playing time, even making numerous positive contributions.
The contributions that Heyward has made, though, can be felt both on and off the field.
On the field, Heyward is slashing .238/.338/.508 with four home runs, five doubles and eight RBIs in 76 plate appearances. Last year, in 151 plate appearances with the Cubs, Heyward had just one home run, five doubles and 10 RBIs.
Off the field, Heyward has been an invaluable veteran presence, and has helped tons of young guys (and even older guys) early this season. He’s also made a big impact on his manager, who gave Heyward some of the highest praise you could give someone (per Bob Nightengale of USA Today).
“He’s on the Mount Rushmore of favorite players I’ve ever been around,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said “He has a new lease on life, a new freshness. He’s been a big part of this. I’m honored to be sharing the same uniform with him.”
Roberts has been a manager for a long time, and been around the game of baseball even longer. So for him to say Heyward is on the Mount Rushmore of favorite players is no small praise.
But that’s just how much of an impact Heyward has made on this team, and we’re only going to feel it more as we get later in the season.
Heyward has an opportunity to be one of the biggest steals of the offseason. That’ll be quite the comeback story for someone who’s getting paid $22 million to not play for the Cubs this season.
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