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Aroldis Chapman likely to face live hitters Wednesday

Apr 21, 2014, 8:12 PM EDT

Aroldis Chapman AP AP

Aroldis Chapman is about to face his most important test yet in his recovery from facial fractures, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the hard-throwing left-hander will likely throw live batting practice Wednesday.

Chapman threw 45 pitches Sunday in a bullpen session, so the Reds want to make sure he feels good before committing to a specific day. However, if he goes ahead and pitches on Wednesday as planned, Reds manager Bryan Price believes that the next step could be a minor league rehab assignment.

“He’s increased 10 pitches incrementally,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s thrown all his pitches — fastball, slider, change. There’s really no concern at this point in time that his arm and body aren’t ready to pitch.

“But it’s like anything else: He threw (Sunday) we’ve got to see how he responds. I would say it’s likely that he throws Wednesday in live batting practice. But if there’s any concern, we would push it back.”

Chapman suffered fractures above his left eye and nose when he was hit in the face by a comebacker off the bat of Royals catcher Salvador Perez on March 19. He needed surgery to have a plate inserted in his forehead.

The Reds are using the recently-activated Jonathan Broxton as their fill-in closer right now, but Chapman could be ready to return by mid-May if all goes well.

  1. Old Gator - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Live hitters would be preferable. After that line drive softened up his skull, the more opportunistic of the dead ones they’ve had him working with keep trying to eat his brain.

    • stex52 - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      You could probably squeeze in a few of the mostly dead ones. At least, that is how they probably feel when that fast ball comes at them.

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