Tag:Aroldis Chapman
Posted on: August 7, 2010 12:39 pm

Chapman debut will have to wait

Aroldis Chapman
The anticipated major-league debut of Aroldis Chapman won't happen this weekend.

The Reds, as anticipated, put right-hander Russ Springer on the disabled list Saturday with a hip strain, but called up to take his place was right-hander Carlos Fisher. There had been speculation that the roster move might bring up Chapman, the Cuban defector the Reds signed to a huge contract in January.

Chapman has spent the entire season at Triple-A Louisville. He spent an uneven stretch in the rotation (5-5, 4.11 ERA) and was moved to the bullpen, where he has dominated (3-1, 2.61). The Reds still see him as a starter down the road, but he'll probably debut in the Reds bullpen before the season is out.

Manager Dusty Baker told reporters Fisher was called up because he could make longer appearances than Chapman, who hasn't thrown more than  two innings in his past 10 appearances.

"We needed some length," Baker said. "That's the one thing we were still missing in the bullpen when we sent Fish down. We didn't have a guy that could go three innings comfortably and a guy that could save the bullpen for the next day and the next day. That's what he gave us when he was here before."

MLB.com Reds reporter Mark Sheldon thinks an additional factor might have been the Reds' desire to make Chapman's call-up as comfortable for him as possible. The Reds are in Chicago, and Wrigley Field is a chaotic environment with a ton of media. The Reds might prefer that Chapman get acclimated in Cincinnati.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: August 2, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 2:20 pm

Chapman closer to the big leagues

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman is getting closer to the big leagues, Reds manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Erardi .

"We'll see how he is in the next couple of weeks," Jocketty said.

The Reds moved Chapman from the rotation to the bullpen in June and after a rough start, Chapman has dominated. In his last nine relief outings, Chapman hasn't surrendered an earned run. In 10 1/3 innings, he's allowed six hits, walked six and struck out 17, allowing an unearned run.

Overall, he's 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in 15 appearances as a reliever, walking nine and striking out 29 in 18 2/3 innings, limiting batters to a .186 average against. In his first six outings, he allowed six earned runs in 8 1/3 innings.

The Reds still view Chapman as a starter in the future, but hope to use him out of the bullpen in a pennant race and potential playoff push, much like the Rays did with David Price in 2008.

The Reds currently have two lefties in their bullpen, Arthur Rhodes and Bill Bray. The team sent right-hander Carlos Fisher to Triple-A following Sunday's game and will call up 41-year old Russ Springer before tonight's game in Pittsburgh. Springer and Jason Isringhausen (who has given up an earned run in each of his two outings at Triple-A since signing with the team last week) are part of Jocketty's retirement home fishing for bullpen help.

The bullpen, especially the middle relief, has the Reds biggest concern through the first three months of the season, but in July, the bullpen had a 2.52 ERA, allowing 21 runs in 75 innings. In the first three months of the season, the bullpen had a 4.57 ERA.

One of the big reasons for the turnaround is that Nick Masset, who sported a 2.37 ERA last season, but had a 5.88 ERA through the first three months of the season. In July, Masset allowed just one earned run in 15 appearances with batters hitting .184 against him with 14 strikeouts and seven walks. Rookie Logan Ondrusek has allowed just two runs in 24 games since being recalled from Triple-A at the beginning of June and hasn't allowed a run in his last 17 outings, totaling 18 2/3 innings. Another rookie, Jordan Smith, has also been good with a 2.53 ERA in 18 games. He hasn't allowed a run in his last eight appearances.

A lefty out of the pen could give 40-year old Rhodes a little relief. Rhodes has appeared in a 50 games. He earned his first All-Star bid after an amazing start -- in his first 35 games of the season, Rhodes had a 0.28 ERA, giving up just one run in his first 33 innings pitch of the season with batters hitting .140/.220/.187 against him. In his last 15, Rhodes has a 5.79 ERA with batters hitting .270/.333/.568 against him in 9 1/3 innings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 15, 2010 8:56 pm

Reds looking for experienced bullpen help

Russ Springer It turns out right-hander Russ Springer is exactly what the Reds are looking for -- old relievers.

The Reds signed the 41-year old Springer to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Louisville.

The Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay talked to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty , who said the team is looking mainly for bullpen experience as the July 31 trade deadline looms.

"I think what I'm looking for more than anything is a little more experience in the bullpen and bullpen depth," Jocketty said. "I still like our club the way it is. We've still got some guys coming back with (Edinson) Volquez and we're trying to get (Aroldis) Chapman ready for the bullpen. Chapman is going to help, but he doesn't have the experience."

Chapman was moved to the bullpen last month and hasn't fared well. In seven appearances as a reliever, Chapman has a 5.79 ERA, allowing seven hits, seven runs, seven walks in 9 1/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 14 and batters are hitting just .194 off of him as a reliever, versus .246 as a starter. Chapman was 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 13 starts.

As far as the Reds' rotation, Jocketty said Travis Wood and Matt Maloney will not be put in the bullpen and Aaron Harang's return from the disabled list is still unsure.

"He was a little stiff today," Jocketty told Fay. "We'll monitor him the next few days. We would like to get him back pitching. We're not sure how long that's going to be."

If Wood continues to pitch as he has, there will be no real hurry to get Harang back, especially with Volquez's return.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 30, 2010 1:54 pm

Chapman struggling as reliever

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman continued to show shaky control in his new life as a reliever, hitting two batters and throwing two wild pitches Tuesday night against Durham for Triple-A Louisville.

The Cuban defector signed by the Reds in January for $30.25 million, has recently been moved to the bullpen for a possible call-up to Cincinnati after the All-Star break.

In three relief appearances, Chapman has allowed five runs -- four earned -- in 4 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one.

While batters are hitting just .200 off of him as a reliever and .242 overall, his control has been spotty, even with his fastball. Both of the batters he hit Tuesday night were hit by fastballs, and another pitch sailed over the head of a batter. He threw back-to-back wild pitches to score a runner.

Durham's Dan Johnson was hit with a 99 mph fastball in his elbow.

"I was an inch away from being done for the year," Johnson told the Durham Herald-Sun .

Johnson may consider himself lucky, Dioner Navarro was hit by a fastball Baseball America 's J.J. Cooper measured at 103 mph.

Wrote Cooper from the game:

Overall, Chapman took the loss and gave up four runs (three earned) while getting five outs, three via strikeout. He didn't have a lot of problems throwing strikes. Of his 40 pitches, 27 were strikes. He did have some problems with finishing off batters; both of the hits against him came on two-strike counts after hitters had fouled off previous two-strike fastballs. Chapman showed a slider that is a definite weapon, but he didn't seem completely comfortable using it late in the count.

Unlike his time as a starter, Chapman's velocity didn't vary much as a reliever. Of his 37 fastballs, 29 were thrown at 98 mph or better including one at 103, two at 101 and six at 100 mph. But when Chapman did miss, he missed badly. It's worth noting that Chapman showed the same hit-or-miss control in his bullpen warm-up. He showed several nasty sliders, but he also bounced a pitch that got away from the bullpen catcher and ended up rolling past the Bats' dugout.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 25, 2010 8:33 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2010 12:15 am

Chapman could be in Cincinnati soon

Aroldis Chapman The Reds expect to bring up left-hander Aroldis Chapman to pitch out of the bullpen sometime this season general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters on Friday. The Reds want to see how Chapman adjusts to pitching out of the bullpen in the next three weeks and then possibly call him up.

Chapman, a Cuban defector, started in spring training and all of this season until this week when he came out of the bullpen in relief of Edinson Volquez, who could also be back in Cincinnati in the next couple of weeks.

Jocketty said the team still considers Chapman's future to be that of a starter, but he could help the team more as a reliever this season. The Reds entered Friday's game against the Indians a half-game out of first place in the National League Central. The Reds, 40-33, haven't had a winning season since 2000 and have made the playoffs since 1995.

"We still see him as a starter, but we feel this season he can help us as a reliever," Jocketty said.

Chapman has dazzled with his fastball that has reached 103 mph for Triple-A Louisville, but has struggled with his control, especially of his secondary pitches. His fastball, however, is electric and in short spurts, he could dominate even big-league batters with that fastball.

There is still plenty of development left for Chapman who has shown signs of a very good curveball and slider, and has been working with former Red Mario Soto on a changeup. Chapman has yet to contain any of those pitches.

Chapman made his first relief appearance on Wednesday, allowing a run on two hits in two innings, while striking out two. For the season, Chapman has made 13 starts and appeared in 14 games, going 5-5 with a 4.12 ERA, striking out 79 and walking 41 in 67 2/3 innings.

Chapman may be used much like the Rays used David Price in 2008. Both are tall, lanky left-handers with a great fastball. Price was further in his development when he came up in 2008, but there are still similarities. The Reds would certainly like to have similar results, a short-term boost to the bullpen and a long-term boost to the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 4:39 pm

Chapman appears in relief for Triple-A

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman pitched on Wednesday for Triple-A Louisville, but he didn't start the game. Instead, he relieved rehabbing starter Edinson Volquez (who went five scoreless ) and went two innings, walking one and whiffing three while giving up two hits and allowing one run.

Chapman, whose fastball can hit triple digits, struggles to command his secondary pitchers which has led to 41 walks in 67 2/3 innings, whiffing 79 for a 4.12 ERA. Although he has served the entire season as a starter and is projected to start in the majors, Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty says the Reds may look at converting Chapman into a reliever for the stretch run, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

"If Volquez comes back and [Homer] Bailey isn't far away, the best opportunity will be out of the bullpen," Jocketty said of where Chapman could contribute in the majors in 2010.

"But we could still possibly use him as a starter," he added.

The Reds are 39-33 entering play Wednesday one game behind the division-leading Cardinals. Adding Chapman to the bullpen and playing off his fastball would be a tremendous boost to the Reds' stretch-run drive. The Reds currently rank 24th in bullpen ERA with a 4.74 mark, so the need is certainly there.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 7, 2010 8:26 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:30 am

Reds living up to their name

Cincinnati doesn't have much in common with Cuba, but the island has recently produced several Reds.

Yasmani Grandal is the latest. The Reds took Grandal with the 12th overall pick in the draft. Grandal is a switch-hitting catcher from the University of Miami, but he came to the United States from Cuba when he was 10, grew up in Miami, became a star with the Hurricanes and was a first-round pick for the Reds. That story is very similar to the Reds' 2008 top pick, first baseman Yonder Alonso.

Like Alonso, signability could be a question for Grandal. Alonso signed with minutes left before the deadline in 2008, finally signing a major-league deal.

Alonso was also born in Cuba. The Reds, of course, also have Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman pitching in Triple-A Louisville.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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