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Reds worried about Aroldis Chapman’s diminished velocity, “fatigued” shoulder

Sep 11, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Aroldis Chapman AP

Aroldis Chapman was a mess last night, walking three of the five batters he faced after coming into a tie game in extra innings and being removed mid-inning for the first time all season.

Within that ugly performance he threw 22 pitches and none of them topped 97 miles per hour while many of Chapman’s fastballs were in the low-90s. For a guy who averages 98 miles per hour with his fastball, frequently hits triple-digits, and regularly throws his slider in the low-90s that qualifies as a red flag.

Here’s what manager Dusty Baker said afterward, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:

Yeah, because his velocity was down. He didn’t have any pain. He might be a little tired. We might have to rest him for a while here. He was analyzed by a doctor. The doctor said his shoulder is fatigued. We’ve got to take care of him.

Cincinnati’s big 9.5-game lead in the NL Central provides more than enough cushion to be extremely cautious with Chapman, so hopefully they take advantage. Chapman also blew a save and took a loss Friday, serving up a three-run homer among four total hits, so it seems pretty safe to say that something isn’t right.

  1. stex52 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I would have been worried about him on Friday when the ASTROS came back and won one with him pitching. Talk about your brighter than average warning sign.

  2. metalhead65 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    paging Dr. Andrews. wow a young flame throwing pitcher possibly coming down with arm problems under the watchful eye of dusty. who could of ever seen this coming? maybe it was not such a good idea to stretch him out as a starter this spring then decide to put him back in the pen then make him a closer. or maybe it was I don’t know using him everday this summer when the reds needed a save? but pitchers having arm problems under dusty is just a myth right?

    • paperlions - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Yeah, because young pitchers that regularly hit 98+ never have arm problems unless Baker is their manager….except for…you know…almost every relief pitcher that throws that hard (sooner or later, usually within 5 years of making it to the big leagues).

      Chapman has thrown 67 inning this year, and hasn’t had a 2 inning outing or thrown > 30 pitches in a outing since May (when he was moved to the closer role). That is a perfectly reasonable workload.

      • cur68 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        But Dusty…sorry “dusty” must have put the bad touch on ‘Roldy’s arm. Just like he does to EVERY pitcher he manages EVER!!!!!! Don’t be clouding up the issue with your ‘facts’ and ‘numbers’, ‘lions. The mantra IS and always WILL BE: Dang you dusty baker!!!! Dang you to heck!!!!

  3. ajcardsfan - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    If I’m Dusty, I give him the time off he needs, possibly taking a hit or two in the L column (which looks like it could happen anyway with Chapman’s loss of velocity), and have him rested and good to go for the Post-season

  4. jm91rs - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    If it’s fatigue, simply sit him down for awhile. Same thing happened to him before the All Star break and he came back and rattled off 20 something straight saves. Maybe this is just how he’s going to be, a few bad games followed by 25 great ones. I wouldn’t worry about it unless he comes back in 2 weeks and has the same problems.

  5. cggarb - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Let him sit for a week. Whatever he needs. With Broxton and Marshall (plus Hoover, Arredondo, and LeCure), the Reds are pretty well set.

  6. yahmule - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Few people view Dusty Baker with more disdain than I do, but there’s no way to pin this on him.

  7. onbucky96 - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Dusty Baker, the legend continues…

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