Aroldis Chapman remains a work in progress

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Thumbnail image for Aroldis Chapman.jpgAroldis Chapman started for Louisville last night and via this scouting report from FanHouse’s Frankie Piliere, he still has some work to do before he’s going to make it to the bigs.

Two issues, really. The first was his velocity. While it took Chapman a while to get up to full speed on a cold night, he eventually did hit the high 90s by the middle innings and even reached 100 twice.  But then he fell off pretty rapidly, leading Piliere to conclude that “it could be that Chapman was trying to pace himself, but didn’t quite
know how.”

But the bigger problem may have been his command. Piliere says that none of Chapman’s secondary pitches were working for him last night, allowing hitters to sit dead-red. Which they did, and which Chapman threw over the heart of the plate too often, leading to two homers allowed.

The overall line wasn’t bad — 6IP, 5H, 3ER, 2BB, 4Ks — but to at least one scout’s eyes, it was not a ready for prime time performance.  You have to figure that the Reds — who have an incentive to keep Willis Chapman down on the farm a while anyway — probably saw the same things.

(Willis? Man, I have no idea. Long day I guess).

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.