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Tag:Ryan Hanigan
Posted on: September 6, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 5:56 pm
 

Rockies touch up Chapman

Aroldis Chapman Apparently, Aroldis Chapman is human.

The Reds used Chapman in the middle of an inning for the first time and he allowed not only his first big league hit, but also his first run.

Chapman entered the game with two outs and the Reds trailing by a run, 5-4.

Eric Young Jr. got the first hit off Chapman, a singled up the middle on a 98.6 mph fastball, scoring Seth Smith. Dexter Fowler then hit a hard ball at Paul Janish, who was knocked backwards and tried to get a force at second, but threw it over the head of Brandon Phillips, scoring Chris Nelson, scored as an error.

Carlos Gonzalez then hit a little bouncer over Chapman's head that third baseman Juan Francisco couldn't handle, loading the bases. After throwing a 103.1 mph fastball to Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Hanigan had one go by him for a passed ball, scoring another run. Chapman then got Tulowitzki swinging at a slider to end the inning.

Chapman's final line -- 1/3 of an inning, three hits and an unearned run with a strikeout. He threw 16 pitches -- nine were clocked at 100 mph or better.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .





Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:57 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 7:34 am
 

Chapman proves worthy of hype

Aroldis Chapman

CINCINNATI – The attention was no doubt on the FM dial of pitch speeds from Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman in his big-league debut – 98.4, 86.4, 102.5, 86.9, 100.3, 102.7, 101.4 and 98.6. But catcher Ryan Hanigan wasn’t talking about the fact Chapman threw four of his eight pitches faster than 100 mph or even that seven were for strikes.

Instead, it was the fourth pitch – the second slowest of the night – that caught his attention. It was a slider that started on the outside of the plate and ended up near the shoetops of Brewers catcher Jonathan LuCroy. Lucroy gave a soft wave at the pitch before heading back to bench having managed just a foul ball (which was in itself impressive, because he made contact with a 102.5 fastball), but had no chance when the next pitch was the slider.

"That thing … that pitch … that's a whole different ballgame," Hanigan said. "His breaking ball is what people should be talking about. His slider is absolutely ridiculous. He's got to be able to throw it for a strike and he's got to get into counts where we can call it. So getting ahead is big, but if he can throw that breaking ball for a strike … good luck. It's a hammer. I saw it in Triple-A. It's 88-to-93. It's moving about a foot and a half. That's not something that anyone wants to hit. I don't care how good you are.”

Yet, it was an afterthought on Tuesday for Chapman's debut because of the velocity.

Rumored to have hit 105 in the minors, many wanted to see what was possible in a major-league stadium on a more accurate gun and the Pitch F/X system installed in each ballpark. The 102.7 registered on Chapman’s final pitch to Craig Counsell was the prettiest girl in the school. Counsell grounded out weakly to short for the out and the 19,218 at Great American Ball Park saw exactly what they were hoping to see.

If home runs are what grabs attentions for batters, it's radar gun reading for pitchers. The triple digits had rarely – if ever – been seen in the seven-year history of Great American Ball Park, Chapman registered four triple-digit readings in his eight pitches.

The crowd chanted "we want Chapman" throughout the game, took pictures of the home team's bullpen and cheered loudly when he was shown warming up in the bottom of the seventh.

"I’'e never seen anything like it," Reds closer Francisco Cordero said.

Cordero, no soft-tosser himself, said he'd never seen 102 on a scoreboard before. "I got that," he said, "in my Ferrari."

Chapman was asked about it afterwards.

"Once in a while I'll take a look and I see it, and yeah, I'm surprised, and I'm happy when I see what it is," Chapman said through translator Tomas Vera.

GM Walt Jocketty, the man who committed $30 million to the Cuban, was asked if he was impressed by that kind of velocity.

"Absolutely," he said with a smile.

Aroldis Chapman The Reds still plan on using Chapman as a starter in the future, but for now he'll be used much like the Rays used David Price in 2008 or, if all goes well, like the Angels used Francisco Rodriguez in 2002. The addition of Chapman gave an already confident team another energy boost – and it didn't hurt that the Cardinals dropped a fourth game in a row at the same time the Reds finished up an 8-4 victory over Milwaukee to push Cincinnati’s lead to seven games in the National League Central.

"I think it's exciting for all of us, and it's very exciting for his teammates to see the electric stuff he has and the contribution he'll give this club throughout the pennant race and hopefully in the postseason," Jocketty said. "It's very exciting, I could tell by the reception he got when he went in the dugout, too."

This is just the first step – Chapman has struggled at times with command in the minor leagues and the trio of Lucroy, Counsell and Carlos Gomez is hardly Murderers' Row. But regardless of who the competition was – the number 102.7, plus seven strikes on eight pitches, bodes well.

"Big-league hitters can time fastballs, no matter how hard they throw," Hanigan said, "but with him, first of all, he's left-handed. Second of all, he's ass and elbows coming at you. He throws from a weird arm slot, it's not from over the top. It's got a little three-quarter action and he hides the ball well. The ball coming out of his hand that hard is a lot tougher than something straight because the ball's moving. It's running a little or cutting a little, which is obviously makes it that much tougher to hit."

Reds Frisbee-tosser Bronson Arroyo said he can imagine what it’s like being a fireballer at a different level than anyone else. He was once there, when he was 9. He recalled parents pushing their kids up to the plate to face him.

Since he turned 10, Arroyo’s lost some of that intimidation. He said the hard-throwers can always have a little bit of confidence when they know in the back of their mind if they’re not sharp, they can reach back for something extra.

So what’s the limit of the human body as far as velocity?

“I guess it's 105,” Arroyo said.

We haven’t seen it yet, but it seems like it may only be a matter of time.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




Posted on: August 31, 2010 12:14 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 10:16 am
 

Brewers' Wolf achieves franchise first

Randy Wolf It's not every day there's a "first time in franchise history" when it comes to Major League Baseball.

It's even more rare when it's not one of the new franchises, i.e. Diamondbacks, Rays, Marlins or Rockies.

Monday's franchise first came from the Milwaukee Brewers. In the third inning of the team's game in Cincinnati, Randy Wolf became the first Brewers pitcher to steal a base in the franchise's history.

Even though the Brewers played in the American League until 1998, they still played in the AL pre-designated hitter.

Wolf stole a base last year for the Dodgers. His stolen base Monday even came off one of the better throwing catchers in the National Leagues, Ryan Hanigan. However, it was more off of pitcher Homer Bailey, who does not hold runners on well.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Posted on: July 17, 2010 11:56 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Volquez impressive in return

Less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Edinson Volquez was on the mound once again Saturday night, throwing 95 with a viscous changeup. In front of a sell-out crowd at Great American Ball Park, Volquez allowed just three hits to the Colorado Rockies and struck out nine in six innings, as the Reds kept pace with the Cardinals thanks to an 8-1 victory.

"Getting Volky back, especially a productive Volquez, is like making a major trade," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You get a guy back, it'd be hard to find anyone out there better than he was. That was an outstanding performance, and he picked our whole team up. The guys are elated to have him back, you could tell the way they responded."

Edinson Volquez Volquez, an All-Star in 2008, joins a Reds rotation that started slow but has come on strong of late, in part bolstered by rookie Travis Wood. Wood, who was edged out for the fifth starter's spot in spring training by Mike Leake, will make his fourth start on Sunday. Despite not picking up a win in his first three starts, Wood impressed taking a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Phillies last week. In addition to Wood (0-0, 2.18), the Reds rotation consists of the reliable Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.95 ERA), a Johnny Cueto who seems to be putting it together (8-2, 3.42) and Leake (6-1, 3.53).

"I think we've got the best pitching staff in baseball," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

That 's likely overstating it more than a little -- but one-through-five, they may have the best starting pitching in the division, and that'll be important down the stretch. The Cardinals may be better with their first three, but St. Louis would welcome the guy Cincinnati sent down on Saturday (Matt Maloney) for one of the other two spots.

And with Volquez back, the team added a potential ace.

"For him to go out and pitch like he did today, there's a lot of teams in trouble," Phillips said.

Volquez's quick return should raise some eyebrows, considering his 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs earlier this season. Volquez has stuck to his story that he used a fertility drug to help him start a family with his wife. However, the drug was similar to the one Manny Ramirez was suspended for using a year ago.

Volquez looked similar to the pitcher that made the 2008 All-Star team, with his fastball sitting around 95 mph and a nasty changeup. The one difference was a newfound confidence in his curveball -- that and more hair. A lot more hair, but the curveball was just as natty as the dreads that added a couple of hat sizes to Volquez's melon.

"The last couple of years I didn't throw my curve, [tonight] I threw it a lot," Volquez said. "I felt more comfortable with it than my changeup. Last night I told [Francisco] Cordero my curve was better than my changeup. I told him I'd show him. Today he said, 'yeah, you're right.'"

Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan said he didn't know how they'd use the curveball, but both he and Volquez noticed early on he had a good feel for it and they used it more and more.

"We didn't throw it that much in rehab starts in Triple-A, but he had such a feel for it and threw it so much, he got some quality strikes and strikeouts on that pitch tonight that was great," Hanigan said. "I wasn't expecting it."

Volquez admitted he was a little too excited in the first inning when Dexter Fowler doubled and Carlos Gonzalez singled him in. He needed 22 pitches that inning and used 55 pitches to get through three innings. However the second and third time through the Rockies' lineup, no batter registered a hit.

"By the third, fourth inning, his stuff was ridiculous," Hanigan said. "He threw all his pitches whenever he wanted to with the action I've seen from him in the past. It's impressive to see a guy like that command all his pitches so well in his first start. When he does that, he's tough."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.





Posted on: July 5, 2010 6:56 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 11:37 pm
 

Reds' Hernandez out with knee injury


Ramon Hernandez For most of the season, the National League Central-leading Cincinnati Reds have been lucky not to have an injury that's drastically altered their plans from the beginning of the season.

Only two regulars -- starter Homer Bailey and catcher Ryan Hanigan -- have been on the disabled list.

While not on the DL, the team's other catcher from the opening day roster is hurting. Ramon Hernandez hurt his knee in Sunday's victory over the Cubs and left the game. Corky Miller is starting for the Reds.

"He's got swelling in there that he didn't have yesterday," Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay. "He's a little sore. Hopefully he'll be better tomorrow. He'll get treatment all day in case I've got to pinch-run or pinch-hit for Corky late in this game."

Baker said he didn't know if Hernandez could catch in a pinch if needed tonight.

Hanigan, on the disabled list since May 29 with a broken thumb, is currently on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville. Hanigan was hitting .200/.300/.229 in 10 games and 35 at-bats for the Bats, catching the last five games. He's also catching for the Bats in Monday's game in Indianapolis.

Hernandez missed 57 games last season with a left knee injury and had arthroscopic surgery in July, coming back for the last two weeks of the season.

When Hanigan went on the DL, he'd taken over the primary catching job from Hernandez. But over the last month, Miller's started 10 games with Hernandez starting the rest. Last season, his troubles started when he played first base in Joey Votto's absence.

Hernandez is hitting .287/.365/.403 with three home runs and 23 RBI for the Reds.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
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