This is one I’ve never heard before. Ken Rosenthal spoke with Reds’ AAA pitching coach Ted “Tower of” Power, who says that Arolids Champan may need to figure out how to throw an offspeed pitch that isn’t a changeup because his hands are too big to effectively grip one. For now he’s using his slider as his offspeed pitch.
1) When I saw Chapman pitch here in Columbus a few months ago he was definitely throwing an effective changeup. It wasn’t a slider, at any rate, as he threw some of those too, slotting in ahead of his changeups in velocity but below his fastball (it helps that I was sitting right behind home plate and couldn’t detect slider movement on many of his offspeed pitches as well). Maybe Power’s point is about consistency with the change. Chapman was on the night I saw him. He got shelled in his next outing. Maybe the change wasn’t working;
2) For now Chapman can get away with only featuring two pitches because he’s in the pen. If the Reds return him to starting next season, he’s going to have to figure something out; and
3) Knuckleball, dude. You know in your heart it’s right. How awesome would it be to go from 103 m.p.h. to a flutterball? Probably physically impossible for a guy like Chapman, but if he could do it, I’d probably quit my job and become his butler.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.