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Thread: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

  1. #1

    My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Here's the link to my blog post. I'm dead serious when I say he hit 103 in the first inning. I can't see any way the Reds can keep him in Triple-A for another month. He's got one of the best fastballs in the game already. You guys should be really excited to have this kid for the next six years and hopefully more. Enjoy!

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    I haven't read your report yet but I plan on doing so in a few minutes. Thanks for the info, RS17. I hope you hang around here and post more often.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  4. #3

    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Thanks, I plan to. I blog about pitching for all teams, but the interaction on these boards is better than on most boards. My next goal as far as the Reds are concerned is to see Mike Leake pitch. I have the MLB.tv subscription, but obviously couldn't watch tonight while I was at the game. I see he pitched pretty well.

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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Thanks for this post! Great info and pitch by pitch detail. Good to see that the 2 run homer was hit on his slider which just got a little too over the plate. He can make that adjustment.

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    I'm curious as to why he only struck out 4 AAA hitters if he had a 103 MPH FB last night?

  7. #6

    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    I'm curious as to why he only struck out 4 AAA hitters if he had a 103 MPH FB last night?
    He hit 103 once on my gun. It's not like he was throwing 100 consistently. He was generally 94-96 with some high 90s and some low 90s mixed in. Considering he threw approximately 85 fastballs in 100 pitches, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre hitters were able to sit on his fastball. It doesn't matter how hard you throw; if hitters can time it, they're going to be able to put the ball in play.

    Plus, SWB is second-to-last in the International League with 117 strikeouts in 19 games. They do a good job putting the ball in play.

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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by RS17TIMES View Post
    I'm dead serious when I say he hit 103 in the first inning. I can't see any way the Reds can keep him in Triple-A for another month. He's got one of the best fastballs in the game already. You guys should be really excited to have this kid for the next six years and hopefully more. Enjoy!
    Quote Originally Posted by RS17TIMES View Post
    He hit 103 once on my gun. It's not like he was throwing 100 consistently. He was generally 94-96 with some high 90s and some low 90s mixed in. Considering he threw approximately 85 fastballs in 100 pitches, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre hitters were able to sit on his fastball. It doesn't matter how hard you throw; if hitters can time it, they're going to be able to put the ball in play.
    I think you answered yourself.

    I'll take Leake and his 91 MPH fastball with crazy movement in the last two feet over a straight fast-ball 10+ MPH.
    If SWB can sit on a fastball, what do you think MLB hitters are going to do?!

    Until Chapman can mix in more than 15% off-speed stuff, he's not ready for the majors.

    PEACE

    -BLEEDS
    I think that in a year or two, one of these guys - Frazier, Dorn, Valaika, Cumberland, Stubbs - will be ready to replace Dunn. They won't hit as many home runs as Dunn, but they should have similar OPS. - 757690, July 22, 2008

    Alonso will be playing 1B for the REDS and batting 4th one year from today. - Kingspoint, July 9, 2009

  9. #8

    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by BLEEDS View Post
    I think you answered yourself.

    I'll take Leake and his 91 MPH fastball with crazy movement in the last two feet over a straight fast-ball 10+ MPH.
    If SWB can sit on a fastball, what do you think MLB hitters are going to do?!

    Until Chapman can mix in more than 15% off-speed stuff, he's not ready for the majors.

    PEACE

    -BLEEDS
    You're reading in to what I wrote. His fastball has great movement, but it's still a fastball. Off the top of my head, I remember two fastballs being hit hard, both by Winfree -- a foul ball in his first at bat and the home run in his second at bat. Chapman broke two or three bats with fastballs and got a lot of easy ground balls with his fastball. Two line drives on 85 fastballs is a pretty darn good ratio.

    It's a great pitch, don't get me wrong. But when he throws it 85 percent of the time, it can be put in play. Which is why you're correct that he needs to throw more offspeed stuff before he's ready to be called up. I just don't think that'll be very long.

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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by BLEEDS View Post
    I'll take Leake and his 91 MPH fastball with crazy movement in the last two feet over a straight fast-ball 10+ MPH.
    Chapman's fastball isn't straight. Go read some of the quotes from opposing players in Spring Training who raved about the movement on Chapman's fastball and other pitches. But yeah, I agree that he needs to mix up his pitches a little more. I'm not sure why the coaching staff would allow him to throw that many fastballs.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  11. #10

    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Chapman's fastball isn't straight. Go read some of the quotes from opposing players in Spring Training who raved about the movement on Chapman's fastball and other pitches. But yeah, I agree that he needs to mix up his pitches a little more. I'm not sure why the coaching staff would allow him to throw that many fastballs.
    I didn't have access to do interviews after the game, but I only have two guesses and both very well could be wrong. First, it was very chilly last night, mid-40s at best, so maybe they wanted him to pound the fastball inside because of the cold weather.

    My second theory, which I think might hold more merit, is that they have him throwing more fastballs to build arm strength to pitch deep into games consistently. Obviously the fastball velocity is there, but by throwing it more often now, he'll have a better chance of having that high-90s velocity in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings when he'll need it most.

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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by RS17TIMES View Post
    My second theory, which I think might hold more merit, is that they have him throwing more fastballs to build arm strength to pitch deep into games consistently. Obviously the fastball velocity is there, but by throwing it more often now, he'll have a better chance of having that high-90s velocity in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings when he'll need it most.
    That could very well be true. It makes the most sense.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by RS17TIMES View Post
    I didn't have access to do interviews after the game, but I only have two guesses and both very well could be wrong. First, it was very chilly last night, mid-40s at best, so maybe they wanted him to pound the fastball inside because of the cold weather.

    My second theory, which I think might hold more merit, is that they have him throwing more fastballs to build arm strength to pitch deep into games consistently. Obviously the fastball velocity is there, but by throwing it more often now, he'll have a better chance of having that high-90s velocity in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings when he'll need it most.
    I know less than nothing about pitching mechanics, but isn't a fastball easier to throw in cold weather than off speed pitches? Less twisting and less torque on the arm?
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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  14. #13
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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    Chapman isn't ready. At all.

    Last night his control was better than it had been in the past few starts..... and yet it still left one scout thinking it could lead to him being a closer.
    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/04/29/a...-needs-polish/

    The final line for Chapman (six innings pitched, five hits, three runs, two walks, four strikeouts) against the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees doesn't look all that bad, and as a whole the outing really wasn't bad. What it was, however, was very telling. He is not ready for the big leagues right now, at least as a starting pitcher. If the Cincinnati Reds are determined to develop him as a starter, he has a lot of things to work on before he's going to be ready for the show.

    I was left with doubts that Chapman can be a starter over the long haul. If the Reds are willing to be patient, allow him to refine his command and get him to some point of consistency with his fastball velocity, the finished product could very well be a front-end starter. But there are many hurdles to jump before that can happen.

    Right now, Chapman looks like a future closer, especially if you are in the camp that wants him at the big-league level sooner rather than later. He had real trouble pacing himself Wednesday and maintaining steady velocity, and the effort he puts into producing that velocity appears to fluctuate from pitch to pitch. Can he maintain 95-plus mph on the fastball over the course of 100 pitches? Not based on what I saw. He has a difficult delivery to repeat, and his command is going to be a battle for him until he's completely comfortable with his mechanics.
    I suggest everyone go read the entire article.

  15. #14
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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    That article by Frankie Piliere is one of the biggest overreactions I've seen in quite a while. Two months ago Frankie was ready to put Chapman in the Hall of Fame, now, after showing consistent heat in his previous three starts, his velocity dips a little for an inning or two and now all of a sudden Chapman belongs in the bullpen. Wow. Did he not consider the fact that Chapman was pitching in cold and windy weather conditions last night? That's the first time he's pitched in those types of conditions. Piliere loses some credibility with that article, IMO.

    I agree that Chapman needs some more time in the minors, but come on, you really think he's a future reliever now? As Will Carroll noted, he's got two plus pitches and the potential for two more. He's a starter.
    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 04-29-2010 at 02:09 PM.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: My take on Aroldis Chapman tonight

    The reasoning for that scout's assessment was that Chapman hasn't yet developed the stamina to go major innings. It's not that his stuff is short; right now, his strength is. There could be any number of reasons for that.

    1) It was cold in Louisville. When interviewed after the game, Chapman confirmed that was the coldest weather he had ever pitched in. That affects durability a great deal.

    2) Chapman could be going through his dead arm period. Many Red pitchers seemed to hit that lull early in April; perhaps Chapman, because of the time off, hit his with this start?

    3) Speaking of missing time, Chapman hasn't been stretched out and hasn't pitched many innings at all, especially over the past year and a half.

    4) Perhaps Chapman was working on developing a cutter or trying to add more movement to his pitches (a la Leake) and wanted to take a few mph off his fastball to get more movement.

    5) Perhaps the Reds told him to take it easy with his fastball and work on secondary pitches or simply to throw at less than peake performance.

    In other words, while one start may tell us some things, it certainly isn't a harbinger of things to come, nor would it mean he isn't necessarily ready.

    And, for the record, I do think Chapman could learn a few things in AAA.
    The basics of covering the 1B bag.
    Hitting and bunting.
    Holding runners on.
    (More importantly) better arm action on his change-up.
    Better overall control. (Though that is improving.)

    But a bunch of guys learn that stuff at the major league level. He's not going to set the world on fire, more than likely, at the major league level, but, if called up today, he'd be serviceable, if only because he has HOF talent in his left arm that cannot be taught.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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