Stiff lower back for Chapman

Reds lefty Aroldis Chapman was slated to pitch four innings but lasted only 1 2/3 innings. He exited early during the seventh inning as a precaution for a stiff lower back.

“I was trying to work it out but they took me out just in case,” Chapman said through translator Tony Fossas. “I’ve never had back problems.”

Chapman was clearly not throwing with his usual velocity. His third pitch of the day was 97 mph but he never topped that. In the 1-2-3 sixth inning, he needed only eight pitches.

In the seventh, Chapman threw an additional 30 pitches. But his first pitch was to the backstop and he walked a batter. He also ignored the runner, Jonathan Herrera, who stole second easily. More trouble came on an E6 by Drew Sutton, which scored a run. A walk to Alex Escobar followed and after a Bryan Price mound visit, there was a three-run double by Jordan Pacheco that made it a 7-1 game. The count was 2-1 to Chris Nelson when Price, Dusty Baker and the trainer popped out of the dugout to take Chapman out.

Chapman threw a lot more off-speed pitches in the outing.

“It was less effort to throw the slider than my fastball,” Chapman said.

Chapman’s line: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, WP…38 pitches/21 strikes.

“I’m not really hurt but I have a little problem with my back that I’ve had all week,” Chapman said.

Clearly, the Reds were surprised when they found out Chapman had been bothered with his back lately.

Here are some quotes from Dusty Baker and Bryan Price:

Baker — “He didn’t say anything. I guess in Cuba, you’re taught not to complain or say much. We could tell he was wincing and walking around the mound. He really didn’t have his same stuff — same fastball or anything. We could tell something was wrong.”

Price –

“We’re not going to send guys out there that have problems or ailments that we’re aware of. Sometimes guys are going to go out there and compete because of the lure of trying to make the team and things of that nature. If this was an issue, then he shouldn’t have been pitching. Hopefully, next time we’ll know before he gets to game time.”

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3 Comments

I hurried home to see Chapman pitch on TV – missed his good inning, and then thought I’d watched him pitch himself into the minors. I’m almost glad it was back trouble. Mark, how many pitchers will the Reds bring up, do you think? If Chapman’s bound for Lynchburg or L’ville, what’s the best other chance of a LHP in the 5th spot?

the past weeks games have an old familiar feel – pretty good pitching (except yesterday), not much offense. The regulars are hitting, except Votto, Phillips and Cabrera and we know the first two of them will hit. The OBP’s and SA’s aren’t great but aren’t awful either. Will the Reds score runs when the bell rings?

LHP Travis Wood seems to have good shot but will need to be better than his last outing. It’s certainly not written in stone but I’d expect the Reds to take 12 pitchers out of camp because they might need the extra bullpen depth early on.

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