Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was hit in the head by a Salvador Perez line drive on Wednesday night, suffering fractures above his left eye and nose. He underwent surgery on Thursday to repair the fractures and had a metal plate inserted on the bone above his left eye to stabilize the fracture.
Thankfully, Chapman is expected to make a full recovery. In fact, he could resume working out in 10-14 days, and enter game conditions within four to six weeks. That means we could see Chapman back in regular season action some time in June if everything goes according to schedule.
In the meantime, Chapman is in good spirits. He posted a picture to Instragram of the staples he had inserted around his head. Normally, I’d just embed the picture, but if you’re a touch squeamish as I am, you might not want the unexpected sight. So click here if you’d like to see what his head looked like shortly after the surgery.
Chapman captioned the picture with the following caption:
Mi gente todo esta bien gracias a dios ya salimos de todo tipo de problema estoy aquí esperando q me den de alta
According to a Spanish-speaking Redditor, that loosely translates to, “My people, everything is good, thank god. We have already passed all the problems and I am here awaiting my release (from the hospital).”
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.