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What missing velocity? Aroldis Chapman hits 102.6 mph after taking four days off

Apr 19, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman had everyone worried last week when his triple-digit fastball dripped all the way into the low-90s, leading even teammates to publicly question his health.

However, after being shut down for four days by the Reds he returned to the mound last night looking like his usual overpowering self against the Pirates, albeit in a mop-up role.

Chapman tossed a scoreless ninth inning in a 9-3 loss and MLB.com’s pitch-fx system tracked his average fastball at 100.3 miles per hour.

Not quite the 104-106 mph range that created so many headlines last season, but he topped out at 102.6 mph and clearly the time off did Chapman’s velocity some good. In fact, the one slider Chapman threw last night registered at 91.5 mph, which isn’t far off from where his fastball was at last week.

  1. BC - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    The kid’s arm is going to explode by July. You read it here first.

    • captaincougar - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:49 PM

      Actually I’ve been reading that since last season. You were really close, though.

  2. dodger88 - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    If a few days off does wonders for his velocity, that indicates he would be better served in the rotation. May be difficult to stretch him out while keeping him on the roster but with his talent he should be used for 180+ innings and not out of the bullpen.

    • captaincougar - Apr 19, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      The concern is that there is more to the jump from the bullpen to the rotation than just taking a little off the fastball. The thing I’ve heard and read over and over again from Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker is that he isn’t repeating his delivery with any level of consistency (note the control issues he’s been having). The reality is he’s still a very raw talent. They’ve got to develop him more before they run him out there every fifth day.

      • sawxalicious - Apr 19, 2011 at 7:41 PM

        I think it would be better to let him develop as a starter with 5-6 innings per appearance…I think he would be more able to develop consistency with his throwing program.

  3. jamie54 - Apr 19, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Well then, I guess if he pitches once every four days, one inning at a time, that’s about 40 innings a year. Great investment that.

  4. wickid77 - Apr 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Chapman actually hit 106 on the radar gun…

    http://atmlb.com/dZvrEB

    • Aaron Gleeman - Apr 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      No, he hit “106” on the ballpark scoreboard display. Not to be trusted, generally.

      • uuddlrlrbastart - Apr 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM

        Especially since the broadcast boxscore said 105. You’d think that and the stadium display would match.

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