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Aroldis Chapman Feeling Better

September 15, 2012 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Jonathan Broxton is stepping up for the Cincinnati Reds.
Jonathan Broxton is earning saves while Aroldis Chapman recovers.

We got some great news on the Aroldis Chapman front as he played long toss Friday, throwing 40 pitches as he works his way through a “dead arm” period. In his last outing on Monday before getting shut down, Chapman was only able to crank it up to 96 mph. What a power puff!

The last time we checked in on Chapman was during a late-June Podcast when mostly we made fun of his somersault celebrations. Still, it’s hard not to marvel at what he’s done since then.

The dude tossed 14 1/3 scoreless innings in July, and then followed that up with 13 1/3 IP of one-run ball in August before a couple of rough outings this month.

The really impressive part of Chapman’s progress this year is the improved control. Last year, the southpaw walked an unsightly 7.38 batters per 9; this year, that number is just 2.66. That is a shocking turnaround and the main reason Chapman has enjoyed a breakout year that has included career bests in wins, saves, strikeouts, WHIP and ERA.

There’s a reason he’s been easily the top NL relief pitcher to own this season.

Chapman’s outstanding work has helped the Reds make a laugher out of the NL Central, and gave them the luxury of being overly cautious with their young fireballing closer.

And least that’s how it seems now that he says he feels really good. Either way, that’s music to the ears of both the Reds and his Fantasy owners. Chapman expects to return “in a few days,” and believes that getting away from his exercises led to this dead arm period.

With Chapman out, Jonathan Broxton and J.J. Hoover have been bagging saves. Broxton in particular has been a very popular waiver wire pickup this week, but obviously his shelf life as a closer is limited with Chapman’s return just around the corner.

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