In the form of his video blog for ESPN.com, Buster Olney tells us that Aroldis Chapman is very close to finding his way to the major leagues.
Thanks to some recent mechanical tweaks, the Cuban left-hander has made some real strides in his transition to the bullpen for Triple-A Louisville. Chapman hasn’t allowed a run over his last 10 appearances, compiling an impressive 16/4 K/BB ratio over 11 1/3 innings.
Olney reports that Chapman’s fastball was clocked as high as 103 mph on a couple of occasions during an outing the other night. Wow. The Reds haven’t talked about promoting him recently, however general manager Walt Jocketty plans to speak with manager Dusty Baker in the days ahead, perhaps as soon as this week.
It might not happen tomorrow, but look for the Reds to call him up relatively soon. They’ll undoubtedly want him to be eligible should they make the postseason.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.