Reds worried about Aroldis Chapman’s diminished velocity, “fatigued” shoulder

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Aroldis Chapman was a mess last night, walking three of the five batters he faced after coming into a tie game in extra innings and being removed mid-inning for the first time all season.

Within that ugly performance he threw 22 pitches and none of them topped 97 miles per hour while many of Chapman’s fastballs were in the low-90s. For a guy who averages 98 miles per hour with his fastball, frequently hits triple-digits, and regularly throws his slider in the low-90s that qualifies as a red flag.

Here’s what manager Dusty Baker said afterward, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:

Yeah, because his velocity was down. He didn’t have any pain. He might be a little tired. We might have to rest him for a while here. He was analyzed by a doctor. The doctor said his shoulder is fatigued. We’ve got to take care of him.

Cincinnati’s big 9.5-game lead in the NL Central provides more than enough cushion to be extremely cautious with Chapman, so hopefully they take advantage. Chapman also blew a save and took a loss Friday, serving up a three-run homer among four total hits, so it seems pretty safe to say that something isn’t right.