Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, who was hit by a line drive while pitching in an exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise, Ariz., on Wednesday night, has fractures above his left eye and nose and remains hospitalized Thursday morning.
Chapman was hit in the face by a liner off the bat of Salvador Perez in the sixth inning. Trainers from both clubs rushed to aid him, and he was immobilized, put on a stretcher and carried off by a medical cart as players from both teams surrounded him.
“He never lost consciousness,” Reds Manager Bryan Price said. “He was able to communicate. He was able to move his hands, his feet, his legs. I’m not a doctor. I don’t want to go much further than that. It got him pretty flush just above the left eye is what it looks like.”
Reds assistant trainer Tomas Vera, who may have set a land speed record when he rushed out to attend to Chapman, accompanied him to the hospital.
“It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Reds right fielder Jay Bruce said. “I never got close enough to see it. The way it was explained, as hard as he throws and as hard as that ball was hit off of the bat, we’re hoping for the best.”
The rest of the game was canceled after umpires consulted with both teams.
“We just decided that for everybody’s safety and best interests that we’re just going to go ahead and call tonight’s game and just be done with it and really focus on the ballplayer hit, Chapman,” home-plate umpire Chris Guccione said.
“I believe the last thing on everyone’s mind on the field at that point was the game,” he said. “It’s spring training, so it doesn’t hold a lot of weight anyway. There are not words to explain how everyone is feeling right now. It’s terrible. It really is. It’s dangerous. It happens every once in a while and you never know. It was completely inadvertent. None of that is happening on purpose. It’s one of the dangers of the game.”