Tag: Aroldis Chapman

Chapman Is Wild But Beats Tribe


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.


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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