Strasburg, Chapman deliver in openers

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UPDATE: Strasburg allowed four runs — one earned — over five innings and tallied eight strikeouts against two walks.  According to the AP he was clocked consistently in the 97-98 MPH range. 

Chapman tossed 4 2/3 innings down in Louisville, fanning nine batters and allowing one earned run on five hits.  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay says four of those hits were infield singles.  Not a bad start for both.

12:53pm: Baseball fans, listen up.  Young pitching prospects Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman are scheduled to make their 2010 minor league debuts this afternoon and MLB.com will be streaming both appearances.  For Free.

The pitchers are both scheduled to take the mound at 2 PM ET.  Strasburg will be dealing for the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, while Chapman will be handling his business for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats.

Strasburg, 21, signed a $15.1 million contract last year after being selected No. 1 overall in baseball’s first-year player draft.  Chapman signed a $25 million free agent contract this offseason.

Report: Yankees close to signing Gio González to minor league deal

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are close to signing starter Gio González. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the deal is of the minor league variety that will pay González $3 million if he makes the major league roster.

González, 33, made 27 starts for the Nationals before being sent to the Brewers ahead of the now-defunct August 31 waiver trade deadline. In aggregate, González went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 148/80 K/BB ratio in 171 innings. He was solid in his five starts with the Brewers, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

Neither Luis Severino nor CC Sabathia will be ready for the start of the season, so González will add some immediate depth at the back of the Yankees’ rotation. Sabathia will likely return before Severino. When that happens, González may be pushed out of the rotation.