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.
Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.
Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.
Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.
A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.
The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:
- Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
- Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
- Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
- Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.
As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.
The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.
La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.