Arolids Chapman impresses

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The Reds’ phenom may not face another team until Monday, but he pitched in his first game yesterday. An intrasquad affair. Word is that he looked good.  This stood out the most:

Chapman escaped the jam when he fired a 97-mph heater to strike out
Ryan Hanigan swinging. Next batter Wilkin Castillo saw a couple of
fastballs, broke his bat when he fouled off an 85-mph slider and swung
and missed on a perfectly thrown 82 mph changeup.

“I had no chance,” Castillo said of the final pitch. “He threw hard and was sneaky, too.”

All of the press on Chapman has been about his fastball, with some talk of a nascent changeup.  Speed doesn’t last all that long — even guys like Lincecum lose a few m.p.h. relatively early in their careers — but if Chapman can really master his change he’s going to be terrifying.

Can’t wait to see the guy pitch in person.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.