The Reds placed Aroldis Chapman on the disabled list last week after the Cuban setup man opened the season with 20 walks in his first 13 innings and then began developing left shoulder inflammation.
He’s already ready to begin pitching again.
According to beat writer Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Chapman has been sent to Triple-A Louisville and will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday night against the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia. The southpaw played a game of long toss in front of Reds pitching coach Bryan Price on Sunday and checked out fine.
The Reds are hoping that Chapman will regain his confidence and command against a lower level of competition. He’s expected to make at least three appearances with Louisville before returning to the majors.
As expected, the Marlins and Mets paid their respect to pitcher Jose Fernandez prior to the start of Monday night’s game at Marlins Park. It was emotionally charged and very tough to watch without becoming a sobbing mess.
The stadium was as quiet as a library even before the P.A. requested a moment of silence. The Marlins’ players rubbed the chalk line, just as Fernandez used to do. The starters — sans starting pitcher Adam Conley — rallied around the pitchers’ mound. The Mets’ players poured out onto the field and removed their caps as the National Anthem was played.
Once the anthem was completed, the stadium remained quiet. The Mets and Marlins formed lines and went through hugging each player. The fans began chanting, “Jose, Jose, Jose!”
The rest of the Marlins joined the starters and they wrapped around the edge of the dirt on the pitcher’s mound. Some of them drew in the dirt with their fingers. Others rubbed dirt on their pants. Then, they huddled and Giancarlo Stanton gave a motivational speech of sorts. The players came in close and they all put their index fingers in the middle, pointed up at the sky, and broke the huddle to begin the game.
There is crying in baseball.
The Marlins’ pregame remembrance of Jose Fernandez was tough enough to watch and the emotions kept flowing in the bottom half of the first inning against the Mets. Dee Gordon, who normally bats left-handed, stepped into the right-handed batter’s box wearing Fernandez’s helmet. He took the first pitch for a ball, then switched back to batting left-handed. He took another ball, then drove a 2-0 Bartolo Colon fastball way out to right field for a leadoff solo home run.
Gordon wept openly as he rounded the bases. Marcell Ozuna, waiting in the on-deck circle, hugged him tightly as he returned to the dugout. Gordon was met with hugs from the rest of his teammates. Colon waited on the mound to allow the Marlins to take in the moment.