The Reds squad is split today. Mike Leake is starting at a home game in Goodyear vs. the Diamondbacks. Aroldis Chapman takes the mound in Scottsdale against the Colorado Rockies. Chapman is scheduled to pitch two innings. Here’s the lineup behind him, courtesy of Mark Sheldon:
Also pitching for the Reds are J.J. Hoover, Manny Parra and Logan Ondrusek, setting up an interesting early comparison between candidates for the scarce bullpen slots.
For those in the listening area, the game is being broadcast on AM-1360 WSAI Cincinnati.
UPDATE: Chapman pitched two perfect innings. John Fay just reported that Chapman threw mostly off-speed pitches.
Chapman threw mostly off speed stuff. Three pitches registered below 80 on stadium scoreboard. His top fastball was only 94.
Fay also has some quotes from Bryan Price about how they will handle Chapman’s innings limits:
“We have our history with Mike Leake and what we did with him to try to prevent him from getting too much too soon that first year,” pitching coach Bryan Price said. “We have the experience that some of the other teams have used with starters in regards to work load — either guys coming off injury or out of the bullpen. We have the (Stephen) Strasberg too-much, too-soon situation.
“I think the thing that I want to avoid — we can answer questions all year — but you find yourself in a corner when you sit there and say: ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ Then you realize that a guy might be capable of doing a little bit more or you may need to shut him down a little earlier.
“What messages do you send if you do either one? He’s hurt or they’re overextending him? I just feel like to myself personally, we have an understanding what we’re going do with him and that’s what we’re going to do. We not going to set ourselves up to be scrutinized by everybody in baseball.”
Interesting stuff. Sounds like they have a plan in mind, but don’t want to describe it in detail publicly. My faith in Price is rock-solid.