When the Reds signed Chapman during the offseason, I doubt they imagined a scenario that involved converting him to a bullpen role in order to help a contending big league club with a strong rotation. And yet, here we are, as Mike Leake became an instant big leaguer and Edinson Volquez has looked sharp in his rehab starts. Wednesday's outing should be the start of a path, albeit a temporary one, that gets Chapman to help what has been a very bad group of relievers in the big leagues, and while it's hardly a Strasburg-ian path, you got to admit it's at least kind of exciting.
At what point are we going to take this guy seriously? Sure he's only 5-foot-7 (ok, he's not really that), but he's a 20-year-old lefty in Double-A with 62 strikeouts in 36 innings while limiting the league to a .182 batting average. The scary thing? He's just starting to get hot, as in his last eight appearances, he's giving up a whopping two hits over 10 innings while walking one a striking out 18. He's no longer a novelty act; he's looking more and more like a big leaguer.
Drew Cumberland, SS, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 2-for-4.
Cumberland destroyed California League pitching during the first half of the season, but if he stayed there all year, we wouldn't have learned some much-needed information; primarily is Cumberland's performance real, or a Cal League mirage. We'll get a little over two months to figure that out, and if it's real, he's a monster prospect.
Is it time to start talking about Kipnis as a serious candidate for a big league job in 2011? The '09 draftee started the year with a reasonable assignment in High-A, but now he's blasting away Double-A pitching to the tune of .342/.432/.658. It's just ten games, and there's going to be a slump in here eventually, but it's hard to see a better second base option in the organization going forward.
Others Of Note:
- Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI. Slump buster?
- Eric Arnett, RHP, Brewers (Rookie-level AZL Brewers): 2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Trying to straight out delivery; clearly still work to be done.
- Luke Bailey, C, Rays (Rookie-level GCL Rays): 1-for-5, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, 3 K. First pro home run for catcher who entered spring of '09 as first-round talent; Tommy John surgery dropped him to fourth, were Rays shelled out $750K to keep him from going to college.
- Colton Cain, LHP, Pirates (Rookie-level GCL Pirates): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Pro debut for last year's eight-round pick who got $1.15 million.
- Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 5 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 3 BB, 3 K. Last year's big breakout hasn't carried through into 2010; 5.59 ERA in 11 starts and the Texas league is hitting .301 against him.
- Anthony Gose, OF, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 3-for-5, HR (4), 2 R, RBI, K, CS. Home runs in back-to-back games and hitting .325/.381/.506 in June; only hole is a sudden inability to steal bases, as he's been caught 20 times in 45 attempts.
- Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 2-for-5, HR (5), R, 2 RBI. .333/.396/.617 in June and .299/.403/.476 overall amongst whispers that he's heading to Double-A soon.
- Brandon Jacobs, OF, Red Sox (Short-season Lowell): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI. '09 10th-rounder got $750K to sign; It's easy to dream on a player with Jacobs' size and raw power potential, but others wonder just how big he'll be in six years, worrying he could be a bat-only slugger by the time he's ready.
- Adam Loewen, OF, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, 3B, HR (9) BB. Up to .279/.369/.491; easy to forget that the former pitcher is only 26 years old.
- Cameron Maybin, OF, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB. And the annual Triple-A tease begins anew.
- Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. First start since getting sent down; nothing to see here, simply stretching the arm back out.
- Michael Ohlman, C/DH, Orioles (Rookie-level Bluefield): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, K. '09 11th-round pick signed for just under $1 million; big athlete with power potential.
- Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Best start of the year for 19-year-old southpaw.
- Michael Pineda, RHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K. Triple-A debut; could be a sleeper option for big league time if the Mariners are heavy sellers next month.
- Austin Romine, C, Yankees (High-A Trenton): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Snapping out of ugly slump; 7-for-17 in last four games after getting mired in 3-for-39 run. Overall line of .290/.355/.446 is neither above or below expectations at this point.
- Thomas Royse, RHP, Louisville (Rookie-level Great Falls): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. 2010 third round-pick out of Louisville has big frame, big command, average-at-best stuff.
- Keyvious Sampson, RHP, Padres (Short-season Eugene): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K. Second fantastic start in a row' opposing hitters are 5-for-33 with 15 strikeouts against him. Small, but big, big arm.
- Brett Wallace, 1B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-5, R. 13-for-26 in last six games; .298/.357/.507 line still has troubling left/right and home/road splits.