Tag: Aroldis Chapman

Chapman Is Wild But Beats Tribe

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Louisville Bats 7, �Indianapolis Indians 1 (box)

IMG_2634Louisville's touted lefty Aroldis Chapman (photo above and here) won his first game for the Bats tonight, beating the Indians at Victory Field. �Chapman was scheduled to throw 90 - 100 pitches, and he ended up with 95 (54 for strikes), going 5.1 innings. �He gave up 3 hits, one unearned run, and 5 walks, while striking out 8 Tribe batters. �Chapman's fastest pitches were clocked at 98 -99 mph on the Victory Field radar gun, and he may have even reached 100 mph, depending on the limits of the gun and the scoreboard. �But Chapman was also all over the place, with pitches in the dirt, wildly around the plate, and one that even sailed behind Tribe RF Brandon Moss. In a pre-game interview with Tribe broadcaster Howard Kellman, Louisville manager Rick Sweet admitted that Chapman's command of his pitches still needs work. �"His command is pretty good for a 22-year-old", said Sweet -- but clearly not yet major league level command. �He has a lot of movement on his fastball and has a pitching motion that looks easy and effortless. �Sweet also told Kellman that as a pitcher in Cuba, Chapman did not do much work on fundamentals having to do with anything other than hurling the ball toward the plate. �He has done very little work at fielding the pitcher's position. �Since the designated hitter is used in Cuba, Chapman had never batted as a professional before tonight's game, so he's had little focus on hitting or base running.


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Later, during the game, Kellman interviewed Peter C. Bjarkman, who is intimately familiar with Cuban baseball, both the regular Cuban leagues and the Cuban national team and international play. �Bjarkman has written books about Cuban baseball, and also writes for baseballdecuba.com . �He has seen Chapman pitch many times over the past several years, and he also has concern about his command. �In Cuba, Chapman was first named to the national team at age 19, but he "pitched himself off the team" because of his wildness. �He was again named to the national team for last year's World Baseball Classic, and had two "shaky" outings. �Bjarkman reported that the Cuban baseball management felt that Chapman had not been improving over his four professional seasons. �They were not sure whether it was due to Chapman not listening to instruction as well as he ought to, or lack of personal discipline, or something else. �Bjarkman feels that Chapman gets rattled if things don't go his way, and in those kinds of situations, he loses focus and concentration, and then gets into more trouble. �He likes to try to overpower every batter he faces, and that is not always the best way to pitch.

So, what happened when he faced the Indians?

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