Aroldis Chapman injury brings awareness to Cardinals camp -

Aroldis Chapman injury brings awareness to Cardinals camp

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

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(BaseballStL) -- When Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was hit in the face last night in Cincinnati's spring training game he suffered fractures to his face and nose.  Initial reports were good, suggesting he'd eventually be okay.

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But that doesn't mean other teams, such as the Cardinals, haven't taken notice.

"Scary moment.  Hope things continue to go well [health wise]," Mike Matheny said.

At one point Major League Baseball discussed having players wear a special hat with some extra padding in it to help absorb some of the shock from a line drive.  Nothing is imminent with that as of now. 

But even Chapman may not have been saved by it.

"Even the [padded] hats they were talking about wouldn't have helped that," Matheny said. "It's been happening for a long time.  Pitchers have been getting hit.  You think guys are getting bigger, stronger and faster but they've always hit the ball pretty hard and you're just 60 feet, six inches away so there's not a lot of time for reaction."

Every spring training, Cards pitchers work on defending their position by having balls hit right back at them.  Those drills help with reaction time.  But it only helps to a point.

"You try and teach the guys to prepare but [Chapman] didn't even have time to get his hand up," Matheny said.

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