Something obviously wasn’t right with Reds closer Aroldis Chapman when he walked all four batters he faced Sunday and sure enough he was unavailable last night due to what the team is calling an “achy” shoulder.
Here’s what manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
He’s just a little achy and it just doesn’t make sense at all for us to keep running him out there. He was a little achy [Sunday]. I didn’t want to say anything but he was. By the time we knew there might be an issue, the damage was done yesterday. Our trainers say it’s a day-to-day thing and that he could be ready to go soon. I’m not crossing him off our list for tomorrow by any means.
For whatever it’s worth, Chapman averaged 99.5 miles per hour with his fastball in Sunday’s walk-fest, topping out at 101.5 mph. It was just the second time in this season’s 39 appearances that Chapman walked more than one batter and prior to walking four consecutive batters he’d walked a total of four batters in his previous 11 appearances, spanning 11 innings with a 0.84 ERA, .125 opponents’ batting average, and 20/4 K/BB ratio.
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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.