Tag:Aroldis Chapman
Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:13 pm

Reds budget to increase for 2011

The Reds' budget will be "better" than last year's $72 million, general manager Walt Jocketty told CBSSports.com on Wednesday, but because of the team's large number of arbitration-eligible players, he's unsure how much money he has to spend.

"It's hard to predict what those numbers will be," Jocketty said. "We can't commit a lot of dollars right now."

The total budget, Jocketty noted, wouldn't rise dramatically, but will be more than he had for 2010.

He said that was one of the reasons the Reds declined their $4 million option on shortstop Orlando Cabrera, although the team has talked to his agent about returning to the Reds at a lower rate.

Walt Jocketty Jocketty said the team has yet to hear word if outfielder Jay Bruce will qualify as a Super Two, which would also affect the team's bottom line. Bruce, in his second full season, hit .281/.353/.493 with 25 home runs and established himself as one of the top defensive right fielders in the game (he was second to Ichiro Suzuki in the Fielding Bible Awards). Jocketty said he expects to hear sometime this month on Bruce's status as a Super Two, though it is expected he will qualify.

Bruce won't get the biggest bump from the arbitration process, though. Likely National League MVP Joey Votto is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. In addition, the Reds have Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Bill Bray, Jared Burton and Laynce Nix as arbitration-eligible players.

If the Reds do have some money to spend, Jocketty said he'd like to find a leadoff man.

We'd like to improve our offense," Jocketty said. "With our pitching, we like our rotation, we like our bullpen. One thing we'd like to improve upon is a leadoff hitter, I don't know that if that's possible or not."

Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs led off for the majority of the 2010 season.

If the team doesn't bring back Cabrera, Jocketty said he feels comfortable  with Paul Janish as the team's everyday shortstop. The Reds went into February with the plan of Janish at short last year before signing Cabrera.

Other notes from Jocketty:

• He said the team had talks with an extension for pitcher Bronson Arroyo, but hadn't reached an agreement yet, so the team picked up his option. Jocketty said they'd still like to get a multi-year deal done before 2011. Arroyo told CBSSports.com earlier today that they were working on a three-year deal.

• Sorry Louisville, Aroldis Chapman won't be back in the minors next year.

"He should be ready for the major leagues now," Jocketty said.

Whether he will be a starter or reliever in 2011, only time will tell. Longterm, the Reds believe Chapman will be a starter.

"Right now, when we get to spring training, if he's better suited for the rotation or the bullpen," Jocketty said. "It's very possible he could be back in the bullpen."

The Reds could have a crowded rotation with Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Mike Leake and Travis Wood.

• Jocketty said he talked to the agent for free agent utility man Migeul Cairo on Wednesday about bringing Cairo back to Cincinnati.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 1:42 pm

What is Aroldis Chapman's future role?

Aroldis Chapman Now that the Cincinnati Reds are looking ahead to 2011, one major question is the future of Aroldis Chapman.

The Reds could keep Chapman in the bullpen along with a 105-mph fastball and have a shutdown closer for years to come. However, they could also slot the lefty fireballer in the rotation and enjoy hundreds of innings. But would Chapman hold up as a starter? Will his devastating fastball and slider play as well in the rotation.

That's what keeps manager Dusty Baker up at night.

"We’re not really sure if we’re going to start him again," Baker told SIRIUS XM's Mad Dog Radio, noting that the club is already strong in the rotation.  The Reds are expected to pick up Bronson Arroyo's $11 million option and also have reinforcements behind him in Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Edinson Volquez and Travis Wood.

"You know, the bullpen was new to [Chapman] last year," Baker said of the Cuban who opened the year in the rotation for Triple-A before segueing to the bullpen in advance of a callup. "That’s why we... tried not to overpitch him, not too many innings.  But I see him personally probably being somewhere in the back end of the bullpen.  Because it’s hard to find a guy that can get righties and lefties out equally and that gas he has and you haven’t even seen his breaking ball and his changeup yet so his potential is unbelievable.  So probably somewhere in the back end of the bullpen."

While Chapman could be devasating in the bullpen, Baker shouldn't be so quick to shoehorn Chapman in there. With three above-average pitches -- if not plus pitches -- he could be a perennial Cy Young award winner in the rotation. These pitchers are far, far more valuable than any reliever could ever hope to be, even if Mariano Rivera in his prime.

 -- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 5, 2010 5:18 pm

Edmonds' status still in the air

Jim Edmonds The Reds aren't counting out Jim Edmonds yet.

Edmonds, who is dealing with an Achilles injury, will give the team the final word after today's workout in Philadelphia, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes .

If Edmonds can't go, the team will go with rookie Juan Francisco. The Reds sent first baseman Yonder Alonso home.

"[Francisco] can play more positions," manager Dusty Baker said. "If Scotty [Rolen] comes up sore or something, we've got another bona fide third baseman."

Baker said the team would go up until tomorrow's 10 a.m. deadline to set the roster.

However, outfielder Laynce Nix who missed much of the last month of the season with a sprained ankle will be on the roster and will likely start Friday against Roy Oswalt.

"He hits him better than anyone we've got," Baker said.

Nix is 9 for 17 with three doubles and two homers in his career against Oswalt.

The Reds will load up on the left-handers in the bullpen to face the Phillies, with Arthur Rhodes, Aroldis Chapman, Bill Bray and Travis Wood available in relief.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 25, 2010 12:40 pm

Chapman hits 105 -- for real

Aroldis Chapman
This is not a matter of a "hot" radar gun, or an overzealous scouting report, or an urban legend. Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman hit 105.1 mph Friday night, the fastest major-league pitch ever legitimately recorded.

Baseball doesn't keep pitch speed as an official statistic, but it does employ a consistent, high-tech system in ballparks that uses trangulation to capture pitch velocity and movement. You can see the Pitch F/X report for Chapman's outing here.

The young Cuban threw 25 pitches, all but two of them over 100 mph (you have to occasionally mix in that 99.6-mph changeup just to keep hitters off balance, right?). He entered the game against the Padres with two out in the seventh inning to face Adrian Gonzalez, who swung and missed at three pitches: 101, 102 and 103.

The 105-mph pitch (shown in this photo) was a ball, thrown with a 1-2 count on Tony Gwynn, who would strike out. He pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings, and in his first 11 career appearances has a 1.86 ERA and has struck out batters at a rate of 12.1 per nine innings.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 16, 2010 2:53 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 3:37 pm

Reds' Baker not ready to switch closers

Dusty Baker
The Reds have the most electrifying pitcher in recent memory setting up for a struggling closer with three weeks before the playoffs start. Dusty Baker had to know the question was coming.

But the manager still got a little chippy Thursday when the idea of Aroldis Chapman taking over for Francisco Cordero came up.

"Chapman is just learning to relieve,” Baker told reporters. "The seventh and eighth inning are a whole easier than that ninth inning. Is it a place to experiment with that with a guy that hasnt been there? Then in case he doesn’t do it, do you go back to Coco [Cordero] and say, 'I was just kidding'?

"We thought we had Coco fixed. He saved 18 of 19. But people only remember the last couple times. You look at the list of guys who have blown saves ... he is not the leader (he's actually second). ... We're trying to fix the situation where we are now. Then everybody is doing what they're supposed to do."

But Baker wasn't done. Never a fan of the second-guessing that goes on around him, he used the Chapman-Cordero issue as a launching pad for a tirade against "people."

"There were some people who didn’t like the [expletive] I was doing from the time we started," he said. "They didn't like my lineup. They didn’t like this. They didn’t like whatever the hell they didn’t like. I can’t worry about those people.

"Those people don’t manage this ballclub. Those people don’t understand the psychological dynamics of your ballclub. ... I don’t care what people say. People go with who is hot at the time. I've got to look at the overall big picture, the dynamics and psychology of my ball club."

So all you "people" knock it off. Baker knows what he's doing.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 11, 2010 9:28 pm

Reds searching for outfielders

The banged-up Reds are currently searching far and wide for a healthy outfielder.

Down to just Jonny Gomes and Drew Stubbs, the Reds threw Miguel Cairo into right field for the Reds/Pirates showdown after Chris Heisey was scratched. Jay Bruce has been out since August 30 with side pain while Jim Edmonds was recently activated -- to his surprise -- to serve in a pinch if needed.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed that something’s gonna happen,” manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer on finding outfield help from outside of the organization.

"You know [GM] Walt [Jocketty] is working on contacting a lot of different teams, even though that person wouldn’t be eligible for the playoffs. You’ve seen a lot of times, somebody helps you get there."

To be eligible for the postseason, a player must be in the club's organization on August 31. So as Baker referenced, any acquisition could not help the team in October. While the Reds largely have the Central sewn up, it's not over 'til it's over (to paraphrase Yogi Berra) and there's still the matter of having enough players to run out a lineup in the waning weeks of the year.

It would stand to reason that down-and-out teams would gladly part with a warm body in exchange for cash considerations or a prospect with an outside chance at future contributions, so bank on a move happening.

-- Evan Brunell

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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

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 7:52 pm

Chapman faster than his cars

Aroldis Chapman should just buy a new car for every pitch speed milestone he hits.

The Cuban sensation has a Lamborghini with the vanity license plate MPH102 and a Mercedes with the plate 101MPH. Send them to the scrap heap, because they're out of date after the 22-year-old left-hander clocked 103.9 mph in a relief appearance Wednesday. Chapman signed for over $30 million, so he's got plenty of money to replace them.

“I just texted his advisor,” Tomas Vera, trainer at Triple-A Louisville, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s going to see if he can get 104MPH and 105MPH.”

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com