The Cincinnati Reds’ unbelievably hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman did not have a good outing Sunday. Up until Friday Chapman had recorded a record 49 straight innings with at least one strikeout. The closer has been known to throw as high as 105 mph and rumored to have thrown 106 at one point. He’s used to striking guys out.
Sunday, in the first game of the Reds’ double-header against the Rockies, Chapman did something very out of character. He walked all four batters he faced.
Chapman was unavailable to pitch Monday when the Reds took on the St. Louis Cardinals. After the game manager Bryan Price told reporters that Chapman is dealing with soreness in his pitching shoulder.
“He’s a little achy,” said Price. “He didn’t want to say anything (Sunday).”
When he couldn’t seem to find the strike zone Sunday he reportedly told the Price and a trainer that he was feeling fine during a visit to the mound during the ninth inning. Obviously we now know that is not the case. For now Chapman is listed as day-to-day.
It brings up questions for the Reds who are seemingly getting farther and farther away from the National League playoff picture. Although the soreness doesn’t seem to be anything serious, it still could be.
Do the Reds continue to use Chapman on a regular basis? Or do they rest him, essentially giving up on trying to make the postseason?
The Reds are currently nine games out of first place in the National League Central and five games out of the N.L. wild card race. If they still have postseason aspirations they will likely continue to use Chapman.
However if they do not lighten his workload the shoulder soreness could develop into something that persists and eventually has an affect on their 2015 season.
It’s a tough choice but the former option of lightening his workload seems to be more prudent as they are still quite far out of postseason contention with less than a month and half to play.