Aroldis Chapman walked all four batters that he faced in a brutal loss for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies. He was not available the next day for his team as they faced the St. Louis Cardinals, and now it turns out that the flame-throwing closer is dealing with some soreness in his pitching shoulder.
“He’s a little achy,” said Reds manager Bryan Price. “He didn’t want to say anything (Sunday).”
“He’s day-to-day,” Price said. “It could be soon. I’m not crossing him off my list for (Tuesday).”
The Reds reportedly asked him about any discomfort when he couldn’t find the strike zone against the Rockies; Chapman said he was fine. It turns out that he was not fine, though it does not appear to be anything serious, at least not yet.
For Price and the Reds, the question will be if they should continue to ride Chapman with a normal workload between now and the end of the season if they continue to plummet out of the National League playoff picture.
So far in 2014 Chapman has been his usual outstanding self as Cincinnati’s closer: in 39 games he has 26 saves, a 2.82 ERA, and is striking hitters out at an absurd 17.6 K/9 mark. As long as they still have visions of a sprint to the playoffs in their heads, the Reds have a big weapon in Chapman.
But once those dreams are dead, it would seem that the Reds would want to at least lighten Chapman’s load so that this shoulder soreness does not become something that lingers.