The fantasy baseball much anticipated debut of Stephen Strasburg is now just a few days away. And, once Strasburg makes his debut for the Nationals, the attention will then turn to Cuban exile Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds.
“We don’t have a need right now,” said Reds general manager Walt Jocketty. ”We are happy with the progress that he’s making. The more experience he gets, the better.”
Aroldis Chapman, who plays for the Louisville Bats, the Reds’ Class Triple-A affiliate, has a 100 MPH fastball, a slider, and a changeup. Chapman, who will earn $30.25 million over the next six years, also has a license plate on his luxury automobile that says “MPH 102.”
While he’s hit triple figures on the radar gun, he’s also been wild. ”His fastball is fine,” said Jocketty. ”He needs better command of his other pitches.”
Chapman’s numbers at Louisville have been good, but not Strasburgian. Chapman is 5-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 10 starts. He had his best outing of the season on Tuesday against Columbus. The 22-year-old pitched a season-high seven innings on Tuesday. He allowed two earned runs and four hits with three walks and five strikeouts while throwing 88 pitches.
The Reds have been inconsistent out of the bullpen and 40-year-old lefty Arthur Rhodes has been used a lot. Still, there remains no plan to call up Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman from Triple-A Louisville and use him from the bullpen. Jocketty seems opposed to the idea. ”We haven’t discussed that at all,” Jocketty said on Wednesday. “I don’t know if that’s the best way to use him.”
If you have room on your fantasy baseball bench, add Chapman. We still think Chapman will be up in August or sooner if the Reds have an injury that may force his activation. If you play in a keeper league, he’s worth adding to your roster for next year if you are already out of it this year.