Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chapman's day: Blistering and blistering?

Welcome to the latest edition of Chapmania. Cuban rookie pitcher Aroldis Chapman took the mound as a starter for the first time as a Reds player. The game was played at Goodyear Ballpark at 1:00 pm MT against the Milwaukee Brewers.

I was able to take quite a few close up shots and videos of Chapman as he moved through his pre-game routine and three innings of work. I also took some pictures of the trainers attending to something that might have been a blister that Chapman reported to the training staff during his workout. I haven't seen that reported anywhere, yet.

Pre-game Stretching and Long Toss

Chapman begins his pre-game warm up doing a series of strange stretches using the bullpen fence.

Then he moves to a traditional long toss session with game catcher Ramon Hernandez.

Here, he finishes his long toss with Edinson Volquez looking on.

Chapman's Bullpen Session

Chapman then moved to the bullpen, where he prepared the rubber and threw a couple dozen pitches. These photos are from Chapman's bullpen session.

These videos are of a couple of Chapman's bullpen pitches.

A Blistering Finger?

About mid-way through the bullpen session, Chapman alerted his coaches to a potential issue with one of his fingers.

In a few minutes the Reds' trainers came over and looked at it. The guy standing next to me, who had a really close view, said it looked like a small blister.

Apparently the trainers didn't consider it to be anything serious as they didn't give Chapman any treatment and soon the pitcher returned to his bullpen session, showing no adverse effects.

At the end of Chapman's bullpen session he threw a couple pitches with his fingers split apart and a fastball action. Here is a close up of that grip.

UPDATE: Apparently this splitter came as a surprise to the Reds today, according to John Fay.

Chapman's Three In-Game Innings

Chapman took the mound vs. the Brewers. Apparently Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks didn't get the memo on Chapman. The Brewer leadoff hitter greeted the Cuban lefty with a homer deep out of the park in left-centerfield.

After Weeks' homer, Chapman settled down and dominated the Brewers for the rest of his three innings, recording five strikeouts, including one of Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun.

For an extensive account of Chapman's day, including quotes from Dusty Baker, read Mark Sheldon at

A Blistering Fastball

I'm confident the radar guns showed Chapman reached 100 mph. How do I know this?

Because Jeff Brantley told me so. Brantley, my favorite Reds broadcaster and former major league closer, was sitting with the scouts who were using the radar guns. At the end of the second inning, I noticed as Brantley got someone's attention in the dugout and signaled/mouthed "one-zero-zero" and then, holding up three fingers, mouthed "three times." Again, this was after the second of Chapman's three innings.

Here Chapman leaves the field after his outing, preparing to be greeted by Mike Leake, the other Reds pitcher who has been the subject of spring training mania (at least on this blog).

The Reds play a second game tonight. I'll post my non-Chapman thoughts about both games after the night game is over. In my opinion, Chapman looked great today.

1 comment:

  1. I particularly like Brantley's green Lacoste on St. Paddy's day. Now, if only the Reds get a lead off hitter, I think they will be in biz... And I really truly hope they are (FFPO--for fantasy purposes only).