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TRF
04-12-2010, 05:17 PM
Excluding Leake from the discussion as he made his professional debut in the majors, Who do you think was more impressive, Chapman or Strasburg?

If you ask ESPN, the answer is Strasburg.

Strasburg K'd 8 in 5 innings. 4 Hits, 4 Runs, 1 ER and 2 BB's. Nice line for a professional debut. At AA

Chapman went 4 2/3 innings 5 Hits 1 R, 0ER 1BB 9 K's. in AAA.

The story for Strasburg's debut was very long. Included lots of details about the game, interviews with him and opposing players. All the relevant stats included

Chapman got 4 tiny paragraphs, one of which was a rehash of him defecting, signing and competing for the 5th rotation spot. no mention of hits, BB's or runs allowed. They did mention he throws really hard though.

At first I was bothered by this. Then I thought it out. Let the kid fly under the radar a bit. I mean sure everybody, the opposing teams especially know about him, but let him pitch away from the media hype machine for a little while as he gets acclimated. That can only help him achieve a comfort level that will help him adjust to life here in the states.

Still, both Leake (I'm bringing him back into the discussion now) and Chapman made their professional debuts and ESPN hardly noticed. Both pitchers did well, but both have some room to grow. You'd think they might mention some teams from the country's midsection every now and then.

muddie
04-12-2010, 05:39 PM
If Leake and Chapman were in New York they would have canceled the soaps to cover them yesterday. Don't sweat it.

dougdirt
04-12-2010, 05:59 PM
I agree with ESPN that Strasburgs was more impressive than Chapmans. It just simply was. If no one swung a bat the entire game Strasburgs K/BB would have been about the same as it was. Chapman would have had about 6 walks and 5 strikeouts.

The thing that gets me though is Leake's lack of coverage. Even here in Cincinnati. On the Enquirer front page, Chapman is smack dab in the middle of the front page, while Leake is on a sidebar with a picture 25% the size of Chapmans, and he is hitting. Go to the sports page and its the exact same thing, and Chapman also has multiple stories on him in the sports section.

GIDP
04-12-2010, 06:03 PM
I agree with ESPN that Strasburgs was more impressive than Chapmans. It just simply was. If no one swung a bat the entire game Strasburgs K/BB would have been about the same as it was. Chapman would have had about 6 walks and 5 strikeouts.

The thing that gets me though is Leake's lack of coverage. Even here in Cincinnati. On the Enquirer front page, Chapman is smack dab in the middle of the front page, while Leake is on a sidebar with a picture 25% the size of Chapmans, and he is hitting. Go to the sports page and its the exact same thing, and Chapman also has multiple stories on him in the sports section.

Yea its a shame about the Leake coverage. I could imagine that in a few other cities the coverage up to the start would have been a major story.

fearofpopvol1
04-12-2010, 06:20 PM
I agree with ESPN that Strasburgs was more impressive than Chapmans. It just simply was. If no one swung a bat the entire game Strasburgs K/BB would have been about the same as it was. Chapman would have had about 6 walks and 5 strikeouts.

See, I just don't agree. The results are what count. The final line for Chapman was better in pretty much every way. AND he did it at AAA instead of AA. To think of it another way...if Chapman had the line that Strasburg did and vice-versa, do you really think the media coverage would have been different? I really don't. If anything, the media would have been clamoring over Strasburg's 9 Ks. I think the media is just more interested in Strasburg.

dougdirt
04-12-2010, 06:53 PM
See, I just don't agree. The results are what count. The final line for Chapman was better in pretty much every way. AND he did it at AAA instead of AA. To think of it another way...if Chapman had the line that Strasburg did and vice-versa, do you really think the media coverage would have been different? I really don't. If anything, the media would have been clamoring over Strasburg's 9 Ks. I think the media is just more interested in Strasburg.

I am more concerned about projection and right now, Strasburg's game was much more impressive when we look at how it would have played against major leaguers. I am sure the media is more interested in Strasburg, but I think there is a reason for it. Right now, he is simply better and I don't think its close. Chapman has more potential, but right now Strasburg is much better suited to be a starting pitcher in the major leagues.

Kingspoint
04-12-2010, 07:53 PM
I agree with ESPN that Strasburgs was more impressive than Chapmans. It just simply was. If no one swung a bat the entire game Strasburgs K/BB would have been about the same as it was. Chapman would have had about 6 walks and 5 strikeouts.

The thing that gets me though is Leake's lack of coverage. Even here in Cincinnati. On the Enquirer front page, Chapman is smack dab in the middle of the front page, while Leake is on a sidebar with a picture 25% the size of Chapmans, and he is hitting. Go to the sports page and its the exact same thing, and Chapman also has multiple stories on him in the sports section.


That's just non-sense for the papers to do that. Leake won the job in Spring Training. He's the #8 player selected in the draft. He's the first pitcher since the 1920's to get 2 hits in his first major league game. He guts it out for 107 pitches. He pitched the REDS into their first Series win of the season (while showing the rest of the club how to be patient at the plate) The two stories aren't even comparable.

OnBaseMachine
04-12-2010, 10:14 PM
Chapman's debut was better than Strasburg's, IMO. Chapman allowed one fewer ER, one less walk, and had one more K despite playing at a higher level.

Redmachine2003
04-12-2010, 10:46 PM
Chapman's debut was better than Strasburg's, IMO. Chapman allowed one fewer ER, one less walk, and had one more K despite playing at a higher level.
I have to agree with this. And not to mention you can be effectively wild and keep them guessing all game long. If your pounding the strike zone all the time they will time it and run in to some but if they are going to swing at the bad stuff you keep throwing it because they cant hit it with an ironing board.

dougdirt
04-12-2010, 11:39 PM
I have to agree with this. And not to mention you can be effectively wild and keep them guessing all game long. If your pounding the strike zone all the time they will time it and run in to some but if they are going to swing at the bad stuff you keep throwing it because they cant hit it with an ironing board.

Except Chapman was missing the catchers initial target by 1 and 2 feet, often. If they were setting up that way, it would be one thing, but when you are missing the catchers target by that much, its not what you are implying.

TheNext44
04-13-2010, 02:48 AM
Except Chapman was missing the catchers initial target by 1 and 2 feet, often. If they were setting up that way, it would be one thing, but when you are missing the catchers target by that much, its not what you are implying.

You're not the only one to say that Chapman's numbers were skewed by pitching against minor leaguers. C.Trent quoted the Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish, who said that if he were pitching in the majors, he'd walked 8, he was that wild. So I believe you when you said that Strasburg had a better debut.

But do you really think that ESPN picked up on that, and that was the reason why there was less coverage of Chapman's debut than Strasburg's? Karl Ravech and Buster Olney are going to notice this and because of this they decide to give more attention to Strasburg? lol

No matter how well they did, or how well they do, Strasburg is going to get all the ink, because he's a Boras client, and plays for an East Coast Organization.

fearofpopvol1
04-13-2010, 03:39 AM
You're not the only one to say that Chapman's numbers were skewed by pitching against minor leaguers. C.Trent quoted the Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish, who said that if he were pitching in the majors, he'd walked 8, he was that wild. So I believe you when you said that Strasburg had a better debut.

But do you really think that ESPN picked up on that, and that was the reason why there was less coverage of Chapman's debut than Strasburg's? Karl Ravech and Buster Olney are going to notice this and because of this they decide to give more attention to Strasburg? lol

No matter how well they did, or how well they do, Strasburg is going to get all the ink, because he's a Boras client, and plays for an East Coast Organization.

yes, this. though i don't think the boras angle matters that much. i don't even know if the east coast part matters.

the bottom line...ESPN is in love with stars and phenoms, especially ones that are highly touted. read the headlines on their site...it's not about what a team has done, it's nearly always about an individual. i'm looking right now at their homepage and out of the 10 headlines they have, 9/10 mention an individual in it. sports illustrated is the same way too. it's all about the stars anymore. i don't think it was that way so much in the 70s or 80s.

RiverRat13
04-13-2010, 09:37 AM
To play devil's advocate regarding Chapman's numbers, from what I read on here and other places, four of the hits Chapman gave up were of the infield variety. If we are playing the "what if" game as far as what would have happened in the bigs, wouldn't it be possible that Chapman would have only given up one or two hits had he had a major league defense behind him? If you are going to knock the minor league hitters he faced, isn't it fair to knock the minor league fielders behind him? Especially a minor league defense that by all accounts has struggled the first week of the season.

TRF
04-13-2010, 09:46 AM
I watched the game. Chapman wasn't missing by two feet. He got some calls, as all pitchers do. But he wasn't missing by 24 inches and getting called strikes. He blew them away. Does he, like Strasburg and Leake (who walked 7 I believe) have some learning to do? Of course. But his debut, at a higher level than Strasburg, was simply more impressive. Leake should have got as large a writeup as Strasburg as he was making his debut in MLB. But Leake isn't as hyped. He isn't heralded as the savior of the organization like Strasburg is. Chapman makes for a great story as he is young and a Cuban defector, but by now, who doesn't know that. Yet that information was 1/4 of the write up of his professional debut.

pathetic.

Topcat
04-16-2010, 03:54 AM
If Leake and Chapman were in New York they would have canceled the soaps to cover them yesterday. Don't sweat it.


That Sir is a spot on statement:thumbup::beerme:

GOYA
04-16-2010, 09:25 AM
Missing a catcher's target means little if you are getting hitters out. But Chapman did waste pitches. He's going to need to stretch out a bit.

dougdirt
04-16-2010, 10:51 AM
Missing a catcher's target means little if you are getting hitters out. But Chapman did waste pitches. He's going to need to stretch out a bit.

It means a whole lot when its likely it won't get guys out at the MLB level. I just want to see him have better control. I want to see actual strikes thrown more, not pitches a foot high or outside that guys swung at because they had to start their bats early to catch up.

Scrap Irony
04-16-2010, 11:27 AM
98-102 will get almost anybody out if it's thrown anywhere near the strike zone. So will that mid-90's slider.

His control need not be impeccable. It need only be good enough not throw strikes when absolutely needed.

And how anyone can grouse about Chapman's line is beyond me. He took what the opposing team offered him. Why throw strikes if they're swinging at balls? Isn't that a mark of a good pitcher, to make it difficult for the offensive team to hit?

dougdirt
04-16-2010, 12:02 PM
98-102 will get almost anybody out if it's thrown anywhere near the strike zone. So will that mid-90's slider.

His control need not be impeccable. It need only be good enough not throw strikes when absolutely needed.

And how anyone can grouse about Chapman's line is beyond me. He took what the opposing team offered him. Why throw strikes if they're swinging at balls? Isn't that a mark of a good pitcher, to make it difficult for the offensive team to hit?

I will state it again. If the catcher is calling for and holding his glove out of the zone, fine. Let them chase it. But that isn't what was happening. Castillo would hold his glove on the outside corner at the bottom of the zone. He would catch the ball chest high 6 inches inside. Guys were swinging. Sure, it worked, but it isn't what you want to see.

Scrap Irony
04-16-2010, 01:37 PM
I watched the game, doug, and never saw that. Not once.

Did he miss his spots?

Some. Sure.

Did he occasionally miss badly?

Yep. Just like any and every other pitcher in the game.

Did he miss his spots by two feet (outside corner to six inches inside would be more than that, actually)? Not that I saw.

TRF
04-16-2010, 02:34 PM
I watched the game, doug, and never saw that. Not once.

Did he miss his spots?

Some. Sure.

Did he occasionally miss badly?

Yep. Just like any and every other pitcher in the game.

Did he miss his spots by two feet (outside corner to six inches inside would be more than that, actually)? Not that I saw.

I watched the game too. didn't see what he is describing, on anything resembling the word often. He's a young guy making his MLB debut. Leake walked 7 batters. I think Chapman would have walked 4+, maybe. He still needs some refining. So does Leake obviously.

medford
04-16-2010, 02:53 PM
Going back to the coverage, and away from who pitched better than whom, would it be a fair statement to say that Strassburg is the bigger story nationally than Chapman? Strassburg was the "can't miss kid" out of college, the once in a generation talent, the "straight to the majors" guy, staff ace, instant Cy Young contender, etc... and all the other accolades you could throw at the guy coming out of college. There was a ton of talk about him smashing the draft signing bonus record, which he did (I think), but the initial Boras numbers were eye popping.

Conversaly, Chapman while signing for more, I think the general population cares less about what an IFA signs for, vs how much a draft pick signs for. The individual teams pump up the signing bonus of the IFAs, but its played out like the draft picks hold these franchises hostage should they dare to draft him. You see so many stories of guys being passed on for "lesser" talents because of signability issues, and that just doesn't sit right w/ the average fan. Fair or unfair, the signing bonuses of draft picks draw more ire than the signing bonuses of internation free agents. On top of that, aside from the huge bonus, Chapman was labelled as a great arm, but in need of development, poor control, serious questions if he could make it as a starter. How much one believes this statement doesn't matter, it is what was said from day 1 by the talking heads and ESPNs to explain away why the Yankees or Red Soxs weren't the ones dishing out that kind of dough.

My guess is the average fan in Minnesota or California or Florida or Texas or wherever didn't really give a crap about either kids minor league debut, but the average fan is probably more away of Stassburg, there's probably more fans that are interested in how he does, there is probably more fans that hope he fails misserably in hopes that the major league draft structure (ie bonus system) is changed for the better (?) I think it comes down to what sells, and in ESPN's opinion, Strassburg sells more than Chapman, and frankly I'm not sure I disagree with them, and as mentioned before, I don't think I'm all that upset about it. Let Chapman develop w/o the national media checking out every start. Let him struggle for a start or two w/o ESPN doing a feature piece on baseball tonight on how poor he's throwing. Give Chapman a couple months to develop in the background, then unleash him to the national spotlight, on mound at Great American Ballpark.

Scrap Irony
04-16-2010, 03:34 PM
I think national, in this case, means East Coast. Perhaps the Pacific Coast as well.

But the middle of the country didn't seem any more enamored with Strasburg than Chapman when discussing their talent and salaries. Leake is certainly the lesser story of the three, though the argument (valid, IMO) that it's more important and a better story seems to get lost in the hoopla that is Strausburg.

Really, to the casual fan, ESPN makes the news; it doesn't report it. If ESPN wanted to focus on Leake, it would be a far larger story. Instead, they've chosen to lead with Strausburg, mention Chapman, and pretty much ignore Leake.

In the overall scheme of things, this is less than important, but it does, IMO, show a bias (and perhaps comfort level?) at ESPN. (Not exactly an amazing or erudite point, as any college basketball fan that listens to Dick Vitale can tell you.)

dougdirt
04-16-2010, 04:56 PM
I just went back and charted Chapman's first inning. Here is what I saw:


Pitch Setup Caught Hit/Miss Spot
1 Low outside High outside Close
2 Low outside Low outside Hit
3 Low outside High Middle Miss
4 Low outside Low way inside Big Miss
5 Low outside Low outside Hit
6 Low Inside High Middle Miss
7 Low Inside High Middle Miss
8 Middle outside High outside Miss
9 Low Middle Low middle Hit
10 Low inside High outside Big Miss
11 low inside low inside hit
12 Low outside dirt outside Miss
13 Low Inside Middle middle Miss
14 Low Middle Middle middle close
15 outside low outside low hit
16 low outside high inside Big Miss
17 Low outside high inside Big Miss
18 Low outside middle outside Close

GOYA
04-16-2010, 05:44 PM
I just went back and charted Chapman's first inning. Here is what I saw:


Pitch Setup Caught Hit/Miss Spot
1 Low outside High outside Close
2 Low outside Low outside Hit
3 Low outside High Middle Miss
4 Low outside Low way inside Big Miss
5 Low outside Low outside Hit
6 Low Inside High Middle Miss
7 Low Inside High Middle Miss
8 Middle outside High outside Miss
9 Low Middle Low middle Hit
10 Low inside High outside Big Miss
11 low inside low inside hit
12 Low outside dirt outside Miss
13 Low Inside Middle middle Miss
14 Low Middle Middle middle close
15 outside low outside low hit
16 low outside high inside Big Miss
17 Low outside high inside Big Miss
18 Low outside middle outside Close


A soft liner to 2B
K
K

That was Chapman's 1st inning.

I'm not saying he doesn't need to improve but throwing as hard as he does, he can be very effective as is.

dougdirt
04-16-2010, 06:23 PM
A soft liner to 2B
K
K

That was Chapman's 1st inning.

I'm not saying he doesn't need to improve but throwing as hard as he does, he can be very effective as is.
It can be very effective against AAA guys. Though likely less effective against major leaguers. The fact is, despite good results, he struggled mightily with control.

GOYA
04-16-2010, 09:57 PM
Pitches-strikes: Chapman 85-55 - 65%

dougdirt
04-16-2010, 10:00 PM
Pitches-strikes: Chapman 85-55 - 65%

Only because the Mudhens severely expanded the zone.

GOYA
04-16-2010, 10:09 PM
A 100 mph fastball will do that.

dougdirt
04-17-2010, 12:50 AM
A 100 mph fastball will do that.

Certainly, but not nearly as much against MLB hitters.

GIDP
04-17-2010, 11:08 AM
Chapman doesnt have to have pin point control but like others have said hes getting panic swings from these AAA guys. I compare it to the Cubs Marmol. When you swing you get out, but odds are he couldnt throw 3 strikes before he threw 4 balls if you just stood up there and didnt swing.