Tag:Aroldis Chapman
Posted on: September 1, 2010 9:56 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 10:20 pm

Chapman registers 103.9 mph

Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman actually managed to top himself in his second career appearance Wednesday night.

After topping out at 102.7 mph in an eight-pitch inning Tuesday, the 22-year-old Cuban rookie reached a mind-boggling 103.9 Wednesday. The official MLB Twitter feed says that pitch and a 103.8-mph fastball, both in the same at-bat against poor Brewers rookie catcher Jonathan LuCroy, are the two fastest pitches ever recorded since the sophisticated Pitch F/X system was implemented in 2006.

Chapman needed 10 pitches to dispatch the Brewers in order in the seventh Wednesday. Lorenzo Cain grounded out on two pitches, Alcides Escobar struck out swinging in four, and LuCroy, who struck out against Chapman on Tuesday, struck out swinging on four pitches.

You can go here for full Pitch F/X data on Chapman's outing.

UPDATE: Here's a list of the 10 fastest pitches recorded since 2008, according to the Society For American Baseball Research:

103.9 mph: Aroldis Chapman, CIN v. MIL, 9/1/2010, facing Jonathan Lucroy
103.8 mph: Aroldis Chapman, CIN v. MIL, 9/1/2010, facing Jonathan Lucroy
102.7 mph: Aroldis Chapman, CIN v. MIL, 8/31/2010, facing Craig Counsell
102.7 mph: Joel Zumaya, DET v. CHN, 6/23/2009, facing Milton Bradley
102.7 mph: Joel Zumaya, DET v. OAK, 6/30/2009, facing Matt Holliday
102.6 mph: Joel Zumaya, DET v. CHN, 6/24/2009, facing Mike Fontenot
102.6 mph: Joel Zumaya, DET v. OAK, 6/30/2009, facing Matt Holliday
102.6 mph: Jonathan Broxton, LAD v. SD, 7/3/2009, facing Kevin Kouzmanoff
102.5 mph: Bobby Parnell, NYM v. HOU, 8/18/2010, facing Chris Johnson
102.5 mph: Aroldis Chapman, CIN v. MIL, 8/31/2010, facing Jonathan Lucroy

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 1, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 3:22 pm

Chapman has fastest pitch since beginning of 2008

so?Pitch speed Want an idea of just how historic Aroldis Chapman's debut was ?

Even though Chapman was making his major-league debut, he's already solidified himself as the fastest-throwing pitcher the game has seen in a while. SABR has learned that Chapman's 102.7 mph fastball is the fastest thrown since the beginning of 2008, using pitch f/x numbers accurate to fractions.

Joel Zumaya also has a 102.7 mph mark -- two of them, in fact. Both came in 2009, seven days apart. The first was against the Cubs on June 23 when he blew a fastball by Milton Bradley. On the 30th, he unleashed another heater against Matt Holliday that ranked 102.7 mph.

Zumaya has an additional 102.6 mph headers, one coming the day after his unleashing against Bradley, this time showing Mike Fontenot what a fastball is all about. The other one was also against Matt Holliday on the 30th, showing a supreme test of endurance.

Placing sixth on the list is Jonathan Broxton at 102.6 mph on July 3, 2009, downing Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Padres. Bobby Parnell also joins Chapman in 2010 heaters, unveiling a 102.5 mph sizzler against Chris Johnson of the Astros on August 18.

And then the man of the hour, Chapman, checks in with his own 102.5 mark against Jonathan LuCroy.

How fast is Chapman's fastball?

Well, Louisville Slugger is more than happy to tell you, running calculations that show that Chapman's fabled 104-mph fastball (of which we technically have yet to see) takes 0.36 seconds from mound to plate, factoring in 60 feet and six inches of distance between the mound and home plate, plus a five-foot stride.

How fast is 0.36 seconds? Well, the average speed of a human's eye blink checks in at 300-400 milliseconds ... or 0.3-0.4 seconds. If you're standing at the plate right as Chapman unleashes the fury from hell, the ball will be nestled in the catcher's mitt before your eyes open again.

Now, let's just hope Chapman avoids the constant spate of injuries that have played Zumaya since hitting the majors. Between Zumaya and Stephen Strasburg, it has yet to be proven that a pitcher can consistently hit triple-digits and not break down.

 -- Evan Brunell

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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 10:30 pm

Chapman impressive in debut

Cuban fireballer Aroldis Chapman just finished his debut in Cincinnati, and while it was only one inning, it made quite an impression.

C. Trent Rosecrans of CBSSports.com F&R is on the scene and reports that the 19,218 on hand made as much noise as 19,218 people can when Chapman entered the game against the Brewers in the eighth inning. According to the Pitch F/X tool, in Chapman's eight pitches he threw six fastballs with an average speed of 100.65 and a high of 102.7, plus a slider at 86.9 and a cutter at 86.4.

He got a four-pitch strikeout of Jonathan LuCroy, a two-pitch groundout by Craig Counsell and a two-pitch groundout by Carlos Gomez. Seven of his eight pitches were strikes.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 6:19 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2010 6:21 pm

Chapmania hits big leagues Tuesday

Aroldis Chapman The Reds will call up Aroldis Chapman in time for tomorrow's game against the Brewers, the team announced Monday evening .

Chapman will be added to the bullpen, where he's spent the last couple of months after beginning the season as a starter.

In 26 appearances as a reliever, Chapman is 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA and eight saves, as well as 49 strikeouts and 12 walks in 30 innings. This month he's 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and seven saves, striking out 24 and walking four in 13 1/3 innings, while batters are hitting just .089 against him.

Oh, and there's that whole 105 mph fastball thing .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 29, 2010 10:00 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2010 3:03 pm

Reds calling up Aroldis Chapman

Fresh off hitting 105-mph on the radar gun , Aroldis Chapman is headed to Cincinnati.

Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reports that Chapman will join the Reds' bullpen on Monday or Tuesday in advance of September 1 to ensure he is eligible for the postseason.

Chapman has a 3.57 cumulative ERA at Triple-A, punching out 125 over 95 2/3 innings, walking 52. His command still needs firming up but can be quite a weapon for the Reds down the stretch before he moves back to the rotation in the spring.

The 22-year-old has tossed 30 1/3 innings as a reliever, striking out a ridiculous 46 while tamping his walks down to 12. He's also become a groundball pitcher, inducing 51.6 percent grounders as opposed to 39.4 through the air.

Chapman's talent is such that he could pull a 2002 K-Rod , which the Reds would certainly love to see as they make a push for a postseason berth and World Series ring.

UPDATE , August 30: John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Chapman will not be a Red Monday night. Either he'll make his debut Tuesday night or Cincy could opt to just wait until Wednesday for rosters to expand. He does not need to be on the roster in advance of roster expansion to make the playoff roster -- he would be able to be added regardless.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 28, 2010 3:52 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2010 8:12 pm

Chapman reportedly hits 105 on radar gun

Aroldis Chapman
There's already plenty of excitement in Cincinnati -- and in baseball circles -- about the impending arrival of Cuban sensation Aroldis Chapman in the major leagues on September 1. Recent reports have ratcheted that excitement up a step.

Chapman, who has flourished since being moved to the bullpen, allegedly hit 105 mph on the radar gun Friday night for Triple-A Louisville. Yes, 105.

It's one thing for a minor-league team to report that -- things like this draw fans, and in-stadium radar guns are generally not to be relied upon. But MLB Network's Peter Gammons said (via Twitter ) a top scout who was at the game (and most likely had his own gun on the left-hander) told him Chapman was throwing 98-105 with his fastball and adding a 91-mph slider. The scout said he had the "best velo [velocity] I've ever seen."

There are no official records kept for pitch speeds, and if you ask about the fastest pitch ever, you get a million different answers and anecdotes that can't be proven accurate. It's a rich subject for tall tales. You can read some background on the history of some of these stories through baseball-almanac.com.

No matter the exact number, it's obvious the 22-year-old has some seriously dominating stuff. Until the inevitable day his arm snaps off, he's going to be fun to watch

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:34 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 11:03 pm

Chapman coming to big leagues Sept. 1

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman will be in the big leagues on Sept. 1, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer .

"That will give him a chance to stabilize int eh bullpen and get more experience," Jocketty said. "We're trying to find the right time."

Because the Reds have two players on the 60-day disabled list (Jose Arrendondo and Mike Lincoln), Chapman (and another player) will be eligible for the playoffs.

Since moving from starting to relieving, Chapman is 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 12 walks in 26 innings.

So why isn't he in Cincinnati already?

"Who do you take off?" Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It would be somebody else who pitched well. Everyone in the bullpen is throwing excellent. … That's not a good message to our guys here when you perform well and get sent out. They're looking over their shoulder for fear of getting sent out. I want them looking at the prize at the end, not looking behind them."

The Reds are still planning on Chapman as being a starter in the future and using the David Price template for the Cuban lefty.
The Reds are at home against the Brewers on Sept. 1 before a embarking on a roadtrip to St. Louis and Colorado, so expect a good crowd at Great American Ball Park that night, you may even want to pick up your tickets early.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

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