After a horrific injury from taking a line drive directly in the face last month, Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman has been cleared to throw live batting practice by the team, according to a report from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
This is the next step in Chapman’s eventual return to the Reds pitching staff.
Chapman suffered multiple fractures above his left eye and nose, as well as a concussion, after being struck by line drive hit by Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez in a spring training game on March 19. He had surgery two days after the incident to have a metal plate inserted in his face.
The shot was so solid that Chapman laid on the ground for some time before being taken from the field on a stretcher.
This week Chapman threw from a mound in a bullpen session for the first time since the accident, tossing 25 pitches on Monday before traveling with the team on their current road trip.
In Chapman’s absence, the Reds have been using the combination of Jonathan Broxton and Manny Parra to close games, stumbling to a 7-9 record out of the gate, with a league-low two saves, with three blown save opportunities.