Aroldis Chapman just tossed a scoreless eighth inning in his major league debut against the Brewers before a raucous crowd at Great American Ballpark.
The Cuban fireballer needed just eight pitches to make it through his first major league inning. Chapman struck out Jonathan Lucroy with a nasty slider for the first out, then got Craig Counsell to tap out to shortstop and Carlos Gomez to ground out to second base.
Chapman threw seven out of eight pitches for strikes, three of which cracked 100 mph on the radar gun. From what I saw on the Reds broadcast, he topped out at 103 mph. Juan Francisco pinch-hit for Chapman to begin the bottom of the eighth inning, but this was quite the exciting introduction.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.