The Reds’ phenom may not face another team until Monday, but he pitched in his first game yesterday. An intrasquad affair. Word is that he looked good. This stood out the most:
Chapman escaped the jam when he fired a 97-mph heater to strike out
Ryan Hanigan swinging. Next batter Wilkin Castillo saw a couple of
fastballs, broke his bat when he fouled off an 85-mph slider and swung
and missed on a perfectly thrown 82 mph changeup.
“I had no chance,” Castillo said of the final pitch. “He threw hard and was sneaky, too.”
All of the press on Chapman has been about his fastball, with some talk of a nascent changeup. Speed doesn’t last all that long — even guys like Lincecum lose a few m.p.h. relatively early in their careers — but if Chapman can really master his change he’s going to be terrifying.
Can’t wait to see the guy pitch in person.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.