Chapman to debut Monday
One day away from a Cactus League game vs. the Indians and a few hours away from the intrasquad. It’ll be good to see actual game situations to report on.
Aroldis Chapman is among those going today on the mound. Chapman’s first exhibition game will come on Monday vs. the Royals in Goodyear. He will come out of the bullpen. Homer Bailey is starting the game.
“Down here it doesn’t matter. One thing at a time,” manager Dusty Baker said.
Then came the line of the day.
“Plus if we pitch him later, fans will stick around and drink more beer,” Baker joked. “You didn’t know I was in marketing, did you?”
When Chapman pitches today, the Reds will be looking only for one thing — and it’s not to see how he handles adversity or the running game or anything too tangible.
“I just want him to be himself,” Baker said. “If he walks three, strikes out three, gets the side out, whatever. The first thing you want, is to get comfortable. You know he’s going to have some jitters. I don’t care what your name is. Hank Aaron used to say ‘nerves are good. Be nervous, just don’t be scared.’ He’s not scared. After you throw a pitch or two, your nerves are gone. If you’re not nervous, I think you’re lying or something is wrong with you.”
*Here is the upcoming pitching assignments for the next few days:
On Saturday vs. Cleveland — Johnny Cueto starts and is scheduled for two innings. He could be followed by Wood, Wells, Rhodes, Leake and Cordero.
Sun at Milwaukee — Bronson Arroyo starts with Burton, Owings, Del Rosario, Ondrusek, Hererra and Masset available from the bullpen.
Aaron Harang will make his first start on Tuesday against Arizona.
*Baker called this the best camp he’s ever had. Considering how long he’s been managing, that’s a pretty lofty declaration.
“I don’t have to get on anybody about working or stretching,” he said. “There’s no complaining. Everybody is on time. Everybody works as hard during the drills and fundamentals as they’re playing. We tell everyone to practice as if threy’re playing.”
*Hall of Famer Joe Morgan is a guest instructor in camp today. Morgan will return later in camp as well.
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