The Cuban Missile is coming to Cincinnati and there is no crisis to speak of.
Well, other than perhaps for opposing batters.
Aroldis Chapman, the Reds’ 22-year-old sensation from Cuba, will finally be called up to the big club on Tuesday and is expected to give immediate help to the bullpen.
The 6-foot-4 lefty racked up 125 strikeouts in 95.2 innings in AAA Louisville this year. He began the year as a starter (13 starts) but moved to the bullpen in June and has been there ever since (26 relief appearances).
Overall at Louisville, Chapman finished 9-6 with a 3.57 ERA. He gave up just 77 hits (.218 opponent batting average) but walked an alarming 52 batters. However, again, his eye-popping strikeout numbers help greatly in terms of making up for his wildness.
Chapman has been widely reported to be an extremely rare pitcher that can top out at 103 MPH with his fastball. It’s almost incredible to think about his velocity considering the fact that the list of lefties that could throw over 100 MPH started and ended with Randy Johnson in recent years. However, Chapman really made noise when he hit 105 MPH on the gun on multiple occasions last week.
Now, who wonders if that gun needs a cleaning if you know what I mean, but the bottom line is that Chapman is a 22-year-old flamethrower who more than held his own at the triple-A level and it’s going to be fun to see what he can do during this pennant race.
And did I mention the Reds are 6 games up on the hated Cardinals with just 31 games remaining? Oh, I did in the below post which was just published a few minutes ago? Just wanted to make sure that point was getting across.
That’s 6 games up with 31 games left in case you weren’t keeping track. Six games up! And my heartfelt thanks to Tony LaRussa and crew for not just going into a slump, but for doing it against a collection of some of the worst teams in baseball like the Pirates, Nationals and tonight the Astros. Quality stuff gentlemen.
And St. Louis will undoubtedly get a chance to see Mr. Chapman this weekend. Ah, this is getting better by the moment.