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Chapman hit by liner

Aroldis Chapman suffered fractures to bones in his nose and left eye after he experienced a pitcher's worst fear: getting hit by a line drive comebacker. Chapman had essentially zero time to react to Royals catcher Salvador Perez's hit -- considering that Chapman is the hardest thrower in baseball, any well-hit fastball of his is potentially quite dangerous. This frightening injury comes a few months after MLB approved protective caps for pitchers, and although one probably would not have helped in this case, we wouldn't be surprised to see at least a few hurlers sporting them come Opening Day.

Should pitchers be required to wear some form of head protection?

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    41%
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    59%

Discuss (Total votes: 228,112)

  • If you were a pitcher, would you wear a protective helmet?

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      20%
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      48%
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      32%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,237)

  • How many pitchers do you expect will wear protective caps this season?

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      43%
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      45%
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      9%
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      3%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,147)

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Relievers are usually locked out of the major MLB awards, but Jayson Stark is making the case for Reds fireballer Aroldis Chapman. Would he get your vote?

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Usually when we talk about Cincinnati athletes and a radar gun clocking something at better than 100 mph, someone in the Bengals front office starts to get a queasy feeling. But it's actually a cause for celebration this time. Aroldis Chapman has arrived.

There is a William Wallace quality to the reports of exactly how fast Chapman throws (100, 103, 105 with the ability to distort time?), but the short answer is faster than Russ Springer, Logan Ondrusek, Sam LeCure and anyone else the Reds have trotted out of the bullpen. The team let Chapman progress at his own pace in the minors, but as a reliever, could he be a postseason factor for a team suddenly in firm control of the NL Central?

Brandon (Charleston, WV)

What are your thoughts on the Reds young pitching?

Jerry Crasnick
Jerry Crasnick

Brandon, Mike Leake is starting to wear down, but this year has to be considered a very positive one for him. And I'm really impressed with what I've seen from Travis Wood. Ultimately, it comes down to Aroldis Chapman and what he might provide. I think the Reds deserve some credit for letting him get experience in the minors. It would have been awfully easy to bow to the hype and carry him on the Opening Day roster. Long term, he's much better served spending time in the minors. Full transcript

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Sunday was a good day to be a baseball fan in Altoona, Pa. or Toledo, Ohio. And with no disrespect to the fine people of those two cities (all right, maybe the teeniest bit of disrespect), that sentence by itself ought to be all the scouting report you need on Stephen Strasbug and Aroldis Chapman.

While Atlanta Braves uber-rookie Jason Heyward found there are pitchers even he can't touch yet (Tim Lincecum) and then showed how rare a club that is (hitting his third home run of the season off Jeremy Affeldt, who relieved Lincecum), Strasburg and Chapman made their season debuts on the road in the minors. Strasburg struck out eight in five innings to earn a win for Harrisburg at Altoona. while Chapman struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings for Louisville at Toledo.

The Nationals are surprisingly off to a .500 start, although they've been outscored by 15 runs in six games, but it's not clear that either they or the Reds will feel the push of a pennant race to hurry along a future ace. But which pitcher will have a bigger footprint in the majors in 2010?

Clay (Charlotte)

Did you hear that collective sigh of relief in Atlanta when Heyward his that first one? Should they be worried about Chipper's injury?

Jerry Crasnick
Jerry Crasnick

Clay, I was at the game, and it sounded a lot more like an explosion than a sigh. The Braves aren't worried about Heyward because he appears to be such a mature, selective hitter (although I'm sure he's going to go through a rough stretch or two). As for Chipper, yeah, they have to be concerned about him staying in the lineup. If they can get 135-140 games out of him, I imagine Bobby Cox would be thrilled. Full transcript

Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)

I know Heyward is a great story, but the Braves don't even sniff the playoffs without Chipper in the lineup, do they?

Jayson Stark
Jayson Stark

I really like their team, but Jason Heyward is NOT the centerpiece of that team yet. That's Chipper's thing. And they need him to be the Chipper of 2008 again. He and Brian McCann have to hit. And the Troy Glaus move is going to have to work for this team to score enough. It can't all be heaped on a 20-year-old's back. That isn't fair. But the Braves are a dangerous, dangerous team. Full transcript

Jerry ((mpls))

If Chapman had been in the draft last year, where is he selected?

Baseball America's Jim Callis

Chapman probably third, behind Strasburg and Ackley. Full transcript

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