Today’s link roundup brought to us by the training camp home in Georgetown, KY:

–The 1500 Opening Day tickets for sale this morning at Fountain Square sold out in 25 minutes. Not bad.

–As you may have heard, Aroldis Chapman was great again yesterday. Ho-hum:

We were waiting to talk to Aroldis Chapman when Scott Rolen asked me what the radar readings were.

“He topped out at 100,” I said.

“Is that good?” Rolen said.

Love his deadpan.

Chapman did hit 100. He went two innings, allowing two infield hits. He struck out two. Both strikeouts came on change-ups — a 90 mph change that Matt Kemp swung through and an 83 mph change Casey Blake took.

“Eighty-three to a 100, that’s a big difference,” catcher Ramon Hernandez said.

Is Chapman ready for the big leagues?

“I’ve only caught him four innings,” Hernandez said. “But if he’s not ready, he’s close.”

Chapman threw all change-ups and fastballs late in the outing because the slider wasn’t working.

“I wasn’t finishing up with my (slider),” he said. “I was not happy.”

Hernandez said there was a reason for that.

“It was very dry today,” he said. “That made the ball slippery. He couldn’t get a grip on it.”

Chapman also has been dealing with a bit of cold. It didn’t seem to affect him much.

I had a chance to watch part of the game, and I saw Chapman’s two innings. He was really very good, in command at all times. He didn’t seem like a kid who just arrived on these shores. I’m really amazed. (By the way, Red Hot Mama was there, and she’s posted some videos.)

I agree with Dusty Baker, however: let’s slow down on the Chapmania. I’ve always thought Chapman would start the season in AA Carolina, but Fay makes a compelling argument as to why it might be AAA Louisville (or Cincinnati): he’ll have a Spanish-speaking catcher at either of those places.

–Will Joey Votto be the next Reds captain? Steve speculates.

I love Mike Leake.

–Bronson Arroyo pitched pretty well yesterday, too, despite some aches.

–Today’s “Spring Snapshot” over at Big League Stew focuses on the Reds.

–The Fay is giving former GM Dan O’Brien some credit, deservedly so.

–In case you missed it, here’s the latest episode of Redleg Nation Radio. Give it a listen!

–Jamie Ramsey has a completely untrue account of yesterday’s game.

–Loyal citizens of the Nation will know that I went to law school at Georgetown and, hence, I’m a big Hoyas fan. Well, Reds pitcher Jon Adkins is a big fan of West Virginia.

Tonight, Georgetown plays WVU in the Big East tournament finals. I had to break the news to Jon that I would be cheering for the Hoyas. He wasn’t amused.

Hoya Saxa!

13 Responses

  1. GRF

    Thanks for the wrapup. With all the Chapmanmaia, Leake is flying a little under the radar. I think we might be seeing by the end of this year if none of the #5 candidates step up, and almost certainly the following year barring injury.

  2. pinson343

    A good thing about the Chapmanmania is having both Leake and Bailey under the radar.

    I think the Hoyas win tonite.

  3. earl

    Reds do have a dirth of young starting pitchers. Probably will need them as Bronson and Harang are probably on the block to move on.

    Has there been any update on Edison Volquez and how his rehab is going?

    I wonder if it might be good to use someone like Chapman in the bullpen as a spot starter, kind of like what the Yanks did with Chamberlin and the Red Sox started with Papelbon, who excelled so much as a closer he has stuck there. I was thinking if Volquez is going to be back before the end of the year, it might be good to use him like the Braves did with Smoltz when he came back from arm surgery. The idea being to let them build up towards having to go up to 100+ pitches in a start.

  4. pinson343

    Wherever he pitches, Chapman will be pitching regularly as a starter.

  5. pinson343

    Congrats to Bob Huggins & WV but Adkins needs to focus on his pitching.

  6. TC

    Chad, I had Patrick Ewing poster on my wall in high school. I am also a Georgetown fan. Too bad about the whole law school thing though.

    @pinson343: “Chapmania”? P, did you come up with that? That’s awesome.

  7. TC

    Too bad about Adkins yesterday. I know many of you like Adkins (myself included), but perhps those innings yesterday could have been better spent. He will be in a Reds uniform at some point this year, no doubt. But everyone knows there aren’t enough spots on the 25-ros to bring him east.

    Hopefully they’ll start reducing the number of players in the major league camp this week, especially from among pitching. Believe it or not, we are about to enter the final 3rd of Spring Training. Openning Day is 3 weeks away.

  8. nick in va

    I hope WVU enjoys their Big East tourney wins because with Bob Huggins they’ll be lucky to win a game in the big dance.

  9. TC

    @nick in va: Oooh, Nick. While I tend to agree, be careful there. Cincinnati is still full of Huggs fans. (Good thing my wife doesn’t read this blog. Them are fight’n words.)

  10. TC

    I’ve been working on my 5th Starter Power Rankings for much of the day. Just so you know, there is a lot that goes into the rankings. The rankings are based on who has the greatest chances to make the rotation. Obviously how they do on the mound affects their rankings, but it is not just about raw ERA. Some consideration is given to breaking ball pitchers since they are at a disadvantage. I’m also taking into consideration who played Winter Ball as they are ahead of those who didn’t.

    1- Aroldis Chapman | Highest: 1st | Lowest: 3rd | Last Week: 2nd
    Don’t look for Chapman to stay atop the rankings. While he has posted an impressive 0.0 ERA so far, he has not been as dominant as the buzz around him would indicate. Chapman is not a pitch to contact pitcher, but hitters are putting a lot of wood on the ball. As the scouting reports come out, his ERA is sure to climb. On the plus side, Chapman is not pitching for outs, but is rather often working on improving some of his secondary pitches. We only see his best offerings once he has runners on.

    2- Matt Maloney | Highest: 1st | Lowest: 2nd | Last Week: 1st
    Maloney got roughed up week. While he posted three scoreless innings in his last start, he was still shakey. This is not good considering he got lit up in the game previous. Maloney is still just getting warmed up, however, since he didn’t play winter ball and he’s unable to use his breaking stuff as effectively as he would like in the dry air of Arizona. But, because of his success at the end of last year bolstered by the fact he is the most polished left hander in the organization, he lands at second.

    3- Mike Leake | Highest: 3rd | Lowest: 6th | Last Week: 5th
    What can you say about this guy but, WOW! Solid in every way. A few more outings and he will be a serious contender. Funny how the dry air doesn’t seem to affect his breaking stuff. That may be due to the fact he’s spend years in Arizona.

    4- Mike Licoln | Highest: 4rd | Lowest: 6th | Last Week: 6th
    This is the toughest one to judge. Licoln recovered a bit this week. He looked decent in his last outing, but his high ranking has less to do with performance and more to do with business and the fact he is seen as a veteran (though not a veteran starter). He is the only pitcher in the organization with a past life with both Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty.

    5- Justin Lehr | Highest: 1st | Lowest: 5th | Last Week: 3rd
    Lehr’s stock just keeps dropping. He has yet to look good in any of his outings dispite post decent numbers in two out of three chances. The fact he only pitched 1 inning in the 6th in his last game shows how the front office thinks of his chances to make the rotation.

    6- Travis Wood | Highest: 6th | Lowest: 7th | Last Week: 7th
    I flirted with putting him higher, much higher in the rankings. To put it plainly, he’s been nearly perfect. I expect he’ll climb a bit fast if he does well in his next outing. I’ve held him back for now, however, since he has mostly faced other team’s late inning replacements. Given his performace to this point I expect they’ll move him to some lower innings to see how he does against other teams’ headliners.

    7- Sam LeCure | Highest: 7th | Lowest: 7th | Last Week: Unranked
    Look who has found his way on the list. I’ve always liked LeCure, but I never expected he would have a chance to make the rotation. His performance to this point, however, warrants a mention. All things being equal (which they are not) his performance make him higher on the list. However, he will not make the club unless 4 or 5 of the guys ahead of him have several bad outings. The odds are so badly against him he still only finds himself number 7.

    8- Micah Owings | Highest: 4th | Lowest: 8th | Last Week: 4th
    Owings nose dive this week is based on reports of a back injury after slipping on concrete. The injury comes just after he returns after a week off due to illness. He is so far behind it may be impossible to for him to catch up. Ironically, it may be his bat that lands him a spot on the roster even though he is not among the top 7 arms in of the pen either.

  11. nick in va

    @TC: I say that as a big UC fan who is skeptical of Huggins ability to win more than a game when it really counts. Maybe I’m still scarred from all the years of first weekend exits.

  12. RiverCity Redleg

    UK will hang their 8th banner. Write it down.

  13. pinson343

    @TC: Chapmania was coined long before I said it (see Chad’s post). Actually I said Chapmanmania, a typo.