No fear in taking hill, but Reds' Chapman rocked in rehab start
It wasn’t the type of outing Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman hoped for in a Triple-A rehab start in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday, but he’ll take it.
Making his third start in the minors since taking a liner to the forehead in a March 19 spring training game — and having a plate inserted above his left eye and nose to help the fractures heal — Chapman failed to get out of the first inning.
He recently had pitched two hitless innings in two outings, an inning a game, with three strikeouts and one walk at Class-A Dayton.
Pitching for the Louisville Bats and facing the Norfolk Tides (Orioles) on Tuesday, the hard-throwing lefty retired just two batters and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk before being removed.
Norfolk leadoff man Steve Lombardozzi hit a 2-1 pitch for a single, and moved to second on Ivan De Jesus’ single to center. Chapman then struck out Xavier Paul on three pitches, but hit Brett Wallace on a 1-2 count to load the bases.
Chris Marrero followed with an RBI groundout to short, before Chapman walked Johnny Monell to reload the bases.
Cord Phelps fouled off two 2-2 pitches before plating two runs with a single to center. Then Chapman uncorked a wild pitch, moving runners to second and third.
After Norfolk’s No. 8 batter Buck Britton doubled in two runs on a drive to center field, Chapman was removed from the game.
Final line: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO — 33 pitches, 21 for strikes.
WDRB’s Rick Bozich tweeted:
FOX Sports Ohio's Kevin Gohen tweeted:
FOX Sports.com will update with postgame comments.
Chapman said he feels fine physically, just had trouble with command tonight. Has not been told yet if he will pitch Wed also. #Reds— Kevin Goheen (@FSOhio_KGoheen) May 7, 2014
Chapman translator Rigo Febles re: Lombardozzi hit up middle: "He said he didn't have any flashbacks or thoughts about it..." (1/2) #Reds— Kevin Goheen (@FSOhio_KGoheen) May 7, 2014
Chapman believes he's still on track to return to #Reds. He said he still needs a couple of more innings/outings to work on command.— Kevin Goheen (@FSOhio_KGoheen) May 7, 2014