06/20/12 6:40 PM ET
Reds prepared for blips in Aroldis' evolution
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Chapman, who began the season with 24 straight appearances without allowing an earned run, is 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA and two blown saves over his last six games. He gave up the decisive two-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera in the bottom of the 10th for a 3-2 loss to the Indians on Tuesday.
"He got out of his delivery yesterday, and pitches that he was trying to throw in were running back out over the plate," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said Wednesday. "He wasn't where he needed to be with his fastball command, and the velocity fluctuations we're probably sometimes just going to have to live with."
Chapman's fastball velocity, which can reach triple digits, was in the mid-to-high 90s, and Cabrera hit a 94-mph pitch for his homer.
Since becoming the closer, Chapman has relied heavily on his fastball and hasn't mixed in many other pitches -- like his slider. Price felt that a mix was good, but diversifying his lefty's repertoire is sometimes easier said than done.
"When he's on throwing with velocity and command, sometimes throwing a slider is taking a risk, only in the sense that he's pitching a lot of these shorter outings. He's not throwing as many sliders," Price said. "He could be more apt to maybe make a mistake with that pitch. When you have that type of velocity and command, you get a little reluctant to throw the slider. The aftereffect is, the less he throws it, the more foreign it becomes, too.
"When he does get a chance to throw it, as he did last night, it cut back and didn't do much. When you go into a one-run game, are you going to throw a pitch that you don't have great confidence in with a game on the line?"
Overall, Chapman is 4-3 with a 1.57 ERA and eight saves in 30 games.
"There are a lot of things going into the evolution of this kid," Price said. "As much as it's been fun to watch, there are always things along the way, like how he's going to respond to the hiccups he's had here recently."
Reds manager Dusty Baker hoped to get Chapman back on the mound as soon as possible.
"I don't care who you are, sometimes you're going to get hit," Baker said. "You knew it was going to come sooner or later. The real test of the life of a reliever is to forget yesterday. Now he'll have to pass another test and forget yesterday."
Woman in Chapman hotel robbery charged
A woman who claimed she was bound and robbed while staying in the Pittsburgh hotel room of Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month was charged with one misdemeanor count of filing a false report to law enforcement, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Claudia Manrique of Maryland said on May 29 that she was attacked by a man posing as a maintenance worker at the Omni William Penn Hotel while Chapman and the Reds were playing the Pirates.
According to the Post-Gazette, the 26-year-old Manrique's story changed while under 12 hours of questioning by Pittsburgh police.
MLB denies Phillips' appeal for scoring change
CLEVELAND -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips' appeal to Major League Baseball for a scoring change was denied on Wednesday. In the fifth inning of Monday's 10-9 loss to the Indians, Phillips lined a ball down the left-field line that was misplayed by Johnny Damon and led to Phillips scoring on the play.
The official scorer ruled the play an RBI double for Phillips, with an error on Damon. Phillips and the Reds felt he should have been credited with an inside-the-park home run. Phillips lived with the ruling without complaint.
"I'm not mad. I got a hit," Phillips said after being told his appeal was denied. "We just lost. I care about the loss more than anything."
Stubbs takes BP, likely to get rehab assignment
CLEVELAND -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs (strained left oblique) took early batting practice on the field Wednesday for the first time since going on the disabled list.
"I took a lot of swings. Everything felt good," Stubbs said. "I feel ready and physically capable. Obviously I've sat out for two weeks, but I'm anxious to get back as soon as I can."
Although eligible to be activated on Friday, Stubbs is likely headed for a rehab assignment in the Minors first.
"That's a very good possibility," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We think it's the best for him and us. We don't need him to come back and be struggling. You can take BP, but there's nothing like live pitching where you have to go get it."
Bray solid in Triple-A outing; Masset progresses
CLEVELAND -- In his latest rehab outing for Triple-A Louisville, Reds reliever Bill Bray (left groin, back injuries) pitched a scoreless and hitless one inning on Wednesday afternoon with two walks. Bray earned the victory over Scranton-Wilkes Barre but threw 23 pitches with only 10 strikes.
Reliever Nick Masset, who has not pitched for the Reds this season because of a right shoulder injury, threw 26 fastballs in the bullpen on Tuesday. Pitching coach Bryan Price felt that Masset did well and could progress to throwing offspeed pitches in his next session.
A rehab assignment for Masset is not on the radar yet, however.
"It's too early," Price said on Wednesday. "There are some things that have to go on, as far as my opinion as part of the protocol. He's got to throw more bullpens. He needs to face some hitters live, either in a batting practice situation or simulated game type situation. And then start to think about how to lay out his innings plan before his rehab throwing program."
Right-handed pitcher Robert Stephenson, the Reds' 2011 first-round Draft pick, made his pro debut for Rookie level Billings on Tuesday. Stephenson allowed one unearned run and three hits over five innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.