Aroldis Chapman hit in face by line drive
There was a scary moment in last night's Reds game, as Aroldis Chapman was hit in the face by a line drive. Trainers from both teams rushed to the mound immediately (and his father too from the stands), and he was taken off the field in a stretcher. Reports say he never lost consciousness and could move his limbs and speak as he was being treated. Medical tests indicated that he has a broken nose and fractures above his left eye. That sounds like what happened with Marlon Byrd a few years back, though I'd have to guess that Chapman got hit a lot harder considering it was the turnaround from a 99mph fastball that got him.
Hopefully it turns out better for Chapman than it did for Cardinals OF Juan Encarnacion, who was hit in the eye by a foul ball while standing in the on deck circle. I can't find too many details of the aftermath, but it caused severe damage to his optic nerve and ended his career.
I hope he's okay, baseball is better with Chapman in the game. I remember seeing him warming up in the minors years ago before he made the bigs. His name wasn't on the back of his jersey so I had no idea who he was, but even an idiot like me could tell he had special talent.
Javier Baez doing Javier Baez things
Baez had a strange night last night. He collided with LF Anthony Giansanti (who?) on a shallow pop-up to LF and may have banged up his knee or wrist, but the trainers decided he was okay to leave in. No word on whether Giansanti was immediately given his walking papers after the game. Baez later hit a HR that may have just settled into stable orbit around the Earth.
I can't seem to find reference to it now, but as I was shutting off my computer last night people were joking that Baez got four strikes in his final PA.
Other updates from the game
Carlos Villanueva looked good, striking out eight batters in four innings. He only made one major mistake but it was a costly one, as Carlos Gonzalez hit a HR that's probably in a synchronous orbit with Baez's. There was lots of other weird stuff in this game too. Emilio Bonifacio showed off his wheels again by advancing all the way to third on a missed pickoff throw at 1b. Former Cub DJ LeMahieu scored on a balk called on Jose Veras. Valbuena homered, and it looks like his spot on the roster is secure even with the emergence of Mike Olt and Bonifacio's strong spring.
Olt to see time at 3b in today's game
After much hemming and hawing in the last week about Olt's shoulder, he's in the lineup today at 3b for the first time this spring. Expect lots of HRs and strikeouts if he wins the regular season gig.
Muskat guesses the opening day roster
Carrie Muskat took a stab at the opening day roster the other day (not literally, no one is hospitalized with knife wounds). No real surprises on the pitching front, as she agrees that Rusin is going to get the 5th starter gig for now. She does not have Olt on the roster and does have Donnie Murphy and Bonifacio, but left a spot open for '25th man'. I'm still guessing Olt gets in at the expense of Murphy, and Kalish grabs the last OF spot.
A lipreader breaks down umpire-manager arguments from last year
(dying laughing). Via Evan Brunell at Baseball Prospectus.
In case you missed it
Brett did an impressive bit of research/reporting on the Cubs current debt, payroll, business, and baseball plans. Now we know who owns the Cubs. Check it out if you haven't already. It's long, so grab a coffee before you sit down to read it. Or don't. I can't tell you what to do. 424 and I had some in depth discussion of the piece in our aside from yesterday.
My biggest takeaway was this, in response to the 2012 CBA's changes to some of the debt/income ratio obligations that the Cubs have to satisfy
That CBA keeps finding new ways to screw this team.
Don't forget to finalize your brackets before 11:15 today. aOSU kicks off the real tournament (sorry, Iowa) against Dayton.