Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Cuban Missile takes off

Rachel and I went to Toledo yesterday to see Aroldis Chapman make his professional debut. Here's a video of his first pitch. We bought our tickets before we knew Mike Leake was also making his debut, but with the Reds. Had we known, we probably would have stuck with the Reds game and skippped the 6 hours in the car. But we did have a good time. Chapman looked very smooth in his warm-ups, although he has a bit of an odd start to his wind-up. A video of his warm-ups is at that bottom of this post.

Chapman ended up going only 4 2/3 innings. I suspect he was on a strict pitch count because he came out after 85 pitches, one out from a victory. He was let down a bit by the defense and could have easily been out of the fifth but for on error in the infield. (An aside on minor league baseball. When the error was made we saw Homer Simpson say d'oh about 40 times on the replay board, but were never told whether the first baseman or third baseman got the error. And I still don't know the first name of the Mud Hens' stating pitcher.)

Chapman consistently hit 99 on the radar gun in the first inning. We deduced the gun didn't go to 100, but were proven wrong (thank goodness; that's a long drive to see "100" on the gun and have the gun not go that high) on the last pitch of the first inning. A 101 mph fastball to strike out the Mud Hens' number three hitter. Chapman gave up three hits (none cheap) in the third, but worked his way out of the jam. He stuck out 9 and didn't walk anyone. He did give up the one unearned run, and did not factor in the decision.

Zach Cozart looked good, too, with three doubles. He batted second and played short. He'll be the Reds' shortstop in 2011 if he keeps it up.

One more note. The Reds' best hitting prospect is Todd Frazier. But he doesn't have a clear position. He was in the line-up (clean-up) on Sunday, but was the DH. What's the point of that? He should be playing somewhere in the field.

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