Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defector-turned-Cincinnati Red, will get his first taste of MLB action on Monday.
He will enter the game in a reliever's role at Goodyear Park against the Kansas City Royals.
The 22-year old southpaw is being scrutinized carefully by the media. That is a bunch of attention for a man who hasn't thrown an MLB pitch to date.
Chapman has thrown batting practice a couple of times and may see some action today in an intrasquad game.
Dusty Baker is not concerned about the outcome of Chapman's performance on Monday. He said he was just wanting to watch the kid and see how he handles himself.
There has been no doubt about the velocity of Chapman's fastball. He is one of a very few people who can throw the ball 100 mph. If he can work the corners of the plate and not be wild, he could be a very hard pitcher to bat against.
I don't look for Chapman do be with the Reds when they break camp. I would think he would come up for a look somewhere between Memorial Day and the All-Star break.
I am one of the many who hopes the young man pans out because it sure has been rough not having a consistent southpaw starter for a number of years here.
One of the most difficult transitions for Chapman is the move from one country to another. The difference in cultures are sometimes hard to overcome.
His interpreter in spring training is Class A Dayton pitching coach Tony Fossas.
I am looking forward to the beginning of the season. I haven't been this excited about the beginning of a season in decades.
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