Tag:Aroldis Chapman
Posted on: April 14, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Shoulder inflammation sidelines Chapman

By Matt Snyder

Flame-throwing relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman has been temporarily shut down by the Reds, but they aren't worried about the long-term health of the lefty. General manager Walt Jocketty told CBSSports.com's C. Trent Rosecrans that it's shoulder inflammation and there are no worries or concerns past the next few days. Chapman has been examined by team doctor, Dr. Timothy Kremchek -- who was with the team on the West coast trip -- and has been given some anti-inflammatories.

The club expects Chapman to be ready to take the mound again by Sunday.

Chapman, 23, is one of the most exciting young arms in baseball, due to his ability to light up the radar gun in triple digits. He has yet to allow an earned run this season in 5 1/3 innings while striking out six, though he has had control issues with five walks.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: April 13, 2011 9:37 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 11:24 pm
 

Is Reds' Chapman hurt?

Aroldis Chapman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Could there be something wrong with Aroldis Chapman? Or is he just semi-human?

"We don't know," Dusty Baker told FSN Ohio after the game.

After he walked the first batter he faced on five pitches Wednesday against the Padres, the Reds sent out athletic trainer Paul Lessard and pitching coach Bryan Price to check on him. Chapman stayed in the game, but was then pulled after throwing out Jason Bartlett at third base on Orlando Hudson's sacrifice attempt.

There was no apparent injury, but Chapman's velocity was way down. How far down? His first pitch was 94 mph -- and it was his fastest pitch of the night. The last pitch he threw was clocked at 89 mph. All of nine of his pitches were called "changeups" by MLB.com's Gameday application.

"Chapman wasn't throwing like Chapman," Baker said after the game. "We went out and asked if he was doing OK and he said yes. [Catcher] Ramon [Hernandez] said he thought something was wrong. Chapman said he was OK, which is what they say in Cuban baseball. We took him out because he wasn't throwing like Chapman."

He has shown a tendency to slow down on consecutive nights, but he was also throwing less than 100 in Tuesday night's outing against the Padres. He threw one fastball 98 mph on Wednesday and then everything else was 94 mph or less. Wednesday's outing was his fourth in the last five days.

Before Wednesday's 3-2 loss, Baker said he wasn't worried.

"There's nothing to be alarmed about," Baker told reporters before Wednesday's game (via the Cincinnati Enquirer). "I've been saying the same thing when people want to see him everyday. He's gone three out of four days. If he goes two innings last night, it would have been even worse the second inning. We wouldn't have had him today. And there's a good chance that off day wouldn't help at all."

On Tuesday, Chapman was very good, striking out two in a perfect inning even without his peak velocity. Wednesday he only got one out and was charged with an unearned run. That run was the tying run, which led the to team's 3-2 loss to the Padres.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with Chapman -- who could be seen getting yelled at by Hernandez after a double switch took both out of the game in the eight inning -- and it's just showing his limitations, and perhaps the limitations of the human body. Chapman can throw harder the anyone in the world, but can he do it consistently?

He's already showed a big drop when used back-to-back days, but could he have to be used with even more rest to remain superhuman? That would hurt his chances of becoming the Reds' closer and also raises questions about his ability to start. 

Hernandez said he called out Price and Lessard because he thought Chapman looked tired.

"I told him, 'you know what, I know you want to go through it,'" Hernandez said (via the Cincinnati Enquirer). "I understand that You one of the main guys for seventh and eighth. ... if you have something sore, let them know. They'll give you one or two days off. It's better that you take two or three days.'"

"He was mad he came out the game. He's young. He'll learn. It's better to miss two or three days than a month."

I don't think anyone expects him to be pumping out 105 mph fastballs inning after inning as a starter, but the stark decrease in his velocity on Wednesday was certainly alarming.

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

Posted on: March 26, 2011 10:50 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/26: Marlins on a roll

Wes Helms
By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

Florida Marlins -- It seemed like something of a joke a week-and-a-half ago when Florida owner Jeffrey Loria blew up at his team over their spring training play. At the time, the Marlins were 5-13 and losers of nine straight. Since then, they've gone 7-1-1, including Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Cardinals with a walk-off single from Wes Helms (above). Sure, the wins don't count, but even in the spring, it's better to win than to lose -- and also to keep the boss happy.

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees -- Rodriguez hit his sixth homer of the spring on Saturday and fifth int he last eight games. A-Rod has had a sweltering spring, hitting .422/.469/.978. 

Justin Verlander, Tigers -- It doesn't count, but the Tigers' ace just wrapped up a pretty damn impressive spring. In six starts he went 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA. He struck out 23, walked three in 28 innings, while giving up 21 hits and three runs. He finished it on Saturday, allowing five hits and a run in seven innings against the Phillies.

3 DOWN

Ryan Franklin, Cardinals -- It's the position Franklin is paid to succeed in -- the Cardinals go into the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead and three outs to go for the win. Greg Dobbs led off the bottom of the ninth for the Marlins before Franklin recorded two outs. Jeff Domiguez doubled to make it 5-4, then Jorge Padilla followed with another double to tie the game and then Helms singled in Padilla to give Florida a 6-5 victory.

Braves defense -- Atlanta had five errors in Saturday's 8-2 loss to the Mets. Right fielder Wilkin Ramirez had two errors, while Brooks Conrad, Jonny Venters and Joe Mather each had one. The Braves have 32 errors in 31 games this spring. The Braves had 126 errors last season, one fewer than the Nationals and Pirates in the bottom spot for that stat in the National League.

Aroldis Chapman, Reds -- The Reds fireballer didn't record an out in his outing against the World Champions. After back-to-back singles, a wild pitch allowed the first run to score, then he hit Mark DeRosa. After that Charlie Culberson singled and Andres Torres doubled. In all, Chapman gave up four hits and five runs, with converted infielder Jerry Gil allowing his inherited runners to score, while giving up a run of his own.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Wanted: Experienced closer, likes Texas heat

Neftali Feliz

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If Neftali Feliz is starting for the Rangers, it doesn't appear the close is in camp with the defending American League champions.

"I have confidence in Jon Daniels and our scouts," manager Ron Washington told reporters, including ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon on Tuesday. "If that's the case, I'm 100 percent sure they'll go out there and find somebody to close ballgames down for us."

If that's the case, the Rangers will be looking for their seventh different closer in the last seven seasons (defining "closer" as "dude with the most saves."). The last Ranger to lead the team in saves in back-to-back years was Francisco Cordero in 2004-05. Cordero has since been an All-Star for two different teams.

Alexi OgondoThe Rangers' internal candidates appear to be Mark Lowe and Alexi Ogando (right). Or the team could go with a closer-by-committee until the trade deadline, also using veteran lefties Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver along with Lowe and Ogando. Prospect Tanner Scheppers is another (remote) possibility. The Rangers traded Frank Francisco, their closer in 2009, to the Blue Jays in exchange for Mike Napoli in the offseason.

As for trade candidates, the team could go out now, or wait until the trade deadline when more candidates would be available.

Among those available could be the Padres Heath Bell, the Mets' Francisco Rodriguez and the Orioles' Michael Gonzalez. The Blue Jays have several experienced closers on their roster, including Francisco, Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel and Jon Rauch.

If the team waits until the trade deadline, if the Mariners David Aardsma could be available, as well as Cordero, who could be supplanted by Aroldis Chapman (or Nick Masset). Others that could be available include Kevin Gregg, J.J. Putz and Brandon Lyon.

However, Washington did tell reporters in the same sitting that he felt confident enough with the rotation as it is and Feliz in the bullpen. It also appears, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson writes, that Washington would prefer to keep Feliz in the bullpen unless Daniels can get another closer.

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

More MLB coverage
Posted on: March 4, 2011 9:53 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Pepper: Big Puma struggling through spring

Lance Berkman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cardinals came out of the offseason sacrificing defense for offense, but that offense may have a hard time even getting on the field.

Lance Berkman, inked in as the team's right fielder going into the spring, was scratched from the team's lineup on Thursday because of a sore left calf. Berkman had already been limited to designated hitter work because of a bad left elbow.

It's just the first week of games, and Berkman has been limited to play in the field. On Thursday, Berkman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was "perfectly fine" and would still go to Kissimmee, Fla., on Friday to face his old team, the Astros.

Friday morning, Berkman wasn't on the bus, missing another game.

Prospect Zack Cox filled in for Berkman at DH on Thursday and knocked in a run, but he's not ready to fill in full-time for Berkman in the field and the National League doesn't have the DH.

Sure, it's early, and several players are battling bumps and bruises, but not all of them are 35, coming off a down season, moving to a more demanding physical position, blocked at their old position and being counted on to remedy a team's offense. That's a lot on the shoulders of the Big Puma, and it's looking less like he can shoulder that load.

WAKE-UP: As if stepping into the box against a guy who can sling the ball 105 mph wasn't enough to get your attention, the first pitch ending up somewhere near the bull certainly got Dodger Trent Oeltjen's attention. Thursday night, the first pitch of Chapman's inning of work went over the catcher's mitt and over the umpire's head. His next three pitches to Oeltjen were strikes, including strike three looking.

"If it was at my face, I wouldn't have had time to move," Oeltjen told the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez. "It woke me up. He sent a message he was throwing hard."

Said new manager Don Mattingly: "Jeez, huh? He was Randy Johnson-ish. It gets there quick, doesn't it?"

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: Carlos Zambrano didn't fight anyone in his Thursday start for the Cubs -- not only that, he threw three scoreless innings. However, he did complain of arm fatigue after the start.

"I was just tired," Zambrano said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's normal. I wasn't feeling power in my arm, but I guarantee you I will work hard and feel good in my next start."

Zambrano note he typically feels a "dead-arm" at least once a spring.

JUST BAD NEWS: Yesterday the question was if Astros' catcher Jason Castro would miss the beginning of the season. Today, it's if he'll play at all this season.

Thursday night, Castro was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Castro was scheduled to have surgery this morning, and general manager Ed Wade said he could return "by mid-September." (Houston Chronicle)

WAIT FOR JUDGEMENT? Matt Cain said he hasn't thrown a ball since coming down with elbow inflammation on Sunday and will likely miss multiple starts this spring. 

However, Cain's not too concerned, even after taking an MRI.

There is a history -- and this is something to watch -- of pitchers going to the postseason one season and having trouble the next because of the increased workload. While Cain's not worried, it'll be something to monitor with all of the Giants' pitching staff. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ANOTHER WART: Hopefully Orioles starter Brian Matusz won't tweet a picture like Michael Cuddyer, but he'll also be having a wart professionally removed.

Matusz's wart is on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Still, he threw two scoreless innings on Wednesday even with the wart. He had it some last year, but pitched through it. He said it bothers him some on his breaking ball. (Baltimore Sun)

WAS THAT REALLY A CONSIDERATION? Oliver Perez has been the New York media's favorite target for a while, but is this really necessary? The New Your Daily News' "breaking news" from "a source" is that the Mets have internally decided Perez will not be a starter during the regular season.

The Daily News' Andy Martino wrote that the day after he wrote the team would cut Perez (and his $12 million salary) if he didn't perform well in his start on Thursday. Well, he threw two scoreless innings against the Cardinals, so Martino didn't get his wish. Instead, he had to find a new way to pile onto Perez.

Hey, it's not to say Perez doesn't stink. He does. Or that he's not overpaid -- he is. It's just, this breathless reporting seems almost like piling on. Sure, the Mets have said he's in contention for the rotation, but the Mets say a lot of things, and it's not like we believe those.

NOW HE COULD BE IN A ROTATION: Neftali Feliz wasn't too happy with his first start of spring. Still, he threw two scoreless innings, so it wasn't bad. He also threw three different pitches, but struggled with his command and rhythm.

The Feliz story may be one of the more interesting ones of spring, and certainly something to watch as the month goes along. He'll throw three innings next week. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

VISA TIME: Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati's opening-day starter, could pitch his first spring training start because of a visa problem, but he should be able to make his next start after a quick trip to his native Dominican Republic.

"Everything is set," he told the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay. "They're just waiting for me to pitch it up."

He was unable to pitch in games at which admission is charged because he came to camp on a travel visa, not a work visa. His work visa was held up because of his failed drug test and suspension last season.

COCO CONTRITE: A's outfielder Coco Crisp said he's embarrassed about his DUI arrest on Wednesday morning. (San Francisco Chronicle)

GO METS OR GO HOME: Former Cardinals and A's closer Jason Isringhausen is back in camp for the Mets, after starting a comeback last season in the Reds system.

Isringhausen played in Triple-A last season, but says his bus-riding days are over. If he doesn't break camp with the Mets, he'll just go home and call it a career. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OR JUST GO HOME: Boston's J.D. Drew says he's considering retiring after this year. It's been one of those things he's hinted at before and is hardly a surprise. (Boston Herald)

SO WHO IS A-ROD? According to Wikileaks, a U.S. diplomatic cable on the 2009 Iranian election called President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the "George Steinbrenner of Iran" when talking about his influence over the national soccer team.

I'm guessing that wasn't a compliment. (Associated Press)

WHAT'S A WORLD SERIES WORTH? How much are World Series starts worth to a Hall of Fame discussion? Or, even more words about Jack Morris from Baseball Prospectus.

Honestly, I used to be a Morris for the Hall guy, I'm not anymore. I used to not be a Bert Blyleven guy, but I am now. But I'll certainly never change my feeling that I never want to hear another Morris-Blyleven debate.

A BETTER SCORECARD: An interview with Bethany Heck, the designer of a new, better, scorebook. Heck's 20-game scorebook is like "if Moleskine made a scorebook…" (Bugs & Cranks)

WHAT TO WATCH: Jake Peavy will make his first start since July 6 today against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz.

"Hopefully, we'll see some of the hard work we've done pay off," he told the Chicago Tribune.

QUARTERBACK SHOWDOWN: There's a Groundhog Day aspect to spring training, so Padres manager Bud Black found a way to break up the monotony -- a quarterback combine.

While Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert (seriously, could you draft a quarterback named "Blaine") did this in Indianapolis last week, Black had his former quarterbacks -- top prospect Casey Kelly, Cory Luebke, Orlando Hudson and Nick Hundley -- go through their own competition Thursday morning.

According to MLB.com's Corey Brock, the three went through several drills, including hitting a moving target. Luebke, a high school quarterback in Ohio, upset Kelly, who signed a letter of intent to play QB at Tennessee.

"We're here for six weeks," Black said. "… We try to do some things to keep the guys going."

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: The Reds have announced the front-runner for the year's best bobblehead. On July 2 against the Indians, fans will receive the combination Dusty Baker bobblehead and toothpick holder. The bobblehead even has Dusty with a toothpick in his mouth (and, of course, sweatbands on his arms). So far, it's the best bobblehead I've seen on tap for this year, with the Reds also getting second place for their Jonny Gomes bobblehead and arm, mimicking the way Gomes tugs at his helmet before every at-bat.

Dusty Baker

IF YOU'RE NOT ALREADY BEARDED OUT: The literary journal McSweeney's is selling a "How to Beard Yourself Like Brian Wilson" poster.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
More MLB coverage
Posted on: March 2, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 4:44 pm
 

Which top prospects could impact majors in 2011?

By Evan Brunell

CBSSports.com's Top 100 prospect list is out, casting light on players that will eventually become household names. But until that happens, these prospects need to tap into their potential and prove they can hack it at the big league level.

Below is a list of top prospects that could make an impact on the majors in 2011. Before getting into the list, "impact" is defined as those who are projected to break camp with the team and play an important role with the club. Others, such as Jesus Montero, Dustin Ackley, Brandon Belt, all will have an impact once the hit the majors -- but that's likely to come in the summer months, and are listed at the end of the article.

BrownNo. 3. Domonic Brown, PHI
Age (all ages as of April 1, 2011): 23
Position: RF
Bats/Throws: L/L

Brown is battling for the starting right field job and although Ben Francisco is proving to be a stiffer challenger than thought, Brown will still get ample opportunites in the majors. There's some thought he could return to Triple-A, but he has nothing left to prove at that level and progression will only come with playing time in the bigs. Philly may have to swallow hard and deal with the growing pains, but the payoff will eventually be huge.

HellicksonNo. 6. Jeremy Hellickson, TB
Age: 23
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Hellickson could step in and replace Matt Garza without batting an eye, as the youngster is fully prepared to pitch in the cauldron that is the AL East. Hellickson will turn 24 on April 8, but already has 36 1/3 innings of major league experience under his belt. He walked just eight (plus two intentional) plus whiffing 33, which is an impressive debut but only underscores just how ready he is for prime time.

ChapmanNo. 9. Aroldis Chapman, CIN
Age: 23
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: L/L

Chapman won't be closing in Cincinnati, but will put pressure on Francisco Cordero as the setup man. We all saw what Chapman could do last season and he should continue to baffle hitters. The Reds considered making him a starter but opted to keep him in the bullpen which may unfortunately preclude a move to the rotation. It is difficult for teams justify moving young players that succeed in the 'pen back to the rotation.

DrabekNo. 16. Kyle Drabek, TOR
Age: 23
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Of all the names on this list, Drabek has the most tenuous hold on a roster spot but the team seems excited about his potential and wouldn't rule out a run at 200 innings. He shouldn't have too much trouble cracking the rotation and even if he starts in Triple-A, it won't be for long. One can't project Drabek to replace the man he was traded for (Roy Halladay), but he should eventually anchor the rotation.

FreemanNo. 19. Freddie Freeman, ATL
Age: 21
Position: 1B
Bats/Throws: L/R

As mentioned in the Top 100 list, Freeman lacks the ceiling of other first baseman such as No. 18's Brandon Belt, but is ready for the majors now and is locked in at first base. He figures to have a couple All-Star appearances in his future but not much beyond that. He should settle in as a valuable first baseman over his first six years, largely thanks to being under team control.

MinorNo. 29. Mike Minor, ATL
Age: 22
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/L

Minor doesn't have the ceiling of other top pitching prospects (similar to Freeman and first base), but he's also ready for the majors and was noticeably effective in the majors last season before he tired and lost velocity at the end of the season. If Minor can withstand the rigors of a full 162-game season, he should be an excellent No. 4-5 starter for the Braves, with the potential of more.

SaleNo. 33. Chris Sale, CHW
Age: 22
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: L/L

Sale is similar to Chapman in that he could start, but the White Sox have opted to keep Sale in the bullpen. He could vulture a few saves, but Matt Thornton is still expected to be the closer. That opens the door for Sale to play an important role in the late innings. He may be asked to switch to the rotation for 2012.

DominguezNo. 66. Matt Dominguez, FLA
Age: 21
Position: 3B
Bats/Throws: R/R

Dominguez can't quite hit, but boy, he can sure pick it. Already compared to Mike Lowell at the tender age of 21, Dominguez is expected to open the year at third for the Marlins. It appears Florida understands Dominguez will be a non-factor on offense and is willing to take that risk. But why start the service clock of an impact player when he could use more seasoning? Dominguez will never be a great hitter, but an extra year in the minors could go a long way. Read more from Scott Miller.

ArencibiaNo. 71. J.P. Arencibia, TOR
Age: 25
Position: C
Bats/Throws: R/R

Arencibia had quite an introduction to Toronto, but quickly faded after inconsistent playing time. Now finally handed to the keys to the starting job, there appears to be no question that Arencibia can hit. Catching, however, is another matter. The Jays have a couple other catchers in the system that could supplant Arencibia before long, which would shift the 25-year-old to first base or DH.

KimbrelNo. 85. Craig Kimbrel, ATL
Age: 22
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: R/R

Kimbrel is the favorite to open the year as closer, although he may share time with Jonny Venters. Kimbrel posted a ridiculous strikeout rate last year and could quickly rise up the ranks of top closers. Carlos Marmol has proven that walking a ton of batters is OK as a closer as long as you strike out players, bit still, Kimbrel could stand to improve in that area.

EspinosaNo. 86. Danny Espinosa, WAS
Age: 23
Position: 2B
Bats/Throws: S/R

A converted second baseman, Espinosa will start alongside Ian Desmond for the Nationals. He showed intriguing power in his 112-plate appearance look in 2010, but probably showed more power than he will produce over a longer season. The bright side? His .214 batting average was an anomaly. The jury is still out on just how good he can be at the major-league level and it appears likely he will eventually settle in as the top infield option off the bench, although he'll get every chance to prove he can be more.

McGeeNo. 95. Jake McGee, TB
Age: 24
Position: RP
Bats/Throws: L/L

McGee has to be considered the odds-on favorite to emerge as long-term closer of Tampa, but will start off setting up whoever wins the gig -- likely Kyle Farnsworth (cringe). McGee has excellent stuff and could have played well in the rotation, but the Rays moved him given his injury and durability issues. He's just as good a bet as Chapman, Sale and Kimbrel on this list to have a nice, long career as closer.

ON THE BUBBLE:
No. 4 Jesus Montero, NYY catcher... No. 8 Dustin Ackley, SEA second baseman... No. 14 Zack Britton, BAL starter... No. 18 Brandon Belt, SF first baseman/left fielder... No. 37 Kyle Gibson, MIN starter... No. 52 Simon Castro, SD starter... No. 57 Yonder Alonso, CIN first baseman/left fielder... No. 74 Chris Carter, OAK first baseman... No. 79 Hank Conger, LAA catcher... No. 82 Zach Stewart, TOR starter... No. 92 Jordan Walden, Angels reliever... No. 96 Brent Morel, CHW third baseman... No. 99 Jeremy Jeffress, KC reliever.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: February 17, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 5:39 pm
 

Chapman to relieve, but not close

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman will be in the bullpen, but won't be the closer this season, Dusty Baker told reporters on Thursday.

From John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer :
 “Let’s get this out of the way right now. I plan on using him like I used him last year. We’ll see how he progresses with things. How many appearances did the guy have last year?”

He had 39 at Louisville and 15 with the Reds.

“That’s not a lot of experience,” Baker said. “Not at this level. So we made concerted effort to bring him along slowly in a lower-pressurized situation. We brought him in mostly at the bottom of the order in the seventh and eighth inning. We hope to bring him along and put him in more important roles. We know the third day in a row he wasn’t nearly (effective). So we’re finding out about his resiliency, what kind of stuff he has two days in a row. Relieving is new to him. We need him more now as a reliever than a starter. The fact that he’s left-handed, the fact that he’s throwing more strikes, it might be easier on his arm right now.”

“One thing I want squash right now is closer-situation controversy. I know everyone want’s to be in a hurry to rush him in there. But we’ve got to get him acclimated to what he’s doing first. [Francisco] Cordero, even though it’s been exciting at times, he’s still second at least [in] our league in saves the last two years. That’s something that most people overlook.”
Cordero has 79 saves over the last two seasons, third behind Heath Bell (89) and Brian Wilson (86). Still, many expect Chapman to take over for Cordero, who is in the final season of a four-year, $46 million contract. He'll make $12 million this year with a club option (likely to be declined) for $12 million with a $1 million buyout. He currently has a limited no-trade clause.

The Reds still want to use Chapman long-term as a starter, but it won't happen this season. Pitching coach Bryan Price tells Fay that they'll continue to work on his change-up, but not use it in games -- as a reliever his fastball and slider are enough.

Price said the biggest thing he wants Chapman to do is to use his fastball to get ahead of batters, not worrying about placement much more than throwing it over the plate.

"Don’t put him in a position where he’s trying to shave off the inner or outer two inches of the plate early in the at-bat," Price said. "The way he comes in — if it’s the 95 or the 100-plus — he’s hard to get a good swing on. He’s a hard guy to square up. So we don’t want him to try to make the perfect pitcher’s pitch on the first pitch. We want him to attacked the zone with his fastball and slider and get ahead in the count."

As for Chapman, he tells Fay he's happy as a reliever.

“I didn’t think about it too much: My job is a reliever. I’m a reliever now,” he said. “I want to be a starter but I don’t think about that. My job now is to be a reliever. That’s job I’m going to do. The day they want me to be a starter, I’ll start thinking about it.”

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: December 6, 2010 2:31 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 6:25 pm
 

Baker: no decision on Chapman's role

Dusty Baker was asked a lot about Aroldis Chapman -- imagine that -- during his media session.

Much of this offseason there's been talk about whether the Reds would use Chapman as a starter or reliever. There's not much movement on that.

"I don't know," Baker said. "It's what, Dec. 6?"

Chances are the Reds will have him try to win a rotation spot and if that doesn't work, they'll have a left-hander throwing 105 mph out of the bullpen again.

"I tell all my guys to take some time off," Baker said. "I just want them to stay in shape, to run. … He's never had an offseason before, [in Cuba] they play all-year round."



-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com