And he didn’t even need Brandon Phillips’ car to do it.
That’s right, Aroldis Chapman topped out at 105 mph in a relief appearance with Triple-A Louisville on Friday night. Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse had it first, though it was repeated by Buster Olney of ESPN.com and Peter Gammons of MLB Network and NESN this morning.
According to Price, Chapman “sat at” 103 mph on his fastball and also threw a slider in the 90-91 mph range. One scout told Price that it was “the best fastball I have ever witnessed.” With consistent heat like that, it’s no surprise to learn that he struck out the side in last night’s appearance.
Chapman has thrived since moving to a relief role, posting a 2.40 ERA and 49/12 K/BB ratio over 30 innings. As a reliever, he has held opposing batters to a .156 batting average and allowed just one home run.
He’s expected to be promoted to the major leagues as soon as rosters expand on September 1, so we should see his major league debut in just a few short days. I’m thinking a few of us might be interested in checking that one out.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.