Cincinnati Reds: Aroldis Chapman throws batting practice

Closer's comeback is ahead of schedule

PITTSBURGH  - Aroldis Chapman got closer to returning to the Reds Wednesday when he pitched batting practice and manager Bryan Price pronounced him in "midseason form."

Chapman faced hitters for the first time since he was struck in the face by a line drive in spring training and suffered fractures above the left eye and nose.

Chapman threw 27 pitches from behind a screen.

"I felt very good. I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary," he said.

The schedule calls for Chapman to pitch batting practice again this weekend – without the screen.

If he passes that test, he'll probably go to the minors to pitch in a game or two.

Chapman has made rapid progress since his injury on March 19.

Originally, the team said it might be late May before he could return to the Reds.

Now it looks like it might be early or mid-May.

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