Aroldis Chapman was scheduled to make his first Arizona Fall League start yesterday, but those plans were canceled because of shoulder soreness.
Chapman previously made two relief appearances in the AFL as the Reds try to stretch him out for a potential starting role in 2012, but general manager Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that “he had a little inflammation in his shoulder.”
No decision has been made yet about when Chapman might return to the mound, but in addition to the AFL action he’s slated to pitch in the Puerto Rican winter league next month.
Cardinals right-handed pitching prospect Griffin Roberts has been suspended 50 games following his second positive test for a drug of abuse, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Roberts, 22, is currently ranked the Cardinals’ tenth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was selected in the first round of the 2018 draft and signed for a $1.66 million bonus, after which he split his first year in pro ball between the rookie-level GCL Cardinals and High-A Palm Beach Cardinals. He finished his run in 2018 with a combined seven runs, four walks, and 13 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings across the two levels, and projects as a potential major-league starter (or solid righty reliever) after touching up his fastball-slider combo and proving he can command the ball on a consistent basis.
Whether he’ll emerge from A-level ball with a more concrete idea of his future role with the team will have to wait until he’s reinstated from the restricted list. He should be eligible to rejoin the Cardinals’ minor league affiliate sometime in mid- to late-May 2019.