Last edited by sabometrics; 06-29-2010 at 01:34 AM.
"He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."
J.J. Cooper of Baseball America was in attendance for Chapman's relief appearance a couple nights ago. Here are some of his observations:
"This guy could change the pennant race," a scout said before quickly adding, "if he can throw strikes."
It was worth adding the caveat. The first pitch out of Chapman's hand was a 99 mph strike. He got to 1-2 on Dioner Navarro with an sharp 89 mph slider that would freeze just about any hitter, but then he humped up and overthrew a 103 mph fastball that hit Navarro. That ended up being a snapshot of what Chapman did on Tuesday–he showed lots of velocity and sometimes unhittable stuff, but he also was very prone to losing a pitch every now and then, with painful and sometimes scary results.http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/...9221#more-9221"There are a lot of moving parts," the scout said in explaining why Chapman's control seems to come and go. The scout added that he liked how the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Chapman's delivery from the stretch does a good job of hiding the ball–something that's not easy to do with the lanky body and long arms that help explain Chapman's unrivaled velocity.
The first quote in the bottom paragraph is one of the biggest reasons I'm so excited about Chapman. Tweaking his mechanics in order to sharpen up his control is fixable. I'm not an expert on mechanics or anything but it seems like most young pitchers struggle with their mechanics early in their career. I have faith that Bryan Price and the Reds will correct that issue.
I miss Adam Dunn.
The guy should be in the major leagues as a starter or not at all at this point. This move irritates me to no end. We're basically saying, "The hell with his development as a starter. Bring him up, let him throw one pitch, and we'll worry about the other stuff later." So stupid.
That's not what they are saying at all. And there is a long and proud history of starters working into the major leagues out of the bullpen. You have to know that.
Good to great starters of recent vintage who put in bullpen time include Johan Santana, Phil Hughes.
In the Reds own past? Check out Mario Soto's development before he became one of the best starters in baseball. Jose Rijo too.
I guess I don't understand the teeth gnashing over letting Chapman work into major league baseball in the pen.
I don't see how anyone can think this is going to do anything but hurt Chapman's development as a starter. And for what? Do we really think that Dusty's going to give him the ball in a one-run game and say, "Alright, work on your stuff." No, they're going to use him to blow people away for an inning or two. The change up will go away. The slider will be used very sparingly.
Like I said, I hope it works on all fronts. I just would have preferred to leave Chapman in Louisville for the entire year if need be and have him ready to start in 2011. I'm not sure he's going to be effective enough as a reliever for us to make this move worth it.
That's how the above pitchers I listed were "groomed to start".
In the pen.
You may not get that, but this is not a new thing.
I'll concede those other guys, but lets also realize that Soto and Rijo had made way more starts at the AA and AAA level before they went to the majors than Chapman will have. I would argue they were actually groomed to start through that process. And Santana, after pitching with Minnesota for two years out of the pen, was sent back to the minors at the beginning of 2002 to work as a starter. I guess he needed more grooming to make the transition.
Chapman's not ready.
Last edited by RedsFanInBama; 07-02-2010 at 01:33 PM.
Rays: David Price. 2008.