Tag Archives: Aroldis Chapman

Week in Review – August 30 – September 5


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (83-53) vs. Minnesota Twins (80-57)
Texas Rangers (75-61) vs. New York Yankees (86-51)

Philadelphia Phillies (78-59) vs. Cincinnati Reds (79-57)
San Diego Padres (76-59) vs. Atlanta Braves (79-58)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Josh Hamilton (TEX) .361
Runs – Mark Teixeira (NYY) 100
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) 43
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) 110
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) 54

Wins –  C.C. Sabathia (NYY) 19
Saves – Rafael Soriano (TAM) 41
ERA – Clay Buchholz (BOS) and Mat Latos (SD) 2.25
Strikeouts – Felix Hernandez 209
WHIP – Mat Latos (SD) 0.98

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Jason Motte, Ian Stewart, Ricky Nolasco

Return from the Disabled List:  Nelson Cruz, Aaron Harang, Josh Fields, Ian Kinsler, Lance Berkman, Matt Lindstrom, Edgar Renteria, Jeff Suppan, Eric Patterson, Troy Glaus, Matt Thornton, Rafael Furcal, Luke Hochevar, Alex Rodriguez,

To the Minors: Chris Sampson

Called Up: Kenshin Kawakami, Mike Minor, Mike McCoy, Ramon Troncoso, Aroldis Chapman, Freddie Freeman, Desmond Jennings, Nolan Reimold, Wilson Ramos, Jeremy Hellickson, Yonder Alonso, Tyler Flowers, Carlos Carrasco, Brandon Allen, Mat Gamel, Jeremy Jeffress, Danny Espinosa, Rocco Baldelli, Mike Hampton, Matt Fox, Chris Tillman, Ben Revere

Other Roster Moves:

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • The September 1st roster expansion happened this week, and there was no shortage of top prospects called up. I don’t think that a lot of them are going to get a lot of playing time though, and Danny Espinosa seems like he could be one of the more interesting ones.
  • The Padres are in full fledged collapse mode, having lost their last 10 and now only up 1.5 games on San Francisco. They need to win one and they need to do it soon to break out of this funk.
  • Nyjer Morgan apparently melted down again this week, inciting a brawl after being thrown at in a game. That fun, in addition to getting clocked WWE-style during the fight, also led to an 8-game suspension for him. I don’t know what’s going on with him, but clearly something’s not right in Washington for him.
  • Jim Thome passed Mark McGwire on the Career homerun leaderboard with 2 homeruns on Saturday, and now has 584 on his career. To me, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get into the Hall of Fame.
  • It came out late in the week that Colby Rasmus requested a trade back in July from the Cardinals, most likely stemming from arguments with manager Tony LaRussa. Well, I imagine that one of them won’t be in St. Louis come next April.
  • Aroldis Chapman and his 100+ mph fastball made their debuts on Monday, and the heat appears real. He almost reminds me of Joel Zumaya a bit just because of how often he is over 101 mph on the gun. The Reds are using him in middle relief this season, and I think that long term his role may be as a closer.
  • Interesting read from Miscellaneous Baseball about a pitching duel between two icons of the Dead-Ball era, Walter Johnson and Smokey Joe Wood.
  • Satchel Price of Beyond the Box Score had an interesting post about the historic season that Carlos Gonzalez is having. I knew he was having a great year, but that’s a bit ridiculous.
  • Baseball Past and Present responded to a post by Seamheads with his own top 9 starting lineup of non-Hall of Famers.

Upcoming Posts The Next 2 Weeks:

Tuesday and Thursday: I’ll be continuing on with the Original Draft Series, posting team #6 and #5

Saturday:  I’ll be continuing my trade retro series on the Firesale Marlins of 1998.

Note that there will be no Week in Review post next week as I’ll be traveling and unable to finish the post.

Tuesday and Thursday: Original Draft Series #4 and #3

Saturday: Part 3 of the trade retro series on the Firesale Marlins.

One Other Thing

Lastly, I wanted to bring up a charity that the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has taken up. Here’s the official word, and what you can do:

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ campaign.  Now we need your
help!

‘Go To Bat’ was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  ’Go To Bat’ gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here’s how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC GOOD as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For
Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the ‘Go To Bat’ online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For
Baseball’s chance at financial support

Thanks to all the readers who help out with this. You can find a lot more information about Pitch In For Baseball at their website

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The Week in Review: April 4-April 11


Well, we are one week down in the Major League season, and already we’ve seen quite a bit of things happen of importance.

If the Playoffs Started Today (which clearly they don’t)

Minnesota (WC) at Toronto (E)
Oakland (W) at Detroit (C)

Arizona (WC) at Philadelphia (E)
St. Louis (C) at San Francisco (W)

Last Week’s Top Performers

Miguel Cabrera (DET) – .522/.621/.783, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R
Nelson Cruz (TEX) – .450/.520/1.150, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R
Paul Konerko (CHW) – .316/.440/.789, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R
Vernon Wells (TOR) – .350/.500/.950, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R
Rajai Davis (OAK) – .313/.333/.438, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R, 4 SB

Roy Halladay (PHI) – 2 W, 16 IP, 0.56 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 17 K, 2 BB
Mark Buehrle (CHW) – 2 W, 15 IP, 2.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 4 K, 3 BB
Tim Lincecum (SF) – 2 W, 14 IP, 1.29 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 17 K, 1 BB
Jon Rauch (MIN) – 4/4 saves, 4 K, 4 IP

Roster Movement and Job Changes

  • Frank Francisco has already been removed as the closer for the Rangers, and replaced with Neftali Feliz.
  • Mike Gonzalez has been removed as the closer for the Orioles, but is likely to get his job back later this week. Jim Johnson appears to be the favorite to receive any save chances that may occur until then.
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia was placed on the disabled list, and was replaced in the lineup by Taylor Teagarden.
  • Miguel Montero was also placed on the disabled list with a torn meniscus, and could be out for a large portion of the season. Chris Snyder was called on to replace him in the lineup.

Top Rookie Performances

  • Jason Heyward made his presence known on Opening Day, homering on the first swing of his career off of Cubs’ pitcher Carlos Zambrano. His line for the week: .292/.370/.708, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R
  • Mike Leake made his professional debut on Sunday, throwing 6 2/3 IP and allowing only 1 ER.

Overall, it was an interesting week of baseball, and clearly big things are coming from rookie Jason Heyward. I would be shocked if he doesn’t end up winning the Rookie of the Year award. Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman also both made their professional debuts on Sunday (Strasburg in AA, Chapman in AAA), and both pitched very well.

The one thing I am really looking forward to seeing today is the first game at the new Target Field. The place looks like it’s a really beautiful ball park, and it sounds like the weather is going to cooperate for the home opener.

Team Preview – Cincinnati Reds


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Ramon Hernandez SP 1 Aaron Harang
1B Joey Votto SP 2 Bronson Arroyo
2B Brandon Phillips SP 3 Johnny Cueto
3B Scott Rolen SP 4 Homer Bailey
SS Orlando Cabrera SP 5 Matt Maloney
LF Chris Dickerson Bullpen
CF Drew Stubbs CL Francisco Cordero
RF Jay Bruce RP Nick Masset
Bench RP Arthur Rhodes
IF Aaron Miles RP Jared Burton
OF Jonny Gomes RP Micah Owings

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP Aroldis Chapman Free Agency CF Willy Taveras Trade (OAK)
SS Orlando Cabrera Free Agency IF Adam Rosales Trade (OAK)

Top Prospects: Aroldis Chapman (P), Yonder Alonso (1B), Todd Frazier (IF), Mike Leake (P)

2009 Review

The Reds finished up 2009 with a 78-84 record, and although the season didn’t end with a winning record, they still had some definite bright spots. 1B Joey Votto posted a .322 batting average with 25 HR and 84 RBI, despite missing almost 30 games due to depression. 2B Brandon Phillips quietly posted another 20-20 season. The rotation was led by Bronson Arroyo (15-13, 3.84 ERA), although there was a lot of inconsistency behind him. Closer Francisco Cordero (39 sv, 2.16 ERA) also had a solid season.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Reds look much improved (even though they didn’t really make too many moves), and I think have the potential to compete in the NL Central in 2010. Their rotation looks good, and I think it could keep them in the race longer if they can get a little bit lucky as well. For this to happen, they need Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey to really start to live up to their potential. I liked the signing of Orlando Cabrera to bring some veteran presence to a team that is still very young. The biggest signing in the offseason has to be Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. Chapman has looked lights out so far in Spring Training,  although it was thought at the time of the signing that he wouldn’t start the season higher than AA. But with his performance, he may force his way into the rotation at the start of the season. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips should continue to lead the offense, and I think that OF Jay Bruce could really start to show more of the promise he had coming into the league.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

I think Joey Votto is primed for a big season, and think he could easily post a top-10 season at 1B. 2B Brandon Phillips is one of the quietest top fantasy performers in all of baseball, usually in the top 5 of the position. Nearly all of the starting pitchers in the rotation are ownable for deeper leagues, but in standard leagues I would say that they are all right around replacement level. If I had to pick one for upside, it would be Bailey. Aroldis Chapman probably has the most upside of anyone on the team, and is definitely worth monitoring as Spring Training continues.

Prediction for 2010

The Reds are steadily improving, and will hopefully take another step forward this season. I don’t think that they are quite ready though to take on the Cubs and Cardinals. But it won’t be long.

80-82, 4th in the NL Central

Free Agency Review – Starting Pitchers


As expected, the free agent class of starting pitchers was pretty deep this offseason, although there were very few solid options.

All salary data from ESPN.com’s Free Agent Tracker
All 2011 free agent information from MLB Trade Rumors’ 2011 Free Agent List

LH Starting Pitchers
Name Old New Years Total $
Randy Wolf LAD MIL 3 $29.75 M
Andy Pettitte NYY NYY 1 $11.75 M
Erik Bedard SEA SEA 1 $1.5 M
Aroldis Chapman CIN 6 $30.25 M
Doug Davis ARI MIL 1 $5.25 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: Jarrod Washburn (DET)


Of all the lefties, Randy Wolf probably did the best in terms of capitalizing on a good season. Milwaukee got a very good veteran starting pitcher for a reasonable price. Bedard signed an incentive-laden deal which could be worth up to $8.5 M total, and if he earns them all, the Mariners will be extremely happy with the results as well. The most unusual signing in my opinion was the Chapman signing. The Reds, not known for spending a lot of money necessarily, sign a pitcher who will be under contract for 6 seasons, and be paying him for as much as 10 perhaps, and will hopefully not be starting his career in the Major leagues.

RH Starting Pitchers
Name Old New Years Total $
Rich Harden CHC TEX 1 $7.5 M
John Lackey LAA BOS 5 $82.5 M
Brad Penny SF STL 1 $7.5 M
Joel Pineiro STL LAA 2 $16 M
Justin Duchscherer OAK OAK 1 $2 M
Ben Sheets OAK 1 $10 M
Jon Garland LAD SD 1 $5.3 M
Colby Lewis JPN TEX 2 $5 M
Jason Marquis COL WAS 2 $15 M
Vicente Padilla LAD LAD 1 $5.025 M
Carl Pavano MIN MIN 1 $7 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: Braden Looper (MIL), Todd Wellemeyer (STL), John Smoltz (STL), Pedro Martinez (PHI)

Lackey was the big name on the market this offseason, and got the big contract that went along with it. I was a bit surprised at the time about this since I didn’t really think that the Red Sox were in the market for a starting pitcher. However, it looks now like he will be the replacement for Josh Beckett should he leave via free agency after 2010. The Angels did well to replace Lackey with Pineiro. Pineiro, while not the same quality pitcher as Lackey, will provide more stability to the rotation being led now by Jered Weaver and Scott Kazmir. Free agency was also littered with high-risk, high-reward types like Harden, Sheets, and Duchscherer. The most interesting signing for a right hander to me is the Rangers’ signing of Colby Lewis. Lewis is returning from 2 seasons in Japan where he was very dominant, and should be interesting to watch this season.

Tomorrow: Free agency review of relief pitchers