Blog Archives

October 6, 2011

Reds Converting Chapman to Starter

In what I think is a good move, the Cincinnati Reds today announced that Aroldis Chapman will begin his transition to becoming a starter for next season.

The plan is for him to build up arm strength at the Reds’ facility in Goodyear, AZ before heading to Puerto Rico for winter ball.

“We’re finalizing plans right now,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He’ll gradually build up his innings. He’ll pitch two or three innings to start. Eventually, we’ll get him up to five innings.”

Chapman will spend about a month in Winter Ball.

“That will give him time to rest before spring training,” Jocketty said.

Sounds good to me. Chapman has never been given a chance as a starter. He spent half of 2010 in the minors as a starter, and this year was sadly wasted. He might not be suited for it–he has a history of being wild–but it behooves the Reds to find out. As this year showed, their starting pitching depth isn’t nearly as deep as they thought.

June 25, 2011

Welcome Back, Chapman

Aroldis Chapman made his return to the major league playing field tonight, and he did not disappoint. Though his ninth inning appearance against the Baltimore Orioles did come with a 5-run lead, it still wasn’t exactly a no-pressure situation. After all, before he went on the DL, he might have gotten the loss in this situation.

But not tonight. Tonight, Chapman was all strike-outs, mowing down Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds, and Robert Andino. The last pitch I saw clocked in at 101 mph. That’s the good stuff people pay to see.

So, welcome back, Chapman. We’re all looking forward to you outperforming Bad-royo the rest of the season.

May 5, 2011

For Cinco de Mayo, How about Something Nonsensical?

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody!

What I’ve always found interesting about this holiday is how it’s celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico. One thing I never stopped to consider was, what does Aroldis Chapman think of the holiday?

You might remember that he’s from Cuba, a country that has nothing to do with the minor Mexican holiday. But don’t tell Pepto-Bismol that.

They contracted Chapman for this commercial showing a novel way of breaking apart a piñata.

What the hell was in that thing? Real stomach acid? This ad was weird in so many ways.

Maybe next year Pepto can tap Joey Votto for a St. Patrick’s Day commercial. You know, because he’s Canadian.

April 28, 2011

Aroldis Chapman is Evolving

No, he’s not a Pokemon, but Cincinnati Reds fireballer Aroldis Chapman seems to add to his move set the more battles he’s victorious in.

Remember back to Saturday when the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals? Chapman got the win in that affair, shutting down the Cardinals in the 7th inning.

Yesterday, Chapman did it again, this time against the Milwaukee Brewers. He was brought in in the bottom of the 8th in a tie game with runners on first and second. He promptly hit the first batter he faced to load them, but after that, the Brewers didn’t have a chance. He struck out Carlos Gomez and then got Ryan Braun to ground weakly to third for the final out.

But he wasn’t done. The game was still tied heading into the bottom of the 9th, so rather than use his closer, Dusty Baker sent Chapman back out. Again, the Brewers didn’t have a chance. He made Prince Fielder look silly, striking him out, got a fly-out from Casey McGehee, and then picked off the one runner he did allow to reach. Oh, and all of this with his fastball consistently north of 100 miles per hour. John Fay described it as Chapman’s best game so far.

Chapman threw 19 pitches, 17 strikes.

“That was the best he’s looked,” Baker said. “He was throwing quality strikes and getting quality hitters out. … They got guys over there who can hit in the clutch.”

Obviously the guy would be more valuable in the starting rotation, but he sure is a nice option to have right now. And until then, he might just be making Baker a better, smarter manager.

Let’s hope he he’s not reached level 100 yet. I’d hate to see him maxed out so early.

April 1, 2011

Arroyo succumbs to Gulf Oil Toxicity, Reds Press Onwards

Today was a nice win, but it doesn’t blot out the shining weakness that was a strength just a few weeks ago: the starting pitching. Volquez, as #1 starter is expected to absorb something like 220 innings. How is he going to do that when his pitch count is usually in the mid 50s by the 3rd inning?

Bronson Arroyo (he of the golden hair and rubber arm) is struggling with some kind of upper respiratory problem that had doctors scratching their heads, leading to tests. Inititally the tests were for something bizarre called ‘Valley Fever’ but then suddenly the much more well-known Mononucleosis (aka Mono) became the final prognosis. If you know Bronson like I know him, you know he is on his yacht during the offseason, somewhere in the Flordia Keys or thereabouts.

Bronson, as an athlete, is unfortunately insulated from independent news outlets such as this one. He probably relies on getting his information from the Main Stream Media aka MSM. That can be deadly. The MSM will have you believe the Oil Spill is a thing of the past and you can eat Atlantic Lobster at $9.99/lb. Nevermind the countless independent reports citing oil just beneath the sand, of insane amounts of aerial Corexit spraying, and of vast die-offs of marine life. So forgive me for thinking that Bronson maybe inhaled some of this poisonous vapor cocktail while patroling about on the SS Curveball.

The good news is that he is under treatment and out of that toxic environment. If anything, Arroyo has proven to be a resilient character having never touched the DL as a Red, if memory serves me correctly.

Nontheless one must be concerned at the state of the starting pitching staff. Arroyo is recuperating from illness, Cueto has a mystery arm ailment, and Volquez can’t keep his pitch count at reasonable levels to last deep into a ballgame. I almost forgot that Homer Bailey is gone for an unspecified time period, and is not even throwing a ball these days.

The good news is the Aroldis Chapman is lurking in the shadows. You’d think this would be the opportune time to stretch him out as a long reliever and prepare a transition to the starting rotatation. Things would be looking mighty good at that point and might even have Pete Rose looking more cheerful than this:

Pete Rose Transcendent Outfit

As always, be sure to stockpile food, water, firearms, gold and silver coins, and alternative medicines…. and like that old cop on Hill Street Blues used to say: “Stay Safe Out There.”


THC REED Contributing Writer