Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chapman Lives Up to the Hype (For Now)

Over the off-season, the Reds made a splash and signed Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman to a $30 million contract.  Chapman, a lefty that throws 100 mph is far from a sure thing, but he gave the Reds something to be excited about yesterday in his spring training debut.  Chapman pitched two innings allowing no runs, one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 26 pitches, 15 for strikes, and hit 102 on the radar gun.  The most striking part of his stat line is that only 58% of his pitches were thrown for strikes.  The knock on Chapman was that he was wild.  The Reds are hoping that while you can't teach someone to throw 100 mph, you can teach someone control.  His 58% strike percentage wasn't abysmal, especially for a debut, but I think the Reds would have liked to have seen more strikes.  Even without more strikes, one hit and three strikeouts in two innings isn't a bad way to make your case to make the Reds' rotation out of camp.

Around the League
Twins pitcher Joe Nathan tore a ligament in his elbow and likely faces Tommy John surgery.  That means it's time for all you fantasy players to ditch Nathan and look at any combination of Matt Guerrier/Jon Rauch/Jose Mijares as the Twins closer for this year.  They spent money this off-season, so they will win games.  Follow this situation closely and draft whoever Ron Gardenhire names as his closer ..... Phenom Stephen Strasburg made his spring training debut on Tuesday for the Nationals, working two scoreless innings ..... Curtis Granderson is hitless in nine at-bats as a Yankee ..... Former All-Star Hank Blalock signed a deal with the Rays and could make the team as a role player .....  The Rays will host a Carlos Pena action figure toothbrush holder night this season.  If that doesn't bring people to the ballpark, what will?

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Mike Davis said...

The Nathan news is sad for a town that could use some good sports news but when you're a small market team, it just hurts that much more.