Aroldis Chapman was unable to throw strikes again yesterday, allowing four runs in his fourth straight ugly outing, and rather than let him travel deeper down the Steve Blass/Rick Ankiel path the Reds have placed him on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Chapman’s velocity has been inconsistent and mostly down all season, so it’s very possible shoulder problems are truly to blame for his recent struggles, but walking 12 of the past 19 batters he’s faced while allowing 10 runs and recording just five outs is plenty scary even if the inflammation is minor.
Dusty Baker previously dismissed the possibility of sending Chapman to Triple-A, so instead he’ll likely be shut down for a couple weeks and then asked to pitch in the minors during a rehab assignment before rejoining the Reds’ bullpen.
Last season in 13 innings Chapman allowed three earned runs and walked five batters. This season in 13.1 innings Chapman has allowed 10 earned runs and walked 20 batters.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.