clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jason Heyward returns to Cubs’ lineup after battling lightheadedness and shortness of breath

“I feel a lot better mentally, physically, knowing that I was in good hands. I did every test imaginable to make sure that I’m healthy and I won’t be harming anyone around me as well,” Heyward said.

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Cubs right-fielder Jason Heyward returned to the lineup Wednesday, but the outfielder had quite the experience over the last 72 hours following his exit from Sunday’s game because of shortness of breath and lightheadedness.

Heyward felt that something was off during his first at-bat after he wasn’t able to take a deep breath, something he does after every pitch. When his breathing didn’t improve as the game progressed, he knew something was wrong.

“We had a pitching change the top half of the [fourth] inning,” Heyward said. “I went to [Kyle] Schwarber and [Ian Happ] Happer and was like, ‘Hey, serious question. What do I do if I feel like I can’t breathe normal?’ . . . And that was, of course, part of my concern was them and anyone else I had come in contact with at the time.

“Then I went to talk to Rizz and I’m like, ‘Bro, I don’t feel right,’ and I started to panic a little bit, because the breathing wasn’t there. But then I’m like, it’s not getting better and I need to say something because I need to get away from everyone. And so I did, of course. [They] got me out of the game and immediately took great care of me.”

Heyward’s COVID scare is the second the Cubs have had this season after Kris Bryant pulled himself out of the lineup with stomach issues earlier this season. Heyward says he was immediately concerned that he might have the coronavirus due to how quickly the symptoms had affected him and how he has never had any trouble breathing before.

Heyward says there is no definitive answer on what might have caused his symptoms, but team doctors think it may have been a viral syndrome. Tests for the flu, allergies, stress and coronavirus all came back negative.

“It feels good to be back in the lineup,” he said. “I feel a lot better mentally, physically, knowing that I was in good hands. I did every test imaginable to make sure that I’m healthy and I won’t be harming anyone around me as well.”

Clemente’s No. 21 honored around MLB

Players around MLB joined together to honor Pirates legend Roberto Clemente, with many players donning his iconic No. 21. All 30 teams wore commemorative patches to celebrate the day.

Both Javy Baez and Victor Caratini, who like Clemente are natives of Puerto Rico, were the two Cubs players to wear No. 21 in honor of the Hall of Fame outfielder.

“I’m really excited, man,” Baez said. “Once everybody found out that some of the players were wearing No. 21, it kind of went everywhere. Everyone wants to wear it. A lot of people are talking about retirement.

“It’s a pretty big number. I see Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson. They got different stories, but people see [them] as being really close. So it will be an honor to be wearing 21 out there.”