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)
Reds prospect Chris Heisey was 3-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI in leading Louisville to a near division clinching victory. Check out how far the Bats are from sealing their playoff ticket and other storylines in Saturday’s hot links:
Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics
Sorry for the late links post. The graduate school life isn’t always conducive to the blogger life. Here are some links from the last 24 hour, and I promise more posts this afternoon/evening to catch you up.
- UK alums Ryan Strieby and Collin Cowgill will play for Peoria and Scottsdale in the prestigious Arizona Fall League following the season.
- Louisville’s magic number to clinch the division moved to three even though the Bats’ game with Toledo was rained out.
- Lexington won its second consecutive game with a 9-7 victory over Hickory.
- Bowling Green ended a seven-game losing streak with a 13-3 win over West Virginia.
- Baseball America looks at the arms on the Lexington pitching staff in Thursday’s “Daily Dish.”
- UofL alum Trystan Magnuson extended his scoreless innings streak to 5.1 to start his AA career.
- UK’s Chris Bisson was named the 39th best prospect in the Cape Cod League by PGCrosschecker.com.
Louisville moved closer to the playoffs as Bowling Green moved further away Tuesday. Check out those stories and more in today’s hot links:
The Louisville bats lowered their magic number to clinch the division to six, and Bowling Green moved further from the playoffs with a rainout. Check out those stories and more in Tuesday’s hot links:
With their sixth straight loss the Bowling Green Hot Rods fell eight games out of first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division. Check out the Hot Rods’ dwindling playoff hopes and other storylines in some Monday morning hot links:
The Legends’ 11-game losing streak has all but eliminated them from playoff contention, but Louisville and Bowling Green remain firmly in the postseason picture. With that in mind we’ll break down the remaining minor league playoff races.
- Louisville Bats — 1st place INT West — The Bats are currently 8.5 games ahead of Toledo in the West Division of the International League. Louisville’s magic number to clinch the division is 11. The Bats are currently selling playoff tickets for games three through five (if needed) of the first round of the International League playoffs. If Louisville wins the West Division, the Bats will matchup with the winner of the South Division (currently Gwinnett).
- Bowling Green Hot Rods — 3rd Place SAL Southern — The Hot Rods’ playoff chances aren’t as rosy as the Bats’ chances, but Bowling Green is still alive. The Hot Rods currently sit in third place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division, five games behind first-place Asheville. Augusta is in second place, .5 games behind Asheville and 4.5 games in front of Bowling Green. Bowling Green’s elimination number is 14. The Hot Rods have three games remaining against Asheville between Aug. 29-31.
Lexington Legends slugger Brian Pellegrini launched his 21st home run of the season for Lexington Saturday to move within four home runs of the franchise record 25 long balls in a season. Astros outfielder Hunter Pence and former Legend Beau Herod currently hole the record of 25 home runs.
- Pellegrini’s home run wasn’t enough for the Legends’ victory. West Virginia scored four runs in the last three innings to win 5-2.
- Matthew Klinker and Pedro Viola combined on a three-hit shutout to give Louisville a 4-0 victory over Toledo in the series opener.
- Chris Andujar allowed one run in six innings to lead Bowling Green to a 3-1 victory over Hickory.
- EKU Sports writes about Christian Friedrich’s performance in high A ball.
- Friedrich checks in at number six and Lexington Legend Jordan Lyles ranked number 11 on this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet. Bowling Green pitcher Matt Moore was listed “In the Team Photo.”
- WKU sports reports that ground has been broken on the new Hilltoper clubhouse.
- Don’t forget, the Russellville Little League team plays on ESPN at 7:00 in the finals of the Great Lakes Region tonight.