Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was taken off the field on a stretcher after he was struck in the face by a line drive during a spring training game on Wednesday night.
Known as one of the hardest throwers in the Majors, the 26-year-old fired off a fastball to Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who quickly drove it back to the mound striking Chapman directly in the face. The incident took place in the sixth inning and the game was later cancelled.
The pitch was reportedly clocked at 99 mph, and likely struck Chapman in the face at the roughly the same speed.
A two-time All-Star, Chapman was taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., where tests indicated he suffered fractures above his left eye and his nose. Chapman was later transferred to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, according to MLB.com. Chapman is being kept overnight for observation.
"He never lost consciousness," Reds manager Bryan Price said to MLB. "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."
Born in Cuba, Chapman was signed by the Reds as a free agent in 2010. In the last two years, he’s struck out more than 234 batters and recorded 76 total saves.
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