Left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman had a slow-developing market this offseason and ended up signing with the Kansas City Royals on a cheap one-year deal.
Chapman, who has made millions thanks to his 100-mph fastball and ninth-inning prowess (at least in the regular season), had to take a $3.75 million contract on a non-contender because his performance has been slipping in recent seasons.
Speaking of slipping, he had a rather painful spring training injury that could potentially slow him down for a few days.
“Aroldis Chapman slipped and fell at his house on Saturday night, cracked a tooth and split his lip open, requiring stitches. It’s still pretty swollen but he’ll try to play catch today, throw a bullpen tomorrow and get into a game soon. He says he’s feeling OK now,” Royals insider Anne Rogers tweeted.
Aroldis Chapman slipped and fell at his house on Saturday night, cracked a tooth and split his lip open, requiring stitches. It’s still pretty swollen but he’ll try to play catch today, throw a bullpen tomorrow and get into a game soon. He says he’s feeling OK now. #Royals
— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) February 27, 2023
That had to hurt.
Yes, it’s not his arm or lower body, but imagine how uncomfortable pitching would be with your mouth in that state.
The southpaw is still widely expected to be ready for Opening Day.
He is likely to be the closer of the Royals.
If he does well enough, he could be traded to a contender around midseason.
After a long series of seasons with an ERA in the 2.00s or in the low-3.00s, Chapman saw the number balloon to 3.36 in 2021 and 4.46 in 2022, with severe issues to command his fastball at times.
The foreign substances ban heavily affected him, as his ability to grip the ball just hasn’t been the same since 2021.
He is not as reliable as he used to be, but if he puts it all together again, he could be a nice reliever for the back of the Royals’ bullpen.NEXT: Video Shows Zack Greinke Preparing For Another Season