One day after officially being named the Reds’ closer, Aroldis Chapman is in some hot water.
According to NBC affiliate WLTW, Chapman was arrested in Ohio early Monday morning after speeding while driving with a suspended license.
Chapman was pulled over after being clocked at 93 mph in his 2010 Mercedes S63. That probably doesn’t seem very fast to him since his average fastball checks in at 96.7 mph this season, but most normal people consider that excessive and reckless. The Cuban left-hander was arrested after the officer saw he was driving with a suspended Kentucky driver’s license. There was no mention of alcohol in the report.
Chapman was formally charged cited for speeding and driving under suspension. He was released on bond and is expected to appear in court on June 6.
The Reds haven’t issued a statement on the matter and it’s not clear if he’ll face any punishment from the team.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.