'Like a punch in the face': Tigers’ JaCoby Jones sore but OK

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Minneapolis — Other than the swollen and stitched upper lip, JaCoby Jones looked no worse for wear Sunday for a guy who got hit in the mouth by an 89-mph fastball on Saturday. Though watching the Detroit Tigers center fielder try to pull a tight-fitting hoodie over his beat-up face was agonizing.

“My teeth still hurt, but they said everything was intact and they were still there,” Jones said. “I still have to get a CT scan when I get back to Detroit. Everything feels normal. I can bite down. It’s just my lip.

“Teeth are sore but other than that, it just feels like I got punched in the face.”

JaCoby Jones

It’s not the first time he’s taken a fastball to the head area.

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“I still have the scar from the four stitches here (left eyebrow) where I was hit in Low-A,” he said. “That one was more of a graze. This was more like I got punched in the face.”

Twins pitcher Justin Haley drilled him in the third inning on Saturday. Jones, dazed, went to the ground briefly, then got up and ran toward third base waving for the trainers to come out.

“I was like, ‘Get up. Just don’t lay on the ground,’” he said. “When I saw the blood I knew it was bad. But I was like, ‘Just run it off.’ I don’t know what I was thinking.”

The Tigers placed Jones on the 10-day disabled list, still pending the CT scan. Veteran outfielder Jim Adduci was recalled from Toledo and started in right field Sunday. Being on the DL, Jones said, is going to be the hardest part of this entire ordeal.

“That’ll be the worst part, just sitting here watching the games,” he said. “But I will be all right. … I will still do workouts and hit in the cage. I can’t play in the games, so I don’t exactly know what I’m allowed to do when I am on the DL.

“But I’ll work out and hit in the cage and stay active.”

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Jones said he can eat solid foods, though he said he had to cut up his chicken into tiny bites Saturday night. Overall, he considers himself lucky.

“It could’ve knocked out all my teeth or struck me square in the eye,” he said. “I am lucky it hit me in my big lip and just made it bigger. It’s all good.”