Aroldis Chapman suffers facial fractures after being struck in face by line drive (video)
An incredibly frightening moment played out during Wednesday’s game between the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals when Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Royals catcher Salvador Perez.
The incident occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning when Perez lined a 99-mph offering from Chapman straight back towards the mound. The sound the ball made when it made contact with Chapman’s head was disturbingly audible and reportedly could be heard throughout the stadium. The ball ended up over near the Royals third base dugout.
Chapman immediately went down, holding his face with both hands and remained motionless for several minutes while emergency personnel treated him. Chapman reportedly never lost consciousness.
“He was able to communicate and move his hands and legs,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to go any further than that. But it got him pretty flush, just above the left eye, is what it looks like.”
Chapman ultimately was taken off the field on a stretcher and then transported to Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., according to an MLB.com report. Tests revealed that Chapman suffered fractures above his left eye and nose. He was kept overnight for observation and further testing after being transferred to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Reds manager Bryan Price and Royals manager Ned Yost agreed after Chapman left the field to cancel the game.
“You just can’t find it in your heart to go out there and play,” Price said. “Baseball is a game to be played with a lot of joy in your heart and determination and focus. And I don’t think anybody was able to do that after that moment.”
Players for both teams were shaken by the incident.
The most frightening thing I’ve ever been a part of,” said Reds right fielder Jay Bruce. “I mean, as hard as he throws and as hard as that ball was hit off the bat, I just hope for the best.
“There’s not really words to explain how everyone is feeling right now,” he added. “It’s terrible. It really is. It’s dangerous. Baseball aside, this is people’s lives you’re talking about. This is dangerous. This is something that is so unfortunate. You don’t want to see it happen to anyone.”