Strasburg, Chapman deliver in openers

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UPDATE: Strasburg allowed four runs — one earned — over five innings and tallied eight strikeouts against two walks.  According to the AP he was clocked consistently in the 97-98 MPH range. 

Chapman tossed 4 2/3 innings down in Louisville, fanning nine batters and allowing one earned run on five hits.  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay says four of those hits were infield singles.  Not a bad start for both.

12:53pm: Baseball fans, listen up.  Young pitching prospects Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman are scheduled to make their 2010 minor league debuts this afternoon and MLB.com will be streaming both appearances.  For Free.

The pitchers are both scheduled to take the mound at 2 PM ET.  Strasburg will be dealing for the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, while Chapman will be handling his business for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats.

Strasburg, 21, signed a $15.1 million contract last year after being selected No. 1 overall in baseball’s first-year player draft.  Chapman signed a $25 million free agent contract this offseason.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.