The Reds placed prized left-hander Aroldis Chapman on the 15-day disabled list last week with shoulder inflammation and, probably more to the point, a worsening control problem.
Chapman took a week off from throwing before beginning a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday evening at Triple-A Louisville. He allowed no hits and needed just eight pitches to get through that one-inning outing. Unfortunately, things went a little differently on Thursday night in his second try.
According to the Louisville Bats’ official Twitter feed, Chapman allowed five hits and three runs in just two innings of relief work against the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. He struck out five and touched 102 MPH at one point with his legendary fastball, but the Cuban-born fireballer obviously wasn’t fooling too many batters.
The Reds might simply be pleased that he’s been showing better command since his demotion — or disabling, whatever you want to call it. The best case scenario has him returning to form by the end of June.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”