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Aroldis Chapman to make first start in AFL on Monday

Oct 26, 2011, 7:54 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

Word is already out that the Reds are planning to convert hard-throwing left-hander Aroldis Chapman from a setup man to a starter this winter. Just under four weeks from the conclusion of the 2011 regular season, that transition is already in full swing.

According to beat writer John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chapman is scheduled to make his first start in the Arizona Fall League on Monday.

The Cuban defector has already made one scoreless relief appearance in the prospect-packed AFL, and will pitch out of the bullpen again on Thursday before gearing up for his first lengthier Monday outing.

Once the Arizona Fall League reaches its conclusion, Chapman will head to the Puerto Rican Winter League to continue building the endurance of his prized left arm. The Reds are hoping he’ll be able to throw five innings — without feeling any kind of abnormal pain or discomfort — by the start of spring training in February.

Chapman, who’s averaged 98.2 mph with his heater since arriving in the majors in 2010, is expected to open the 2012 season in the Reds’ starting rotation. If he can’t pull it off, the “bust” label will be coming.

  1. metalhead65 - Oct 26, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    if he is able to go 5 by spring training you can count on dusty leaving him in to go 6 in his first spring training start and for him to under go tommy john surgery soon after. don’t all young power pitchers go thru that under the toothpick?

  2. contraryguy - Oct 26, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Maybe the Reds can borrow the Fox World Series radar gun… that way Chapman will start out throwing 110 and settle down to about 98 by the 6th inning.

  3. baseballisboring - Oct 27, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    Are they sure they want him to pitch 200 innings? He’s pretty good at pitching 70, too!

  4. foreverchipper10 - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    I thought this meant Arena Football League……sigh.

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