Cincinnati Reds RP Aroldis Chapman has been one of the top closers on every single fantasy baseball cheat sheet this season. He has racked up 38 saves in back-to-back seasons and has amassed a jaw-dropping 14.68 K/9 throughout his career.
Unfortunately, in Wednesday night’s Cactus League game against the Kansas City Royals, Chapman was carted off the field and his face was absolutely covered in blood. Chapman was struck in the face by a 99 MPH fastball after C Salvador Perez hit a nasty comebacker that instantly dropped the 26-year-old fireballer.
The southpaw was immediately taken to the hospital and he will now have to have surgery to repair a broken bone above his left eye. He will have a metal plate inserted above the eye and the closer is also dealing with a relatively mild concussion as well.
The original prognosis has Chapman being sidelined between six to eight weeks, and while the timetable for his recovery isn’t very long, it will have an obvious impact on his fantasy value in any league that has yet to draft.
However, the fact that Chapman won’t pitch until May has turned him into a mid-level sleeper. He will now fall well outside of the top-10 closers on draft day and will be worth holding onto for the late-season push.
Chapman is still worth grabbing in every fantasy format. He is one of the most electric closers in all of baseball and will be back on the mound before you know it, so don’t sleep on him just because he will be out for a couple weeks.