Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman threw his second bullpen session on Thursday and it had good results, Reds manager Bryan Price said. He has been given the green light to participate in pitcher’s fielding practice and pitch in live batting practice.
“Just that he’s feeling great and throwing great,” Price said. “I know there was a question asked when we’re at home about, ‘When is he going to be capable of doing [pitcher's fielding practice] and doing anything on the field where he could be in harms way?’ And he’s been given the green light to do all that. Our concern initially was anything that might come up and bounce and hit him in the face, and if he would be at a higher risk for further injury, and he’s been given the clearance on that. So he’s a full-go in the regard.
“I have a feeling that by the end of this trip, he’ll be at least throwing batting practice, I’m very optimistic about that.”
Chapman is recovering from facial fractures sustained after taking a line drive to face on March 19. His physical rehabilitation is coming along, but what about the mental side of returning from such a scary injury?
“I don’t know if we can really answer that question until he goes out and faces hitters in a game situation,” Price said. “That could be here in the next 10 to 12, 14 days that we see that, but I guess everybody’s different. And there’s no way of really knowing until he’s back in a very similar environment, pitching to hitters without protection. We’ll see how that goes.”
One thing is for sure, is that Chapman is a tough man and it’s been amazing seeing the progress he’s making, hopefully all things work to plan and we could see him in a major league mound in a month or so.