Last year Aroldis Chapman caused quite a stir with his ridiculous velocity readings once he made his Major League debut. This season, the lefty reliever is still lighting up the gun, but he has struggled with location. That has prompted discussion that the Cincinnati Reds might want to send their prized young arm to the minors to refine his craft a bit. Apparently, that won’t be happening.
In his past two outings Chapman has failed to retire a batter, and has given up eight walks and six runs over the past three games. Despite that, Reds manager Dusty Baker claims he doesn’t want to send the 23-year-old Cuban defector down.
Chapman has made 15 appearances this season, the same number he made last year. He currently has a 4.26 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. He has walked 16 batters in just 12.2 innings, while striking out 15. He has also hit two batters.
Those numbers are atrocious. It doesn’t matter how hard you throw the ball if you can’t get it over the plate.
It’s true that Chapman might just be going through a rough patch, but all season he hasn’t been the same guy he was last year. His velocity was down considerably in early April, and now his control has deserted him. It could be that he was rushed up to the majors last year and he needs to gain more consistency in his delivery and release point.