This probably deserves a thread of its own.
Price hints Chapman could start in majors
Posted by jfay February 18th, 2010, 5:35 pm
New pitch coach Bryan Price spelled out the plan for Aroldis Chapman and at least hinted that the 21-year-old Cuban could start the year in the big leagues.
“There’s no question that what’s best is we do what is right for him in the long run. He could start anywhere. But we want to assess him and make sure it’s the right place. Maybe it’s in Cincinnati. Maybe it’s somewhere else in our system. Turn him loose. Let him compete and see what he’s all about.”
What’s the The Plan?
“The plan is to get him ready as we do, to get him acclimated to way we do things here both from a throwing perspective and strength and conditioning, which we introduced back in January. We’re going to hone that and improve upon that.
“Then we’re going to get him into ballgames and let him compete. I don’t think there’s any reason to say we’ve got any kind of perimeters on him. We all saw WBC games. We’re looking forward to seeing him in regular games. There’s nothing like watching guys with your own eyes and making assessments where he fits best.”
Price is familiar with Chapman because the two worked together for a week in January. Thursday’s session was more of the same.
“I saw what I’ve seen a few other times before. It’s a live arm and he’s ready to compete. I think this kid could go into a ballgame tomorrow and be ready to compete. He’s extremely athletic. He’s a quick learner. His stuff better now, at least in my opinion, than it was in WBC from a command and delivery standpoint. I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch and learn. He’s going to have to adjust to way the hitters adjust to him. He’s going to have to command the zone consistently and keep himself in good counts.
“There are certain things you can’t answer until he competes . . . there’s a lot of things we don’t know about.”
“Certainly, no one’s in midseason form. One thing we try to do with Aroldis because he comes in with more ballyhoo than our other pitchers – kids that we really like – because he’s from Cuba and comes in with nice signing bonus, we don’t want him to do too much. Spring training is a process. We don’t need to see him throw his best stuff.”
Ramon Hernandez, who caught Chapman, was impressed.
“He throws hard,” Hernandez said. “His command is pretty good. They told he might be a little wild maybe. I was surprised what I saw. He’s got a lot to learn. But he’s got a good change-up, good slider. He needs a little experience. I’m sure the coaches will teach him well. You’re going to see him for a long time if he stays healthy.”