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  #1  
Old Jan 11th 2010, 8:03 am
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Aroldis Chapman A Red? Wow!

Not the Yankees, not Boston, not The Angels, Mets or any other big name possibility. Out of nowhere the Reds have apparently swooped in and signed the Chapman the Cuban defector/free agent lefty with the 100 MPH fastball.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4813486

" ...
Yahoo! Sports reported that Chapman agreed to a deal on Sunday morning. Other outlets reported the deal as well. The Reds called a news conference for noon on Monday.
Chapman's representatives said Sunday afternoon that the deal is not done and would not confirm the team but did say the Reds are "possible." ... "


ESPN.com's Keith Law wrote the following about Chapman, who was No. 5 on his list of the top free agents of the offseason:
Chapman is the wild card of the free-agent market, as his track record is largely unknown, he has barely thrown for clubs since defecting and he is represented by agents who haven't handled a free agent of this magnitude before. When Chapman is on, he'll show No. 1 starter stuff, with a fastball in the mid-90s (and yes, as high as 101 mph) with good tail and a mid-80s slider that will show plus with legitimate tilt, although the latter pitch isn't consistent. He does have a soft changeup, but he lacks feel for it and pushes it out of his hand rather than selling it with good arm speed. His command isn't good, and he's more thrower than pitcher, with a very loose arm that makes the velocity come out easily. Since defecting, he has worked on his body, and scouts who've seen him recently say he's stronger and in better overall shape. He might be a No. 1 starter; he might be an ace closer; he might be a mountain of frustration. Is that worth $60 million? Or the fourth- or fifth-biggest contract of the offseason? Not to me, but he's worth some eight-figure amount because of the almost limitless upside. Law's complete story ... " ( for ESPN Insiders).
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  #2  
Old Jan 11th 2010, 9:46 am
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I would have love for the Cubs to be in on this action, especially with the success they've had with Marmol, Wells, and Blake Parker.
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  #3  
Old Feb 19th 2010, 4:54 pm
gottalovethesongs gottalovethesongs is offline
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Interesting.
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  #4  
Old Feb 19th 2010, 7:34 pm
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Read something earlier today that Chapman is exceeding expectations for the Reds.

Bummer.

They are putting together a very fine starting staff.
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  #5  
Old Feb 21st 2010, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by SkullKey View Post
Read something earlier today that Chapman is exceeding expectations for the Reds.

Bummer.

They are putting together a very fine starting staff.
The Reds are always are a trendy darkhorse pick.

do you know what Votto and Bruce are projected to put up this year??
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  #6  
Old Feb 25th 2010, 2:27 am
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We shall see if "Our Old pal Dusty" uses or abuses Chapman. Yes I wish the Cubs could have been in the bidding for his services but their payroll is high enough. Too many long term contracts that are back loaded. I would imagine it would be tough for the new ownership to even give a second tought of spending even more money.
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  #7  
Old Feb 25th 2010, 8:49 am
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I'm beginning to think the Cubs might have to really fight for 2nd place. The early news on Chapman is nothing but positive.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ym...=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Having a Reds pitcher - and a merely 21 years old one at that - compared to Randy Johnson is not what I want to hear:

" .....

02/24/10 6:15 PM EST
Chapman wows hitters in live session

Reds lefty impressive with fastball, secondary stuff

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Five Reds hitters that already had their hands full trying to face pitching on their second day of camp were given an extra, unenviable challenge Wednesday.

On one of the practice fields, they got to step into the batters' box against Aroldis Chapman during his first experience with live batting practice. The Cuban left-hander definitely had them guessing during his 32-pitch session.

"It was terrific. He was in the zone with all three of his pitches," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said. "I thought he was sharper against hitters than he was in the bullpen."

For all of the hype about Chapman's 100-mph fastball coming into camp, it was his slider and changeup that drew the most raves Wednesday.

On his third pitch of the day, Chapman threw a changeup away to infielder Chris Burke, and people standing around the cage were heard saying, "Oooh."

"That's a nice little repertoire. Somebody should sign this kid," Burke joked after leaving the cage. .......

"I haven't thrown to a hitter in about eight months. I felt really good," Chapman said through interpreter and Class A pitching coach Tony Fossas. "I threw the ball very efficiently. I thought I had control and command of my pitches." .......

"His slider was 85-88 mph and breaking a lot. It was pretty nice," Castillo said. "His fastball? Oh my God, it was 98-99 mph and strikes, down and in." .......

Chapman, who signed a six-year, $30.25 million contract in January, is competing with several pitchers for the fifth spot in the Reds' rotation. .......
The knock on Chapman in various scouting reports had been a lack of command and a lack of quality pitches besides his fastball.

"I never really had a slider or changeup," said Chapman, who will throw live BP again Saturday. "The changeup is the pitch that wasn't efficient and I didn't throw much. Since I got here, I've been working really hard on it, and those are pitches I will be able to use."

There are many ex-pitchers that washed out of the Majors because they only had 98-mph fastballs. Big league hitters can eventually catch up to those. If Chapman can command three pitches, his chance of making the team out of camp increases greatly.

"It's when you get a combination of a guy that's a hard thrower that can command a finesse pitch like a changeup and has a power breaking ball [that you have a difference-maker]," Price said. "That puts you at a big disadvantage when he's got three choices, even when he's behind in the count. Today, he could have pitched with any of those pitches behind in the count."

Through three bullpen sessions and one time vs. hitters, there have been no complaints about Chapman being unable to locate the strike zone. On Wednesday, he was adept at following a fastball inside with a changeup away.

"If he can command the ball down in the zone like he did today, the sky's the limit for him potentially," Burke said. "Obviously, it's dominating stuff. If he's going to keep the ball down like that and get ahead in counts, what can you really do? As a hitter, you have to be ready to hit the fastball. It's going to give him so much leeway with the slider and changeup."

Burke made the common comparison between Chapman and Randy Johnson, who could also reach the high 90s and intimidate hitters with nasty stuff inside. Burke played with Johnson on the D-backs.

"When Randy could really command his fastball, what could you really do? You just hoped you ran into one," Burke said. "[Chapman's] slider to me was comparable. It was sharp and came out of the same arm slot. If he can get it in like that, as a right-handed hitter, the best you can do is hope to hit a ground ball hopefully through the left side.

"I've been playing long enough to know a special guy. You don't need a radar gun to see when the ball is getting there. The ball was getting there. He's got a little herky-jerky to [his delivery], which is good from a pitching standpoint. It makes us even more uncomfortable." ..... "

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs

Chapman, Johnny Ceuto, Edinson Volquez (if he comes back from Tommy John surgery well), AAron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and even Homer Bailey (who is showing signs of hitting his considerable potential). That's 6 starters of substantial potential or former success! If their hitters come around?
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  #8  
Old Feb 25th 2010, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by JC4CubsWin View Post
We shall see if "Our Old pal Dusty" uses or abuses Chapman. Yes I wish the Cubs could have been in the bidding for his services but their payroll is high enough. Too many long term contracts that are back loaded. I would imagine it would be tough for the new ownership to even give a second tought of spending even more money.
Spending money is what it's going to take to be competitive at least the next three years.
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  #9  
Old Mar 9th 2010, 2:11 pm
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apparently chapman threw 99 yesterday
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