Blue Jays' Donaldson: Helmet flap 'was blocking' my vision

by
Nick Turchiaro / USA TODAY Sports

It's been over two weeks since Josh Donaldson ditched his helmet flap, and the Toronto Blue Jays third baseman is seeing dividends in the short span.

"I thought there were a couple times when I had (the helmet flap) on there, it was blocking me out of a couple of pitches or I was having to turn my head in a certain manner in order to get a good look at the pitcher," Donaldson told Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun.

"I tried to make some adjustments on it," the 2015 AL MVP continued. "It really wasn’t working as far as moving the flap down. So I was just like, 'To heck with it. I’m just going to get my other helmet and go from there.'"

Since July 18 against the Boston Red Sox - the first game the 31-year-old went without the flap - Donaldson has a .903 OPS, compared to .847 from the full season. He's also riding a three-game home run streak.

Donaldson added the flap to his helmet in late May after a stint on the disabled list because pitchers "are throwing too hard." Over the next 41 games when Donaldson wore the extra protection, the star slugger slashed .238/.364/.429.

While Donaldson has ditched the flap for now, the helmet addition has grown in popularity after many batters have been hit in the face by pitches including, but not limited to, Keon Broxton and, most recently, Mitch Haniger.