Aroldis Chapman is going to enter spring training next February as a starter. Should he also emerge as one, there will have to be a limit on the amount of innings that he throws in 2013 because he topped out at 71 2/3 frames as the Reds’ closer in 2012.
But that innings limit won’t be all that strict.
Reds pitching coach Bryan Price told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Wednesday afternoon that he will “see where [Chapman] is in terms of innings and pitches after 25 or 30 starts.” Which is basically a full season for most healthy starting pitchers in the major leagues.
“We’ll know a lot more by the time we get to spring training,” Price added. “I don’t think there’s an absolute. You have to have a plan and hope it works. Any time you have a young pitcher and he’s going to surpass his inning total, there’s going to be questions if he gets hurt. We can’t be scared of that.”
Chapman has a dominant 2.33 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 14.1 K/9 in 135 career major-league innings.
The 25-year-old left-hander is under contract with the Reds through the conclusion of the 2015 season.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.