Notes on Chapman, Arroyo, offense

To prevent duplication of effort, I will simply link to my story recounting Aroldis Chapman’s afternoon (the full version should be up soon). It was a strong start, no doubt. Hearing scouts say the radar hit 99-100 mph for a first spring game — needless to say, you don’t get that very often.

Based on the early going, it will be awfully hard for the Reds to send Chapman to the Minors if he continues pitching this well. In fact, he could be more comfortable in the Majors with the heavy contingent of Spanish speaking players, namely catcher Ramon Hernandez. It will be a fascinating storyline over the remaining month of camp.

Other items of note:

*Bronson Arroyo couldn’t have asked for a smoother first spring start — six up, six down. Arroyo struckout one and threw 26 pitches.

“I felt good. I had command of everything pretty much, which was surprising,” Arroyo said. “The first time out, you usually feel pretty uncomfortable. I threw everything – the changeup, a back-door breaking ball, sinker and everything was pretty good.”

*I was in the clubhouse talking to Arroyo and Chapman and missed Nick Masset’s outing. The line wasn’t too sparkling — one inning, three earned runs and three hits, including two home runs.

*Jonny Gomes had a nice game going 2-for-4. He hit a three-run homer into the left field bullpen in the fifth.

*Drew Stubbs also smoked a very long drive for a two-run homer in the third. It landed on the grassy berm in left-center field. The ball can definitely carry farther in the dry air but that long ball was no cheapie.

*In the 14-5 win over the Royals, the Reds had 13 hits. Stubbs’ homer gave them their first lead in three spring games.

“Our offense came alive today,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Guys looked good and no errors, that’s even better.”

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