I had planned to be in Cincinnati Sunday for the Cubs/Reds game for several weeks as a fan, and while Reds rookie Mike Leake was making his professional debut for the big league club many Reds fans were focused north as Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman made his AAA debut in Toledo. There were no shortage of media at that event, so I’ve compiled various accounts of the festivities from around the Internet below:
- John Erardi, writing for the Courier-Journal, reports “The Cuban Missile threw a lot of them — missiles, that is — but he’ll need to throw them for strikes more often and be able to mix in his changeup more effectively to win in the big leagues.”
- Erardi also provided a recap for the Cincinnati Enquirer, writing “From a vantage point just behind home plate, the view was of a future Red with surprising composure, unafraid to throw his changeup, a nasty, wide-moving slider (when he could throw it for strikes) and a fastball that had the Triple-A hitters overmatched.”
- John Wagner of the Toledo Blade quotes Louisville manager Rick Sweet: “Given time, he’s [Champan] going to be ready to pitch in the big leagues. The stuff is there. He could pitch in the big leagues right now and have some success.”
- Nick Evans of the Bats’ media relations department writes Chapman didn’t disappoint.
- Joe Vardon foresees big things for Chapman in a recap for MLB.com, writing, “The Minor League debut of Reds pitching sensation Aroldis Chapman was befitting a man destined for a quick and major change of scenery.”
- In case you missed the game, the Web stream of Chapman’s performance can be rewatched on ESPN3.
- The Bats did pick up the 2-1 win behind three doubles and a fifth-inning RBI from shortstop Zach Cozart. Outfielder Chris Heisey also homered in the game. (Box Score)