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Reds try to move on without Chapman

The SportsXchange

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The injury to Aroldis Chapman was so shocking, so scary that the Reds could not quickly move on.

Manager Bryan Price wasn't ready to say what this will mean to the bullpen.

"I'll tell you if want my philosophy on this stuff: Whatever's going to happen, we're going to have 25 guys here at the end of spring training and that's going to be the hand that we were dealt," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

"And we're going to go out and compete and bust our tails to be excellent. Who those 25 guys are, I don't know and I haven't really thought about the layout of the bullpen. That will come in time. Right now, focus is on Aroldis' health."

Chapman was struck flush on the forehead by a line dive off the bat of Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals. He underwent surgery on Thursday and plate was put in to fix the fracture above his eye.

"He has a very mild concussion, no other brain injury; his eye's fine," Reds' medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek said. "He's a very lucky guy."

Chapman can begin working out and throwing in 10-to-14 days and could pitch in game conditions in 4-to-6 weeks, Kremchek said.

"The problem is you don't want him to get back to pitching or contact too soon just in case of another accident, a collision or another baseball hits him again," Kremchek said.

Several players, including catcher Brayan Pena and Perez, visited Chapman the night of the injury.

"He was talking to me and we joked a lot," Perez said. "He just wanted to make sure for me to tell everybody that he appreciates so much the fans' prayers, especially our teammates, coaching staff and everyone around.

"How much support and love he received that he got from all of us. He wanted to make sure I passed that along to the Royals' organization, especially all the players that were on the field. He was very excited. He was very happy, talking to me and joking. He was talking about some Cuban jokes and that's good because that means his memory is working pretty good."

The Reds won their game Thursday, 5-4, on a walk-off, bases-loaded walk by Joey Votto,

"In the end, I think baseball is a reprieve from all the things that weigh heavy on your heart, from experience I know that," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Sometimes when you come to ballpark. ... the game more than anything may have been a reprieve from the heaviness that's been around us since last night."

NOTES, QUOTES

--RHP Johnny Cueto was scratched from Thursday's start because of an "irritation" in his scapula. Reds manager Bryan Price downplayed the injury. "He could pitch today," Price said. "And he could pitch comfortably. But it's irritated. He feels it more when he's done throwing. We're going to skip him one start. He'll get up to his six innings and 90 pitches in his next time out -- possibly in a minor league game (on Tuesday) -- just so we're sure he can get his workload in."

--RHP Homer Bailey missed his last start because of a groin strain. He is scheduled to start Sunday. "Everyday, he gets better," Price said. "We anticipate him making that start, but, until we get through that bullpen tomorrow and get to game time on Sunday, nothing is written in stone."

--RHP Mat Latos made his first start of the spring in Single-A game. Latos had knee surgery Feb. 14 and elbow surgery Oct. 10. "He came out of it tota1lly fine," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "His arm felt good. His knee felt fine. He felt strong. So we don't see any reason why he won't make his next start on schedule."

--RHP Jonathan Broxton is progressing from elbow surgery. He pitched in a game Monday and is scheduled to throw again Saturday in a game. Broxton threw an inning Monday. "He came in on the off day (Tuesday) and played catch -- no ramifications or ill effects," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

--RHP Alfredo Simon probably will make at least one start with Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey on the mend. Simon allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits in five innings Thursday night in 6-3 loss to Kansas City. He walked three and struck out three in the game Aroldis Chapman was injured in. "He's thrown the ball really well and there's been two games where he's been erratic with his command," Price said. "(Wednesday), he didn't have an off-speed pitch to go to. He wasn't able to drop his curveball in there like he usually is.

--The Reds trimmed their roster to 38. Right-handers Drew Hayes and Chien-Ming Wang, left-hander Lee Hyde and infielder Argenis Diaz were re-assigned to minor league camp.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Honestly, when I saw it, I wanted to cry. That was my first feeling, because it was very scary." -- C Brayan Pena, on LHP Aroldis Chapman being struck by a line drive.
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