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2014 Injury Update: Eric Jagielo undergoes surgery to repair a facial fracture

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The Humbler is a Jerk.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Yankees third base prospect and 2013 first round draft pick Eric Jagielo took an 87 mile per hour fastball to the face, and he has been diagnosed with a broken bone. Per Josh Norris, Jagielo underwent surgery to help repair the fractures and is expected to miss between four to six weeks. He suffered the injury during the Yankees' fall instructs down in Tampa. Recently rated as the #3 prospect in the Yankees system by MLB.com, Jagielo was expected to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. With the opening games starting October 7th, and continuing on until November 15th, Jagielo will likely miss most if not the entirety of the games played.

The news of Jagielo’s injury is not the best case scenario, but it is far from the worst possible outcome.  Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was struck by a comebacker in spring training, and the All-Star closer sustained serious facial fractures that forced him to undergo surgery and the insertion of a titanium plate around his left eye.  More recently, MVP candidate Giancarlo Stanton saw his season end when he was struck in the face by an 88 mile per hour fastball in a game against the Brewers. Like Jagielo, Stanton suffered facial fractures as well as a few lost teeth but unlike the Yankee prospect, he was able to avoid surgery. We also cannot forget the luckiest member of this group, Chase Headley. If some may recall, not fifteen minutes after Stanton was hit, Headley was also hit in the face by a pitch. Unlike everyone else mentioned, the third baseman only sustained a few stitches.

Since baseball is not considered a contact sport, many fans--myself included--tend to underestimate the danger involved in this game. We tend to forget that these men are tossing extremely dense balls at high velocities and when these things make contact with a bat, as much as we might pretend to guess where the ball will go, we truly do not know how it will ricochet off a bat or the ground. The old saying is that baseball is a game of inches. Usually when that is said, we think about the difference between a homer or a strikeout, but we should also think about the fact that it could mean the difference between everyone going home healthy, someone ending up in an ambulance, or worse.