There is no denying the
presence of LHP Aroldis Chapman in Spring Training this season. With a
fastball already peaking at 100mph, an underestimated change-up, an above
average slider, and a split-finger pitch that he kept a secret until just
days ago; Chapman may force himself onto the opening Day roster for the
Cincinnati Reds. Favorites for the fifth spot Matt Maloney and Justin Lehr
have pitched moderately while prospects Mike Leake and Travis wood have
pitched thoroughly, but still need slight development. Aroldis Chapman has
looked flat out nasty. Brewers' Corey Hart said,
"He's funky. Everything he throws moves, nothing's straight."
Chapman strengthened his campaign on Wednesday during the Reds' 5-2 loss
against the Brewers. Pitching the first three innings, the Cuban allowed one
run off one hit and struck out five. So far this spring in three games
Chapman has compiled the numbers of an excellent regular season start (7IP,
4H, 1ER, 10SO, 2BB, 1.29ERA). If Aroldis
Chapman continues his dominance, the Major Leagues will be his destination
after the spring. GM Walt Jocketty may be dropping hints about Chapman's
future and if arbitration will effect his forthcoming: "If
he’s good enough to make the team, no. We look at that with all our players,
but it doesn’t affect the decisions we make."
On Tuesday the Reds' offense was detonative. The Reds beat the Arizona
Diamondbacks 13-7. Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce both went 2-3 with 2RBI while
Paul Janish hit his second home run of the spring.
The Reds cut ten players on Thursday. RHP Enerio Del Rosario, RHP Sam LeCure,
IF Chris Valaika, LHP Pedro Viola, IF Yonder Alonso, RHP Jon Adkins, OF Josh
Anderson, and LHP Bill Bray were all optioned to Louisville. RHP Jordan
Smith, and LHP Philippe Valiquette were both optioned to Carolina.
C Devin Mesoraco and LHP Ben Jukich were both returned to the Reds on
Thursday and optioned to Louisville after being drafted by the St. Louis
Cardinals in the 2009 December MLB Rule 5 Draft.
Homer Bailey allowed two runs on five hits over 3 2/3 innings in Thursday's
6-2 loss to the Indians.