Jocketty happy with Aroldis Chapman's progress as a reliever

2 Comments

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that he is pleased with Aroldis Chapman’s transition to the bullpen.

“Excellent,” GM Walt Jocketty said when asked how Chapman was doing
as a reliever. “His last time out [on Saturday], he pitched one inning
and faced two left-handed hitters and struck them out. He got the
right-hander out. In that one performance, he was dominating.”

Chapman has allowed one run over three innings in two relief appearances with Triple-A Louisville, striking out five and walking one. The Cuban fireballer was scheduled to work two innings behind the rehabbing Edinson Volquez on Tuesday night.

As for when we’ll see Chapman debut in the big leagues, there’s at least a chance it could be before the end of July.

“It’ll be some time after the All-Star break before we make a decision,”
Jocketty said.

Chapman’s control, as evidenced by his walk rate of 5.4 BB/9 in the minors, is still a work in progress, but seeing his 100+ mph fastball is sure to be a real treat from the outset. Let’s just hope the Reds don’t keep him in the bullpen for long.   

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.