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OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 02:28 PM
Figured this probably deserves a thread of its own...

Chapman pitches, hitters guess

Aroldis Chapman faced five hitters for about 10 minutes worth of pitching in his session of live batting practice on Wednesday. By my count, he threw 32 pitches to Chris Burke, Chris Valaika, Chris Heisey, Yonder Alonso and Corky Miller.

Only one hitter -- Heisey -- made solid contact, once.

Batters were talking to each other trying to figure out what they were seeing. After seeing Chapman's changeup on his third overall pitch to Burke, people around the cage were heard going 'oooh.'

For all of the talk about Chapman's 100 mph velocity after his signing, it was his slider and changeup that had people in the cage talking, and guessing.

"That's a nice little repertoire. Somebody should sign this kid," Burke said after leaving the cage.

The session reminded me of the first time Johnny Cueto pitched live BP at camp. He showed good stuff right away and was an unknown entity. By the time spring was over, Cueto was in the rotation and skipped Triple-A altogether.

"Chapman was very good," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "With hitters in there, he was very comfortable and threw good pitches. He threw a lot of strikes. He threw a really good changeup. All in all, it was a good day.

"The slider was pretty nasty. Very nice. It will be fun to see how this progresses. There's a lot of competition for that rotation."

Wilkin Castillo, who speaks Spanish, was Chapman's catcher this time.

More later...

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 02:30 PM
Chapman vs. hitters
Posted by jfay February 24th, 2010, 2:16 pm

Aroldis Chapman’s first session against hitters was impressive.

As Chris Burke, on the hitters who faced him, said: “This kid’s got a nice repertoire. Someone should sign him.”

In the10-minute session, Chris Heisey was only hitter to make solid contact. Yonder Alonso, Corky Miller, Chris Valaika and Burke also faced him.

“Chapman looked very good, very comfortable against hitters,” Walt Jocketty said. “He threw a lot of strikes. His slider was pretty nasty.”

The hitters were having a hard time telling what was what: Slider or change-up? Was that a cutter?

“I thought he looked great,” Burke said. “The fastball was down. It had tremendous life to it. The slider was tight. The change-up was good. He’s a little herky-jerky. I think it makes him more uncomfortable to hit against.

“I think he had to throwing in the mid-90s, especially when he got out of the windup. There was an extra gear there.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

sonny
02-24-2010, 02:32 PM
I have a devastating change up, Trouble is I have no fastball to compliment it.

I always take these things with a grain of salt seeing how AC is still an unknown commodity, but if he can develop those secondary pitches and pitch with relativity good control, we may have something special on our hands.

Good read.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 02:32 PM
Video from C. Trent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8gfR2xsH2E

nate
02-24-2010, 02:42 PM
Well, if he baffled Chris Burke, that settles it!

:cool:

klw
02-24-2010, 02:43 PM
Burke apparently had the take signal.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 02:44 PM
Video from Fay:

Alonso vs Chapman

http://www.mobypicture.com/user/johnfayman/view/6062601

Burke and Heisey vs Chapman

http://www.twitvid.com/094B8

Unassisted
02-24-2010, 02:49 PM
Video from Fay:

Alonso vs Chapman

http://www.mobypicture.com/user/johnfayman/view/6062601
Warning: attempting to watch this video may induce neck pain, unless your monitor can pivot. :D

mth123
02-24-2010, 02:50 PM
Well, if he baffled Chris Burke, that settles it!

:cool:

That may be the funniest post of the year.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 04:20 PM
Mark Sheldon has updated his blog with quotes from Chapman and others:

Chapman pitches, hitters guess

Aroldis Chapman faced five hitters for about 10 minutes worth of pitching in his session of live batting practice on Wednesday. By my count, he threw 32 pitches to Chris Burke, Chris Valaika, Chris Heisey, Yonder Alonso and Corky Miller.

Only one hitter -- Heisey -- made solid contact and that was one time.

"I haven't thrown to a hitter in about eight months. I felt really good," Chapman said through interpreter Tony Fossas. "I threw the ball very efficiently. I thought I had control and command of my pitches."

Batters were talking to each other trying to figure out what they were seeing. After seeing Chapman's changeup on his third overall pitch to Burke, people around the cage were heard going 'oooh.'

For all of the talk about Chapman's 100 mph velocity after his signing, it was his slider and changeup that had people in the cage talking, and guessing.

"That's a nice little repertoire. Somebody should sign this kid," Burke said after leaving the cage.

"I never really had a slider or changeup," Chapman said. "The changeup is the pitch that wasn't efficient and didn't throw much. Since I got here, I've been working really hard on it and those are pitches I will be able to use."

The session reminded me of the first time Johnny Cueto pitched live BP at camp. He showed good stuff right away and was an unknown entity. By the time spring was over, Cueto was in the rotation and essentially skipped Triple-A. (He did have four starts at Louisville the previous year).

"Chapman was very good," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "With hitters in there, he was very comfortable and threw good pitches. He threw a lot of strikes. He threw a really good changeup. All in all, it was a good day.

"The slider was pretty nasty. Very nice. It will be fun to see how this progresses. There's a lot of competition for that rotation."

Wilkin Castillo, who speaks Spanish, was Chapman's catcher this time. He called all of the pitches and wasn't shaken off once.

"His slider was 85-88 mph and breaking a lot. It was pretty nice," Castillo said. "His fastball? Oh my God, it was 98-99 mph and strikes, down and in."

One other thing to keep in mind: Pitching coach Bryan Price had pitchers not use the "L" screen in front of the mound and not tell hitters what was coming. That's not often the case in the first live BP. So hitters were really had a disadvantage on their second day of camp against all pitchers.

Chapman will pitch again on Saturday.

Here is what others had to say about Chapman --

Burke:

"Obviously, it's dominating stuff. If he's going to keep the ball down like that and get ahead in counts, what can you really do? As a hitter, you have to be ready to hit the fastball. It's going to give him so much leeway with the slider and changeup."

"If he can command the ball down in the zone like he did today, sky's the limit for him potentially."

"It's a lot like Randy [Johnson] was. When Randy could really command his fastball, what could you really do? You just hoped you ran into one. His slider to me was comparable. It was sharp and came out of the same arm slot. If he can get it in like that, as a right-handed hitter, the best you can do is hope to hit a groundball hopefully through the left side."

"First impressions were great. I was surprised with how well he seemed to be in command of his stuff."

"I've been playing long enough to know a special guy. You don't need a radar gun to see when the ball is getting there. The ball was getting there. He's got a little herky-jerky to him, which is good from a pitching standpoint. It's makes us even more uncomfortable."

Alonso:

"I didn't feel that bad just because I know him. He's my boy. I told him this morning that 'if by any chance I have to face you, just don't hit me.' Whoever doesn't know him, God bless, because it's rough."

Pitching coach Bryan Price:

"It was terrific. He was in the zone with all three of his pitches. I thought he was sharper against hitters than he was in the bullpen."

"These guys have seen guys that throw hard. It's when you get a combination of a guy that's a hard thrower that can command a finesse pitch like a changeup and has a power breaking ball. That puts you at a big disadvantage when he's got three choices, even when he's behind in the count. Today, he could have pitched with any of those pitches behind in the count."

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

nate
02-24-2010, 04:25 PM
If Chapman turns into Randy Johnson, I'd say that's a good thing.

Unless he starts looking like him.

:cool:

membengal
02-24-2010, 04:58 PM
If he pitches like Randy Johnson, I am okay with him looking like Randy Johnson.

camisadelgolf
02-24-2010, 05:04 PM
If he pitches like Randy Johnson, I'll stay south if I'm a bird this summer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF85R1em7Zs

Mario-Rijo
02-24-2010, 05:20 PM
I have a devastating change up, Trouble is I have no fastball to compliment it.

Chris Hammond? :cool:

flyer85
02-24-2010, 05:33 PM
If he pitches like Randy Johnson, I am okay with him looking like Randy Johnson.maybe he can be like Randy and have a hot dog named after him.

camisadelgolf
02-24-2010, 06:01 PM
maybe he can be like Randy and have a hot dog named after him.
Someone named a wiener 'Johnson'?

membengal
02-24-2010, 06:25 PM
In all seriousness, it is absolutely delightful from a fan standpoint to have this to follow through spring. I hope he bathes in the hype and splashes us all in hyperocity.

Homer Bailey
02-24-2010, 07:18 PM
More high praise from C Trent:

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/2010/02/more-chapman-reaction.php


More Chapman reaction
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 24, 2010 5:51 PM
No Comments | No TrackBacks | Vote 0 Votes | Share This Post
Chris Burke


"I thought he was great, I didn't know what to expect, but he kept the ball down, the fastball had a lot of life, slider was tight and the changeup was pretty good. I thought all three pitchers were good."

"It's not raw, I don't know where the changeup is, I know he threw a couple of good ones today. I heard about the slider coming in and I thought it was great. He commanded it, he threw it in, threw it away. I would imagine they were very pleased with his first time out."

"I thought he was throwing in the mid-90s, you judge it by what the other guys are throwing. We faced two other guys, compared to them, they're probably throwing 88-92, he was noticeably... it was getting there noticeably quicker. (Jordan) Smith and (Enerio) Del Rosario."

"It's dominating stuff."

"If he's going to keep the ball down like that and get ahead in counts, what can you really do? As a hitter you have to get ready to hit the fastball, so it's going to give him so much leeway with the slider and changeup. If he can command the ball down in the zone like he was today with his fastball. The sky's the limit for him, potentially. It's a lot like Randy was, he could really command his fastball. What could you do? Just hope you ran into one. Really to me, his slider was comparable. It was sharp, it came out of the same arm slot, if he can get it in like that, as a right-handed hitter the best you can do is hope to hit a ground ball through the left side. As far as the slider's concerned. He's keeping it in there, it's sharp. You have to be ready to hit the fastball."

"First impression was great. I was surprised with how well he he seemed to be in command of his stuff."

"You don't need a radar gun to see when a ball is getting there. The ball was getting there. He's got a little herky-jerky to him, which is good from a pitching standpoint. It makes us even more uncomfortable. Three pitches, I didn't know he had the changeup. I was impressed with the changeup. I don't know how much he'll use that when it comes down to it, I don't know his past. I heard he was a fastball, slider guy."



"I think if he can come in, consistently and then throw that slider, guys aren't going, they're not going to have a chance. Obviously, he's going to face right-handed lineups. When he goes out there, they're going to throw all the righties out there and the lefties will take the day off, just like Randy. For him, he's going to have to think about pitching righties."

"I played with Randy at the end of the career, so he used the change more than he ever had. On his good days, you could see the way he used to dominate. Fastball in, change away and Chapman seems to have those ingredients."

(Is it fair to compare him to Randy Johnson?) "Right now, what can you look at? Stuff. Stuff-wise, I don't think it's an unfair comparison."

"If you're throwing 100 with a nasty slider - the sky's the limit."

"He's got some things going for him. I think they should sign this kid."

Yonder Alonso


"It was good, I thought it was going to be more surprising. He wasn't throwing as hard as he could. He said he wasn't at 100 percent, but he was throwing strikes which was pretty cool to see. He said he hadn't seen a hitter in almost a year."

"He was throwing strikes. He was just happy about that. It was good. Got to see him, he threw me some good sliders. Slider he didn't have the control against me, but it looked like he had it against everyone else."

(Scared being the only lefty against a lefty with a reputation of control problems?) "Honestly, I didn't feel that bad because I know him. He's my boy. I told him if by any chance I have to face you, just don't hit me. I'm sure whoever doesn't know him -- God bless, because it's rough."

"I didn't feel too bad on him. I know him. He's a good friend of mine. I was lucky, let's just say that."



Aroldis Chapman (through Tony Fossas)


"I haven't thrown to a hitter in eight months."

"I felt really good, I threw the ball efficiently and I felt like I had good command of my pitches."


Wilkin Castillo

"I'd much rather catch him than bat against him."

Chris Valaika


"I think his changeup is equally as good. He's the real deal, I'm glad he's on our side. It's exciting."

"It was nice to get in there and go against him a little bit. I wanted to see what he's about. He's got some good stuff."

"I was in there trying to get my timing down."

"He was throwing firm and had all three pitches working. I thought he threw really well today. Everything was in the strike zone. Everyone so far. We were the lucky ones that got to face him today and see what the real deal is."

"I'm glad I hit right-handed."

Bryan Price

"That's what makes a good pitcher, it's not just velocity. These guys hit velocity, especially when they get themselves ahead in the count."

"I don't think anyone expected him to be that sharp today or anyone to be that sharp today. This is one batting practice session, but it's certainly nice that he's sharpest when he faced hitters. He's got another one of these live situations in three days and shortly thereafter we'll get him in games."

I'm getting giddy with excitement :beerme:

Chip R
02-24-2010, 07:39 PM
Warning: attempting to watch this video may induce neck pain, unless your monitor can pivot. :D

Fay is about as good a cameraman as he is a speller.

membengal
02-24-2010, 08:03 PM
Fay is about as good a cameraman as he is a speller.

Thought I had stumbled across the director's outtakes from Cloverfield.

Eric_the_Red
02-24-2010, 09:47 PM
So, with all the comparisons to Randy Johnson, do we start calling Chapman "La Unidad Grande"?

Spring~Fields
02-24-2010, 10:09 PM
Everything on Chapman is very good and encouraging.

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 01:34 AM
C. Trent has a near eight minute long video of Chapman's session:

http://www.youtube.com/user/cnatiTV#p/a/u/0/NFfsmQaDn_I

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 02:40 AM
Another video from C. Trent with reaction from Jocketty and some players:

http://www.youtube.com/user/cnatiTV#p/a/u/0/kedFvBHI9xs

reds1869
02-25-2010, 07:51 AM
I am simply giddy. I haven't felt this excitement since the Junior trade. Chapman is a special talent, and we control his rights through a big chunk of his prime years. His stuff is breathtaking and his control is light years ahead of what it was in the WBC.

flyer85
02-25-2010, 08:56 AM
Someone named a wiener 'Johnson'?

Alice Coopers restaurant in Phoenix has a hot dog named after Randy called the Big Unit.


One of the most popular items on the menu is "The Big Unit". It's a two foot long hot dog that comes with the works. Named after Randy Johnson, the Cy Young Award winning pitcher, formerly with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who is also a partner in the business, sirens go off when someone orders one.

Sea Ray
02-25-2010, 11:25 AM
Mark Sheldon has updated his blog with quotes from Chapman and others:




One other thing to keep in mind: Pitching coach Bryan Price had pitchers not use the "L" screen in front of the mound and not tell hitters what was coming. That's not often the case in the first live BP. So hitters were really had a disadvantage on their second day of camp against all pitchers.



http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

:confused:

In that video of Chris Burke facing him, the L screen was being used

Homer Bailey
02-25-2010, 11:45 AM
:confused:

In that video of Chris Burke facing him, the L screen was being used

It's behind him, not in front of him.

Sea Ray
02-25-2010, 12:11 PM
It's behind him, not in front of him.

Upon further review...so it is. Sharp eyes on your part...:)

Blimpie
02-25-2010, 01:32 PM
Fay is about as good a cameraman as he is a speller.Werd. The last 1 minute or so looked my some of my wife's footage.

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 01:58 PM
Reds camp tour: Cuban defector brings heat, intrigue
Feb. 25, 2010
By Danny Knobler
CBSSports.com Senior Writer

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- We'd be interested in Aroldis Chapman even without the intrigue. We'd be fascinated by his left arm. We'd be wondering whether he really could be ready for the major leagues at age 21.

"I want to see that 100 mph," Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera said the other day.

We'd be asking about Chapman the same way we're asking about Stephen Strasburg.

But here's the difference: Nobody's asking Strasburg if he's ever seen an iPhone.

That really was one of the questions asked of Chapman when he met the media this week at the Reds complex, and it was perfectly legitimate. We just don't know what to think about this kid who months ago was living in Cuba, this young man who left his parents and girlfriend and now eight-month-old daughter behind, for a chance to pitch in the big leagues.

He's not the first Cuban defector we've seen, but he may be the most intriguing.

We watch as he sits alone in the Reds clubhouse, even as a large group of Latin American pitchers carry on loudly in Spanish only a few lockers away. We watch as he throws in the bullpen, even though we realize it's hard to tell 95 mph from 100 mph in that setting.

We wonder if he's really as good as they say, and we also wonder why, if he's as good as they say, the Reds won a bidding war with the A's, and not with one of the mega-market teams that usually ends up with the big-money international free agents (think Orlando Hernandez, Hideki Matsui or even Daisuke Matsuzaka, who wasn't technically a free agent but did end up with the highest bidder).

We're as curious about him as he seems to be about us. He's learning new food, a new language and a new culture. We're learning everything we can about a pitcher who is in some ways different from any we've ever seen.

"There's a lot of things we don't know," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said. "But we do know he throws hard and is a good athlete."

Price talked about how "overwhelming" all this has to be for Chapman, but he also talked about how overwhelming it could be for all of us.

"We all saw Fernando-mania," Price said. "I don't know if it'll go like that. Remember what it was like seeing Nolan Ryan pitch? This is a guy people will want to see pitch."

That's already true, even in Chapman's own clubhouse.

"He's been throwing on the opposite days from me, so I haven't seen him yet," Reds starter Aaron Harang said. "Yeah, I'm interested. From what everyone's saying, it's just amazing to watch the guy throw."

The Reds have been raving about Chapman, who cost them $30.25 million in a creative six-year contract. Besides the fastball, they talk about his baseball intelligence, his savvy, his athleticism.

They tell you that because he didn't start pitching until he was 15 or 16 (he was a first baseman before that), his arm is fresh. They say that when team doctors gave him a physical after he agreed to terms, they reported back that they had never seen such a pristine MRI exam.

But they also caution that because of the cultural adjustment, Chapman might not be ready for the big leagues as soon as his talent might dictate.

"I think baseball's probably the least of our concerns," manager Dusty Baker said. "Put yourself in his situation."

The Reds have an opening in their rotation this spring. They need a fifth starter, because Edinson Volquez is coming back from Tommy John surgery and won't return until midseason at the earliest. They call Chapman one of the candidates for that spot, although they seem more inclined to let him debut somewhere in the minor leagues first.

"If they feel I can make the club, fine," Chapman said through Tony Fossas, the former big league pitcher and Reds minor league pitching coach. "If not, I'll work hard until I can make that happen."

Fossas was born in Cuba, and the Reds have designated him to look over their precious new pitcher. A major league clubhouse isn't exactly an uncomfortable place for a Spanish-speaking player, but Chapman seems to need to lean on Fossas for support.

As Reds people will tell you, there's no concern that Chapman will be scared, not after what he had to go through to get here. He won't talk much about the details of his defection, when he left the team in a Netherlands hotel and later established residency in the tiny European nation of Andorra, in order to qualify as a free agent.

But Chapman will talk about the decision to leave.

"They say in Cuba that you have to be brave, and you have to make a move," he said.

Coming here was a brave move for him. Signing Chapman for $30.25 million was a brave move for the Reds.

"I think we surprised a lot of people," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "We look at it as an investment not only in the present but in the future."

They took a chance, but they figured it was a chance worth taking. Without the budget to compete for established big-money free agents, the Reds are gambling on a guy who could turn out to be great or could end up as a bust.

Now, having seen Chapman's arm up close and having had the chance to work with him, they seem more convinced than ever that he won't be a bust. But there's still so much we don't know about him, so much that the Reds themselves don't know.

They're anxious to find out, anxious to learn more, especially anxious to see how Chapman looks on the mound at Great American Ball Park. And anxious to find out how soon he can get there.

"We really don't have a timetable," Jocketty said. "I don't think it's good to have a timetable."

With a guy as unknown as Aroldis Chapman, that's fine. What's one more unknown?

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/12977847/reds-camp-tour-cuban-defector-brings-heat-intrigue?tag=coverlist_active;coverlist_footer

Eric_the_Red
02-25-2010, 02:51 PM
From CTR's blog on CNati:


I've had a lot of questions about Aroldis Chapman and his contract, specifically about the clause that says if he's in the big leagues before sometime in May, his deal goes from six years to three. While that's technically true, what doesn't change is the Reds have his rights for six years. Instead of being paid what the contract stipulates for those other years, he would then be arbitration eligible. So, in real world terms, it's not like it would hurt the Reds either way.

Homer Bailey
02-25-2010, 03:18 PM
From CTR's blog on CNati:

So C Trent doesn't understand that the potential of having to pay him an extra $15 million "doesn't hurt the Reds either way."

TheNext44
02-25-2010, 03:36 PM
So C Trent doesn't understand that the potential of having to pay him an extra $15 million "doesn't hurt the Reds either way."

The Reds will only have to pay Chapman an extra $15M over the length of his contract if he is a TOR starter every year from now to the end of his contract. If that happens, I don't think they will be all that upset.

I think the key is just do what is best for the development of Chapman. If they conclude that the best way for him to reach his potential is to be in the starting rotation on opening day 2010, they should put him in there. Money should never be an issue when deciding the best path for developing a player.

Homer Bailey
02-25-2010, 03:54 PM
The Reds will only have to pay Chapman an extra $15M over the length of his contract if he is a TOR starter every year from now to the end of his contract. If that happens, I don't think they will be all that upset.

I think the key is just do what is best for the development of Chapman. If they conclude that the best way for him to reach his potential is to be in the starting rotation on opening day 2010, they should put him in there. Money should never be an issue when deciding the best path for developing a player.

Doesn't $5M come right off the top if he is up before May 15? I could be wrong.

Either way, I can't support putting him on the opening day roster for the possibility of starting about 6 games if it means he qualifies for super 2 status. I don't see how it can hurt if he spends the first month and a half in the minors. If he starts with the Reds, and has a horrible first two months, then what? The Reds have wasted money and it hasn't gotten them anywhere.

JMO.

membengal
02-25-2010, 03:55 PM
The takeaway is that he isn't going anywhere after three years, the Reds still would control him, it would just cost more.

Man the talk of the contract is getting old. We are crossing over to let's-send-WilyMo-to-the-minors tedious territory repetition here.

He's on the field, and the early reports are interesting. Why can't that be the focus?

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 03:56 PM
A personal guide for Chapman?
Posted by jfay February 25th, 2010, 3:48 pm

Tony Fossas, the man who helped Aroldis Chapman with the transition to U.S., emphasized what a big transition it is.

“We’re looking at a man who has been in a Communist country his whole life and he comes to this monster, the United States,” Fossas said. “He’s handled it really well. I think it’s a matter of time before he starts picking words. I think that’s the key. That’s going to be a big key.”

The baseball part has come easy.

“Covering first base and all that is the same for him,” Fossas said.

The Reds haven’t decided what they’ll do once the regular season starts. They are at least considering having someone like Fossas with Chapman.

“It’s something we have to be a little careful with,” Jocketty said. “We’re trying to decide what’s the best way to deal with it – at least initially to get him started,” Jocketty said. “A lot depends on where we starts the season.”

The Reds, of course, hired Johnny Narron to watch over Josh Hamilton. It did not sit well with some of the players. But it was a great aid to Hamilton.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

Homer Bailey
02-25-2010, 04:04 PM
The takeaway is that he isn't going anywhere after three years, the Reds still would control him, it would just cost more.

Man the talk of the contract is getting old. We are crossing over to let's-send-WilyMo-to-the-minors tedious territory repetition here.

He's on the field, and the early reports are interesting. Why can't that be the focus?

The reports are what is leading to this discussion. Going into camp, I doubt there would have been this discussion, as I'm sure many people thought he was a lock for the minors. Now it appears as if there is a true decision to be made here, and the contract is absolutely something that needs to be considered.

membengal
02-25-2010, 04:18 PM
Really? In every single Chapman thread? Making the same points over and over again?

And if he blows the doors down in spring training, and strikes out 75 of 78 hitters with a negative ERA (a baseball miracle), are we really going to have to sift through pages and pages of people worrying over the Reds' nickels if they are forced to bring him north to start the season? Really? Because, if so, oh joy. I yearn for baseball coversation to relate to actual baseball, not contracts, I am weird that way. Particularly in spring frickin' training.

G-d knows Dodgers fans were not having to have those conversations in 1981 with Valenzuela, nor Mets fans in 1984 (or 5, I forget) with Gooden, or Tigers fans with Fidrych in 1976. I am old enough now at 39-years-old looking 40 square in the face this December to miss days when I could get excited for cool baseball things without worrying over money...

But, hey, whatever. It. just. gets. so. old. This will make a third Chapman thread potentially derailed on this oh-so-tedious topic.

ETA: Chapman contract talk eating Chapman thread here:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80378&page=5

and here:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80451&page=2

Homer Bailey
02-25-2010, 04:36 PM
Really? In every single Chapman thread? Making the same points over and over again?

And if he blows the doors down in spring training, and strikes out 75 of 78 hitters with a negative ERA (a baseball miracle), are we really going to have to sift through pages and pages of people worrying over the Reds' nickels if they are forced to bring him north to start the season? Really? Because, if so, oh joy. I yearn for baseball coversation to relate to actual baseball, not contracts, I am weird that way. Particularly in spring frickin' training.

G-d knows Dodgers fans were not having to have those conversations in 1981 with Valenzuela, nor Mets fans in 1984 (or 5, I forget) with Gooden, or Tigers fans with Fidrych in 1976. I am old enough now at 39-years-old looking 40 square in the face this December to miss days when I could get excited for cool baseball things without worrying over money...

But, hey, whatever. It. just. gets. so. old. This will make a third Chapman thread derailed on this oh-so-tedious topic.

ETA: Chapman contract talk eating Chapman thread here:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80378&page=5

and here:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80451&page=2

And I wish we lived in a world where contracts didn't matter, but in today's economic environment, it is a very valid issue. All I did was point out that C Trent's quote, which was posted in this thread, was not entirely accurate. It should be noted here that we are not talking about "nickels" here. I don't know what the contract situations of Doc and Fernando were, but I would imagine that these are not "apples to apples" comparisons. Those two guys played for two of the biggest budget teams in the league, and I think we can agree that we can't say the same about the Reds.

It is a legitimate factor that is going to go into the decision as to whether or not Chapman makes the team out of ST. It is very relevant to the discussion at hand. Do we need to debate it in every thread? No, I agree with you. However, I would have to believe that these same conversations are going on in the Reds front office on a daily basis.

membengal
02-25-2010, 04:40 PM
Sigh. Fair enough. Beat away at it.

Were the conversations about what is developmentally ideal for Chapman, that would be nice.

Were the conversations about the kind of success a wunderkind can have and the possibility of a bolt of fortune crossing the Reds' path in Chapman, that would be nice.

Wearing sackcloth and ashes because the Reds are not the Yankees and pouring over their balance sheet like we are accountants gets really old. REALLY old. We just came off an entire off-season when that general conversation dominated and choked the lifeforce out of this board (at least to this observer). I know it is a part of the game now, but that doesn't mean that it is enjoyable. Perhaps the Chapman contract talk and arguments over just what figurative nickels kick in where can be contained to one of the Chapman threads? Just a thought.

11larkin11
02-25-2010, 05:52 PM
I don't think the Fossas and Narron situations are the same. I know the other players weren't a fan of having Narron as Hamilton's babysitter, but theres a difference between a babysitter for a former drug addict, and a personal translator.

paintmered
02-25-2010, 05:52 PM
Sigh. Fair enough. Beat away at it.

Were the conversations about what is developmentally ideal for Chapman, that would be nice.

Were the conversations about the kind of success a wunderkind can have and the possibility of a bolt of fortune crossing the Reds' path in Chapman, that would be nice.

Wearing sackcloth and ashes because the Reds are not the Yankees and pouring over their balance sheet like we are accountants gets really old. REALLY old. We just came off an entire off-season when that general conversation dominated and choked the lifeforce out of this board (at least to this observer). I know it is a part of the game now, but that doesn't mean that it is enjoyable. Perhaps the Chapman contract talk and arguments over just what figurative nickels kick in where can be contained to one of the Chapman threads? Just a thought.

Agreed. Let's keep it out of this thread.

membengal
02-25-2010, 05:59 PM
I don't think the Fossas and Narron situations are the same. I know the other players weren't a fan of having Narron as Hamilton's babysitter, but theres a difference between a babysitter for a former drug addict, and a personal translator.

Word.

Blitz Dorsey
02-25-2010, 06:14 PM
This whole thing still seems too good to be true. We as Reds fans deserve some positive pub for a change. And if Chapman turns out anything like some are projecting, we're going to look back on this signing as one of the most-pivotal moves the Reds have made in a very long time. Still hard to believe it happened to us.

Homer Bailey
02-25-2010, 06:49 PM
Sigh. Fair enough. Beat away at it.

Were the conversations about what is developmentally ideal for Chapman, that would be nice.

Were the conversations about the kind of success a wunderkind can have and the possibility of a bolt of fortune crossing the Reds' path in Chapman, that would be nice.

Wearing sackcloth and ashes because the Reds are not the Yankees and pouring over their balance sheet like we are accountants gets really old. REALLY old. We just came off an entire off-season when that general conversation dominated and choked the lifeforce out of this board (at least to this observer). I know it is a part of the game now, but that doesn't mean that it is enjoyable. Perhaps the Chapman contract talk and arguments over just what figurative nickels kick in where can be contained to one of the Chapman threads? Just a thought.

Apologies for bringing it up.


Agreed. Let's keep it out of this thread.

Done deal.

Sea Ray
02-25-2010, 08:45 PM
Agreed. Let's keep it out of this thread.

Personally I think his contract is more pertinent to his situation with the Reds than how he looked throwing batting practice to Chris Burke and Corky Miller. The fluff stories on this guy irritate me more than the contract talk, although I do share the frustration that dollars impact our franchise more so than many others. I wish that weren't so but that's the reality of the situation.

paintmered
02-25-2010, 08:54 PM
Personally I think his contract is more pertinent to his situation with the Reds than how he looked throwing batting practice to Chris Burke and Corky Miller. The fluff stories on this guy irritate me more than the contract talk, although I do share the frustration that dollars impact our franchise more so than many others. I wish that weren't so but that's the reality of the situation.

I'm not saying don't talk about it. I'm saying we should have one thread that is free of it and let this be the one. There's other Chapman threads out there and talk about his contract all you want in those. His contract is important, yes. But it's also a cold shower to an otherwise unique and enjoyable situation for all Reds fans. Let's keep this thread about Chapman's goings on at Spring Training as the thread title suggests and enjoy the ride.

Will M
02-25-2010, 09:24 PM
I said in another thread that i think the two keys for the 2010 Reds are certain guys stepping up to their potential (Bailey, Cueto, Bruce) and what kind of production we get from the 5th starter slot.

i actually like Matt Maloney and feel he is underrated here. Nevertheless he is a flyball pitcher who really belongs in a more friendly park. Say the NL West. If Maloney is the 2010 Reds 5th starter I would be happy with a 4.50 ERA but afraid it would be more like 5.50-6.00 . In his 2009 debut he gave up a lot of home runs and several near home runs that could have made his ERA a lot higher. the other 5th starter candidates imo need more minor league seasoning (Wood,Leake) or are really emergency starters (Wells, Lehr).

If (big huge gargantuan if) Chapman can overcome all the obstacles in his way & win the 5th starter spot out of spring training that would be incredible.
its THE story of the spring for Reds fans.

The last Reds team to have five starters who go at least 150 IP with an ERA+ of 100 or better? The 1979 NL West Champs: Seaver, Hume, Lacoss, Norman & Bonham. With the depth of Red's starting pitching we may see this happen in the very near future.

Blitz Dorsey
02-25-2010, 11:39 PM
The first rule of Aroldis Chapman's contract is ... don't talk about Aroldis Chapman's contract.

;-)

gm
02-27-2010, 02:53 AM
Chris Hammond? :cool:

The stomp is gonna get you

gm
02-27-2010, 03:00 AM
This kid is like the legend of Sid Finch but without the army boots...and he's a Red

gm
02-27-2010, 03:01 AM
Fay is about as good a cameraman as he is a speller.

He doesn't wear that "Lose Cannon" windbreaker for nuthin'

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2010, 09:58 PM
Afternoon Reds 2.27.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 27, 2010 2:52 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Another day, another Aroldis Chapman update.

The Reds pitchers threw to batters again today, but instead of straight batting practice, they used a count and players had a full at-bat. Chapman struck out Juan Francisco, who was taking huge cuts, and got Todd Frazier way ahead of a changeup.

"His fastball is heavy, it's got a lot of velocity on it and makes his changeup - which is what I swung and missed on, his changeup - that much better," said Reds prospect Todd Frazier. "He looked really good out there for sure. It was a good pitch, there's nothing I can say about that. He can throw, that's for sure."

Frazier, Francisco, Wladimir Balentien and Drew Sutton faced Chapman. Still doesn't look like anyone's hit him hard. Fracisco did't get cheated on his swings, but he never got bat on ball when I was watching him against Chapman.

Frazier said he was excited to face Chapman, just so he could see it first-hand.

"To get a chance to face him was fun, to see what he's all about," Frazier said. "He's got great stuff, he's proven it to me."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2010, 10:13 PM
Chapman earns more believers
Reds lefty draws raves in latest live session with hitters
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

02/27/10 4:28 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- For the second time this spring, Reds hitters got a crack at facing left-hander Aroldis Chapman. The sequel was almost a copy of the original.

Chapman threw 30 pitches to Juan Francisco, Todd Frazier, Drew Sutton and Wladimir Balentien in the session. No one made solid contact with their bats.

"When you see a guy like that your first couple of days, it gets a little easier from there," Sutton said. "The ball just comes out of his hand different. It gets about halfway and just jumps at you. His changeup had really good spin. You couldn't pick it up that well. Even his slider, it took a little time to pick up the spin."

During Francisco's first turn at the plate, Chapman blew fastballs by him before getting him to strike out swinging with a nasty slider.

Frazier whiffed at a Chapman changeup during his first turn.

"His fastball is heavy. It's got a lot of velocity," Frazier said. "It makes the changeup that much better. He looked really good out there for sure. He can throw, definitely."

Sutton worked Chapman a little and watched four consecutive balls go by. During live batting practice, pitchers have a great advantage since they've been in camp longer. Hitters are also working more on their timing and just trying to see the ball after a long layoff.

"I like seeing what the spin looks like and working off of that," Sutton said. "If you see anything different, try to lay off. Those kinds of guys you can't really go on the corner or off the corner. It's hard enough to square it up when it's in the middle of the plate, much less the corner."

Catching prospect Devin Mesoraco was behind the plate this time when Chapman pitched. Through three bullpen sessions and two live batting practice sessions, observers have come away thoroughly impressed.

"I wanted to get a chance to face him," Frazier said. "It was actually fun just to see what he's all about. He has the stuff. He's proven it to me right now."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100227&content_id=8397108&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

Blitz Dorsey
02-28-2010, 01:37 AM
My extremely-early conclusion: he's good.

(I know, very profound.)

red-in-la
02-28-2010, 03:17 AM
I'm not saying don't talk about it. I'm saying we should have one thread that is free of it and let this be the one. There's other Chapman threads out there and talk about his contract all you want in those. His contract is important, yes. But it's also a cold shower to an otherwise unique and enjoyable situation for all Reds fans. Let's keep this thread about Chapman's goings on at Spring Training as the thread title suggests and enjoy the ride.

Hey Walt.....the presence of Aroldis, whether he makes the team out of ST or not, has prompted me to go for the MLB EI package again. Last year I gave up on MLB EI after 5 straight years of buying it. But I am foisting up the bucks this year because the Reds finally put up (instead of shutting up)!

Go Reds!

BTW, my prediction for the Opening Day rotation:

Bailey
Arroyo
Cueto
Chapman
Maloney

Homer Bailey
02-28-2010, 04:02 AM
Hey Walt.....the presence of Aroldis, whether he makes the team out of ST or not, has prompted me to go for the MLB EI package again. Last year I gave up on MLB EI after 5 straight years of buying it. But I am foisting up the bucks this year because the Reds finally put up (instead of shutting up)!

Go Reds!

BTW, my prediction for the Opening Day rotation:

Bailey
Arroyo
Cueto
Chapman
Maloney

Guess I'll go ahead and be first to say it.

Ummmm.... Harang?

GAC
02-28-2010, 04:15 AM
From what I've seen so far the kid is one heck of a prospect, and I can't believe he's in a Red's uni. Heck of a move by Walt, and I tip my Dunn ball cap to him. I just don't want to see this 21 yr old rushed. Irregardless of the potential he has... he is still only 21.

But we get EV back healthy, complemented by Cueto, Bailey, and then this kid, we could be looking at one heck of a pitching rotation.

membengal
02-28-2010, 07:58 AM
The weenie fan in me is hoping he is scheduled to pitch in Friday's game for an inning or two, as that is on television...

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 08:38 AM
The weenie fan in me is hoping he is scheduled to pitch in Friday's game for an inning or two, as that is on television...

You're not the only one. I'd like to see Chapman for a couple innings followed by Leake and/or Wood.

Sea Ray
02-28-2010, 09:51 AM
The weenie fan in me is hoping he is scheduled to pitch in Friday's game for an inning or two, as that is on television...

I think he's on a schedule of pitching every other day. Such a schedule would put him on track to pitch on Friday, indeed

Will M
02-28-2010, 12:34 PM
Hey Walt.....the presence of Aroldis, whether he makes the team out of ST or not, has prompted me to go for the MLB EI package again. Last year I gave up on MLB EI after 5 straight years of buying it. But I am foisting up the bucks this year because the Reds finally put up (instead of shutting up)!

Go Reds!

BTW, my prediction for the Opening Day rotation:

Bailey
Arroyo
Cueto
Chapman
Maloney

ok. i'll ask the obvious: where's Harang?

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 09:29 PM
From Foxsports:

Feb. 28 News and Notes

Reds impressed with Chapman's progress — 8:30 p.m.

Aroldis Chapman has yet to throw a pitch in a spring-training game, but one Reds official uses the word “ridiculous” to describe him — as in, ridiculously good.

Good enough for the Cuban left-hander to crack the Reds’ Opening Day rotation or perhaps emerge as a setup man for closer Francisco Cordero?

The Reds don’t know that yet. But a rival general manager predicts that manager Dusty Baker, entering the final year of his contract, will want Chapman on his Opening Day staff.

Chapman, 22, has faced hitters twice in game-like conditions — no protective screen in front of the mound, no advance warning to hitters on what types of pitches are coming.

“It’s been something,” says Bryan Price, the Reds’ new pitching coach. “He’s executing at a high rate. And his stuff is phenomenal.”

Price says the only reference points that he had on Chapman came from tapes of the pitcher’s outings in the World Baseball Classic last spring.

In those games, Price says, Chapman showed an electric fastball, but also a “rolling” breaking ball. He rarely threw his changeup.

Different guy now.

“He showed up and his delivery was clean,” Price says. “His breaking ball is better. His changeup is showing signs. You couldn’t have anticipated (his stuff) would be as crisp as it’s been.”

So, how quickly can Chapman come?

“Good question, one that’s hard to answer,” Price says. “There are more circumstances than simply being able to get hitters out.

“Maybe it will be that simple; I can’t speak for the organization. But we all have concerns about whether he will acclimate well enough to be comfortable with the environment in Cincinnati.

“I don’t think we’re trying to put barriers around him, protect him from everything. But we want to be somewhat cautious. In the next month, we’ll know more about him as a pitcher and how he adjusts to a major-league environment. That will help with the decision-making.” — Ken Rosenthal

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/MLB-spring-training-buzz-021510

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2010, 10:27 AM
From C. Trent:

Aroldis Chapman will throw in #Reds intersquad game on Thursday

http://twitter.com/ctrent

There goes any chance of us seeing Chapman pitch on Friday...

Sea Ray
03-01-2010, 10:40 AM
BTW, my prediction for the Opening Day rotation:

Bailey
Arroyo
Cueto
Chapman
Maloney

I don't think we'll see Chapman in the Opening Day rotation. Redszone is buying into the media driven Chapman hype. I think he has an outside shot of starting the year in Louisville and that's if he's really impressive on and off the field. I'll go one further and add that I do not think he'll earn enough service time to be a Super Two after the 2012 season.

membengal
03-01-2010, 11:34 AM
From C. Trent:

Aroldis Chapman will throw in #Reds intersquad game on Thursday

http://twitter.com/ctrent

There goes any chance of us seeing Chapman pitch on Friday...

BOOOO, Reds, BOOOOOOO. It's all about me, dangit, and my needs. I thought I sent a memo on that...

Screwball
03-01-2010, 11:47 AM
I don't think we'll see Chapman in the Opening Day rotation. Redszone is buying into the media driven Chapman hype. I think he has an outside shot of starting the year in Louisville and that's if he's really impressive on and off the field. I'll go one further and add that I do not think he'll earn enough service time to be a Super Two after the 2012 season.

An outside shot at AAA? I think he's got a spot in Louisville all but locked up. It just depends if the Reds want him there or in Cincinnati to start the season.

Sea Ray
03-01-2010, 12:19 PM
An outside shot at AAA? I think he's got a spot in Louisville all but locked up. It just depends if the Reds want him there or in Cincinnati to start the season.

If someone asked me to guess where he'll start the year I'd say AA. Dusty talks about not wanting to rush players. I doubt we see Chapman in Cincinnati in April unless we have some injuries

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2010, 03:13 PM
Chapman ready for games

Aroldis Chapman threw 25-30 pitches in the bullpen on Monday. There were no real developments and he seemed to be wondering why reporters wanted to talk about. Chapman was ready for games to start.

"I feel comfortable. I am anxious for the games to get started," Chapman said.

Chapman has thrown two live BP sessions vs. Reds hitters and will get a more game-like situation when he throws an inning in Thursday's intrasquad game at Goodyear Ballpark. The lefty, who turned 22 on Sunday, continues to work to get himself Major League ready.

"In all aspects, I'm just trying to get better every day," Chapman said.

Chapman's interpreter, Class A Dayton pitching coach Tony Fossas, has been impressed with the performances to this point.

"I think his progress is tremendous," Fossas said. "His mechanics are getting better and he's finishing pitches better. All you guys can see he's around the plate almost every pitch."

One thing that has not been revealed, as of yet, is when Chapman might pitch in a Cactus League game.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/03/chapman_ready_for_games.html

Blitz Dorsey
03-02-2010, 01:26 AM
I love that Chapman doesn't have wear-and-tear on his arm. This is the opposite of the Dominican pitchers who throw a full MLB season and then pitch in the Dominican winter league. Glad to know Chapman won't ever be "going home" to pitch in some meaningless winter league after every season.

OnBaseMachine
03-02-2010, 11:57 AM
Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman bolsters Reds rebuilding effort
Posted 14h 38m ago

By Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The excitement over the Cincinnati Reds' signing of Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman reverberated throughout the Ohio Valley and to the Dusty Baker household outside Sacramento.

"I didn't think we had much of a chance," the Reds manager said. "My son was jumping up and down, he was so happy."

The Cincinnati players might not have been as demonstrative, but they were pretty stoked as well, not to mention shocked.

The Reds, whose opening-day payroll last year ranked 19th in the majors, had pulled off a coup with their $30.25 million deal for Chapman. After nine consecutive losing seasons, Cincinnati was making a statement.

"I was very surprised," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, the team's RBI leader with 98. "It showed everybody in Cincinnati that we're trying to win."

Chapman, a left-hander with a fastball that has reached 100 mph, might not even start the season in the majors, but his addition could prove the crowning move in the Reds' rebuilding of a pitching staff that tied for the league's worst ERA three years ago at 4.94. Last season it improved to seventh at 4.18.

Behind veterans Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, the Reds' rotation now features talented youngsters such as Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, who went 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA over his last nine starts in 2009.

Edinson Volquez, an All-Star and 17-game winner in 2008, is expected back from Tommy John elbow surgery in late July. The Reds also have a slew of young arms waiting in the wings.

"This is the first time since I've been on this team when you can legitimately say, from top to bottom, we shouldn't have any weaknesses," said Arroyo, who arrived via trade in 2006.

The infusion of youth also brings inconsistency. Bailey was 2-4 with a 7.53 ERA before his turnaround in late August. Cueto went 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA in his first 16 starts and had dreams of an All-Star Game invite that never came. He was shelled his second July outing, the beginning of an eight-start stretch in which the right-hander, then 23, had a 0-6 mark with a 10.64 ERA.

"I had my mind-set on the All-Star Game, and when they told me I didn't make it, it really brought me down," Cueto said. "I started dwelling on it. That won't happen again."

The Reds still have holes to fill. Cincinnati had the third-lowest on-base percentage (.318) in the majors in 2009, and its outfield alignment remains unresolved. But Baker looks at the improved talent and likes what he sees.

"When you have young players," Baker said, "you're always looking for improvement."

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/reds/2010-03-01-reds-spring-preview_N.htm

Scrap Irony
03-02-2010, 04:24 PM
"I had my mind-set on the All-Star Game, and when they told me I didn't make it, it really brought me down," Cueto said. "I started dwelling on it. That won't happen again."
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/reds/2010-03-01-reds-spring-preview_N.htm

That's a pretty good example of how success in this game can be extremley fragile. Posters tend to ignore that which cannot be quantified, yet it's effect reverberates throughout not only one person, but an entire team.

Perhaps we would do well to remember this as we talk of moving Votto, Alonso, and others around the diamond.

Sea Ray
03-02-2010, 04:29 PM
That's a pretty good example of how success in this game can be extremley fragile. Posters tend to ignore that which cannot be quantified, yet it's effect reverberates throughout not only one person, but an entire team.

Perhaps we would do well to remember this as we talk of moving Votto, Alonso, and others around the diamond.

IMO his downfall was less mental and more physical in that his body was worn out. He's not a big guy but he'd logged a lot of innings with the WBC, winter ball, etc

Cedric
03-02-2010, 04:34 PM
IMO his downfall was less mental and more physical in that his body was worn out. He's not a big guy but he'd logged a lot of innings with the WBC, winter ball, etc

It looked mental to me. I didn't see much of a velocity or movement drop. He was opening his front shoulder too much though. It looked like Cueto was just trying to throw the ball by everyone he faced. I hope he keeps his front shoulder inside and finishes all his pitches this season.

MikeS21
03-02-2010, 04:36 PM
I wonder how much time Mario Soto has spent with Chapman so far?

OnBaseMachine
03-04-2010, 11:01 AM
All eyes on Chapman
Posted by hwilkinson March 4th, 2010, 10:45 am

Howard Wilkinson here, reporting from the Reds spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz. Reds beat writer John Fay is taking a well-deserved day off and I’m filling his big shoes today.

Today at Goodyear is all about the intrasquad game, which takes place about 3 p.m. Cincinnati time at Goodyear Ball Park, a half-mile down the road from the training facility.

Aaron Harang, the Opening Day starter, will start for the squad led by Louisville Bats manager Rick Sweet, while Homer Bailey starts for the Dusty Baker squad, throwing against a line-up that looks pretty much like what the April 5 Opening Day line-up will be.

But the focus of attention will be on Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defectee whom the Reds signed to a $30 million contract. He’ll follow Harang in the pitching order and will get an inning of work.

Dusty Baker, in his morning meeting with writers, said he wants Chapman to have a no-pressure outing.

What has impressed Baker the most about Chapman, the manager said, has been his steady improvement since camp opened two weeks ago.

“His breaking ball is better than what the critics have said,” Baker said

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
03-04-2010, 11:11 AM
Chapman to debut Monday

One day away from a Cactus League game vs. the Indians and a few hours away from the intrasquad. It'll be good to see actual game situations to report on.

Aroldis Chapman is among those going today on the mound. Chapman's first exhibition game will come on Monday vs. the Royals in Goodyear. He will come out of the bullpen. Homer Bailey is starting the game.

"Down here it doesn't matter. One thing at a time," manager Dusty Baker said.

Then came the line of the day.

"Plus if we pitch him later, fans will stick around and drink more beer," Baker joked. "You didn't know I was in marketing, did you?"

When Chapman pitches today, the Reds will be looking only for one thing -- and it's not to see how he handles adversity or the running game or anything too tangible.

"I just want him to be himself," Baker said. "If he walks three, strikes out three, gets the side out, whatever. The first thing you want, is to get comfortable. You know he's going to have some jitters. I don't care what your name is. Hank Aaron used to say 'nerves are good. Be nervous, just don't be scared.' He's not scared. After you throw a pitch or two, your nerves are gone. If you're not nervous, I think you're lying or something is wrong with you."

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

icehole3
03-04-2010, 12:11 PM
Chapman will pitch monday per CTrent twitter

camisadelgolf
03-04-2010, 12:13 PM
Wow, Dusty Baker knew Hank Aaron?

OnBaseMachine
03-04-2010, 02:07 PM
Frankie Piliere, a former major league scout and current writer for AOLFanhouse.com, will be in Goodyear today to scout Chapman. He'll be updating via twitter throughout the game.

Off to see Chapman today. Stay tuned for the tweets

Just arrived at empty Goodyear ballpark. besides Chapman i know homer Bailey also throws today among other interesting arms

http://twitter.com/FrankiePiliere