Don't hold your breath on Aroldis Chapman

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Chapman small.jpgAroldis Chapman and Stephen Strasburg were often mentioned in the same breath this spring, but it’s become pretty clear that the Cuban left-hander isn’t anywhere near as polished as last year’s No 1 pick.

Chapman was hammered for a career-high eight runs over just 3 1/3 innings in an outing for Triple-A Louisville on Friday night, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. He has a 9.64 ERA over three starts this month after posting a 1.29 ERA over his first four professional starts in April.

Chapman is lighting up the radar gun with regularity — averaging 10.5 K/9 along the way — but he simply doesn’t have a great idea of the strike zone yet. He has walked at least four batters in three out of his seven starts and has issued 21 free passes in just 35 innings, good enough for an average of 5.4 BB/9. He remains an impressive raw talent, but he’ll have to overcome his command issues before the Reds even think of bringing him to the major leagues.
 

Hunter Strickland fractured his hand punching a door after Monday’s poor performance

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Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.

Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.

Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.

Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.