The Cincinnati Reds have decided to shut down pitcher Aroldis Chapman for an indeterminate length of time to combat fatigue issues. Chapman hopes to be back within a week.
The Cuaban-born Chapman is known for his fastball, but in his most recent outing, the radar gun showed a top speed of 96, and some of his fastballs hit only 94, which is troublesome for a man the Cincinnati Enquirer reports once threw a 108 miles per hour pitch.
“I think it happens to every pitcher,” Chapman told the Enquirer through a translator. “The majority of pitchers have this problem.
“It affects the speed,” Chapman added. “If the muscle is fatigued, you don’t have the strength you want.”
Chapman got into a jam he couldn’t get out of for the first time this year, being removed in the middle of an inning for the first time this season. That may have been the last straw, but manager Dusty Baker isn’t worried. He told the L.A. Times that dealing with fatigue is just part of Chapman learning to be a full-time closer.
Chapman has thrown 67 2/3 innings so far this season. He threw a total of 63 last year.
“He’s growing into the workload,” Baker told the Enquirer. “We monitor him about as closely as you can monitor a guy.”
Chapman has been one of the best closers in baseball this season, while the Reds have nearly a 10-game lead in the National League Central over the St. Louis Cardinals and hold the second best record in baseball after the Washington Nationals. The Nationals have been in the news lately for their pitching staff as well, and the controversial decision to shut down ace Stephen Strasburg for the remainder of the regular and post season.