Coach: Chapman struggling due to mechanics
Pitching coach Bryan Price thinks left-hander Aroldis Chapman's struggles are due to mechanics.
"His arm slot gets too low," Price said before the Reds' 4-3 loss to Houston. "He gets across the ball. He's pulling a lot of balls inside to right-handed hitters."
Chapman, the 100-mph throwing Cuban, walked eight batters over his last three outings and only gotten three outs.
"You get to those places where you're not throwing strikes and your only focus is to try to throw the ball over," Price said. "Maybe you aim it a little bit. I think that's where he is right now. There's noticeable difference between how he was throwing the ball in Milwaukee -- in what I thought was his most dominant performance -- and where he was last night in his arm slot. His fingers aren't on top the ball. He's getting a lot of run and pull.
"I think the first part is a slight mechanical adjustment. The second part is that when he's out there, he's pitching with his confidence. When you struggle a while, you start to question yourself a little bit. I don't know that he's there, but I know it's a typical response."
Chapman was shut down briefly earlier because shoulder inflammation. Price says Chapman is fine physically.
"It's just a matter of getting back ahead in the count," Price said. "Get those guys to chase the high fastball or the slider down. Right now, he's in so many 2-0 and 3-1 counts, he doesn't get a chance to pitch much. He's just trying to throw the ball over. That's not an advantageous spot to be in."
Reds manager Dusty Baker said the solution with Chapman will not involve a stint in the minors, even though Chapman has options.
--INF Paul Janish started at third base Wednesday and moved to shortstop in the seventh inning. It was his first action since spraining his right ankle on Friday. "It was as good as you could have hoped for," Janish said.
--RHP Edinson Volquez struggled again with control issues, walking five in four innings in his start on Wednesday. He's walked 19 in his last 20 1/3 innings. "I don't have my fastball command," Volquez said. "Sometimes, I feel too strong."
--1B Joey Votto is 5-for-9 with two doubles and a triple in the two games since his first day off the year.
--RHP Mike Leake, pitching in his second relief outing, took the loss as the Reds fell, 4-3, to Houston. Leake gave up a one-out walk to J.R. Towles and then a game-winning double to Hunter Pence in the ninth.
--3B Scott Rolen (shoulder) took batting practice for the third consecutive day without pain. Rolen could be activated from the disabled list for Friday's series opener against St. Louis.
BY THE NUMBERS: 24 -- The run Edinson Volquez gave up in the second inning broke a 24-inning scoreless streak for Reds' starting pitchers.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Nine walks is a lot. They say walks will haunt. They haunted us today." -- Reds' manager Dusty Baker.
--SS Paul Janish (sprained right ankle) missed the May 7-10 games and was day-to-day. Janish injured himself sliding into third base May 6. He hoped to return during the three-game series starting May 9 in Houston. Janish started at third base on May 11 and moved to shortstop in the seventh inning.
--3B Scott Rolen (sore left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 21. He said on May 3 that the shoulder has improved, but he wasn't close to being ready to return. He was back with the team and began hitting on May 9. Rolen took batting practice for the third consecutive day without pain on May 11 and hoped to be activated on May 13.
--INF Juan Francisco (strained left calf) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 17. He ran on the field May 3 and was expected to start a rehab assignment with Class AAA Louisville as the DH for a few days, starting on May 9.
--RHP Jose Arredondo (Tommy John surgery in February 2010) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 25. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Carolina on April 11. He moved from Carolina to Class AAA Louisville and completed his 30-day rehab assignment on May 10.
--RHP Jared Burton (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 29. He suffered a setback in early April, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 18. He underwent arthroscopic surgery April 22, and the timetable for his return was unknown.