Reds’ closer Chapman hit in face by line drive


SURPRISE, Ariz. — Cincinnati Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman broke bones above his left eye and nose when he
was hit by a line drive Wednesday night, the latest frightening injury to a pitcher struck in the head
by a batted ball.
Chapman was undergoing further testing at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, where he was set to spend
the night for observation, according to a statement from the Reds.
First-year manager Bryan Price said Chapman was conscious and talking as he was taken off the field
during Cincinnati’s spring training game against the Kansas City Royals.
The exhibition was called after an 8-minute delay with Kansas City leading 6-3.
“Not good,” Price said. “He left the field on a stretcher, took a line drive just above his left eye is
what it looks like — a contusion, a laceration, and certainly needs to be taken to the hospital and
checked. We’ve got Tomas Vera, an assistant trainer, is going to be with him. And then we’ll get our
updates from there.”
The hard-throwing left-hander was struck by Salvador Perez’s liner with two outs in the sixth inning —
the pitch was clocked at 99 mph. Chapman crumbled to the ground, face down, his legs flailing. The ball
caromed into the third base dugout. Medical personnel, including Royals Dr. Vincent Key, rushed onto the
field. Blood could be seen on the mound.
Perez put his hands on his helmet before reaching first base. He immediately went to the mound where
players from both teams huddled as the 26-year-old Cuban reliever was being attended to in an eerily
silent stadium. An ambulance’s siren could be heard in the background while Chapman was loaded onto the
“It was an absolute bullet that Sal hit,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It’s just a real sickening
feeling for everybody.”
Players from both teams kneeled, some bowing their heads and crossing themselves in prayer.
Chapman was taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City. He was then transferred to Banner
Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Perez appeared to be in tears as he left the field, and first baseman Eric Hosmer hugged him. Perez
quickly left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters. Hosmer hit a line drive off the head of Tampa
Bay’s Alex Cobb last June. Cobb sustained a concussion.
Playing right field, Reds teammate Jay Bruce heard the ball hit Chapman.
“It was one of the more frightening and non-fun moments I’ve been a part of on the baseball field,” he
After Chapman was driven off to the waiting ambulance, Price and Yost met with the umpires.
“It was really a mutual agreement,” crew chief Chris Guccione said. “Players were rattled. The staff was
rattled. The umpires were rattled. We figured it was best, along with both teams in agreement, that the
game should end.”
Yost said neither he nor his players wanted to keep playing. Price felt the same way.
“You can’t find it in your heart to go out there and play,” he said.
Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who had emergency surgery after he was struck in the head by a line
drive in September 2012, urged caution in a post on Twitter.
“all reporting at this point means zilch, until he gets a scan,” he said in a tweet.
Chapman, who throws a 100 mph fastball, had walked four Royals in the inning before being injured.
The two-time All-Star had 38 saves for the Reds last season.
When reporters walked into the Royals clubhouse, third baseman Mike Moustakas asked a team official to
request that they leave.
“No one wants to talk,” Moustakas said.
In January, Major League Baseball approved a protective cap for pitchers following several terrifying
scenes similar to this one in the last few years, including Toronto’s J.A. Happ, who sustained a skull
The heavier and bigger hats were available for testing during spring training on a voluntary basis, but
the cap apparently would not have helped Chapman in this case.
“I know this isn’t uncommon as we would like it to be, but it was frightening,” Price said. “Certainly

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