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Aroldis Chapman hit 101 mph in his first rehab game

May 2, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

Cleveland Indians v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Cleared to return to game action six weeks after suffering facial fractures from a line drive to the head, Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman made a minor-league rehab appearance yesterday at Single-A.

And he was clocked at 101 miles per hour on multiple pitches.

Chapman struck out two of the three (completely overmatched) hitters he faced in a 1-2-3 inning and afterward told Andy Call of that he felt “normal … like I have always been, the way I felt before the accident. There is no fear, no hesitation with me.”

He was throwing so hard that the Single-A ballpark’s scoreboard wasn’t prepared for it:

The fastest pitches actually read “01” because the scoreboard display contains only two digits. A Dayton team spokesman said no pitcher had ever reached triple digits at Fifth Third Field.

There’s no official timetable set for his return, but Chapman said that “two or three more [appearances in the minors is exactly what I need.”

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  1. ereed1286 - May 2, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    that calls for a somersault

    • jm91rs - May 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      I forgot about that. I now have another player for my “doesn’t respect the game team”.

  2. tyler200829 - May 2, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Chapman is one of the few flashy players that does respect the game. A somersault doesn’t define your character, and you’re ignorant for stating that it does

    • sandwiches4ever - May 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      So what does, O wise judge of character?

      • sportsfan18 - May 2, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        admitting when one is wrong is one large component of character…

    • jm91rs - May 2, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      A somersault after a save is better than watching a long ball for a few seconds too long? We’ve seen hundreds (thousands?) of guys watch their long balls, and I can’t think of any other pitchers doing somersaults. I’ll agree that it does not define your character. Personally I want both of those guys doing whatever the hell they feel like because the sport needs to lighten up. My point is that my “doesn’t play the game the right way” team is going to wipe the floor with Brian McCann’s “baseball police ” team.

  3. asimonetti88 - May 2, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    This is great news. Not a Reds fan, but this guy needs to get back on the field. He is such a joy to watch.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Is he going to wear one of those helmets like Infante or Heyward last year? I think a Phantom of the Opera mask would be awesome. They could play cool organ music when he enters the game.

  5. whodeylifer - May 2, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    If he could develop his other pitches he would be a beast. If he keeps relying on the heater his arm isn’t going to last very long. I only see him as a closer @ his current status.
    He and Cueto are the biggest question marks as far as pitching goes for me. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like Cueto pitches better out of the stretch with a runner on, than out of the windup with no one on.

    Seems to me Broxton should have been the starting closer for 2014 and Cueto traded for a LF and maybe a pitching/SS/2B prospect.

    imo anyways

    • roundballsquarebox24 - May 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Dude, Johnny Cueto is the best thing on the Reds right now. Pitching-wise, at least. Maybe Alfredo Simon can stand next to him on that rotation. 50 K’s with a 1.15 ERA and a .136 opponent average!? He leads MLB in several pitching stats at the moment. Trade for a LF!? I’ll take him on my team any day!

  6. whodeylifer - May 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    wasn’t saying Cueto isn’t a quality pitcher. Just with his history of injuries he’s a ? And i was saying i noticed that he pitches better out of the stretch vs windup.
    Chapman like i said before he would be one of the top 20 pitchers in the league if he could develop his other pitches. Do i think he could put up 200+ innings a year? That’s the big question that remains to be seen.
    If he does and continues to develop and progress then great :)

    I’ll be happy when Latos, DMez, Hamilton, and Cingrani get back.

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