Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

Reds' Chapman back in line for starting job

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Aroldis Chapman was getting ready to start for the Reds last spring when the bullpen got wiped out by injuries, forcing a different approach. The hard-throwing Cuban became one of baseball's best closers in his first try at it.

He's on the same course this spring, trying to win a spot in the rotation — and his manager is keeping an open mind about where he'll end up eventually.

So is Chapman, who worked on his changeup over the winter to add another pitch in case he starts.

"I will prepare the same way I did last year," Chapman said, with trainer Tomas Vera translating. "I would like to start a season and throw as many innings as I can, but that's up to the team. When I was in Cuba, I threw 150 innings. I will prepare myself to throw as many innings as they want me to throw."

Chapman, who turns 25 on Feb. 28, was expected to develop into a starter when the Reds signed him in 2010, but in three seasons he has yet to make a start, appearing in 137 games in relief.

He excelled as the closer last year, but the Reds told him at the end of the season that they were planning to make him a starter. Their other five starters are right-handers, and Chapman — whose fastball has been clocked at 105 mph — would give the rotation a much different look.

"Chapman has the chance to be a top-flight starter," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "I always wanted to have a left-hander in the rotation."

ARBITRATION RECORD: Right-hander Homer Bailey and the Reds agreed to a $5.35 million, one-year contract, ensuring baseball will set a record low for salary arbitration hearings. No cases have been argued before three-person panels this year among the 133 players who filed for arbitration last month, and just two remain scheduled for hearings next week, Padres left-hander Clayton Richard and Orioles reliever Darren O'Day.

ANGELS: Closer Ryan Madson, sidelined since Feb. 1 because of discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow, could resume his throwing program as early as Monday.

BREWERS: First baseman Mat Gamel aggravated his surgically repaired right knee and had his workout cut short.

DODGERS: Left-hander Clayton Kershaw was named the opening day starter and will become the team's first pitcher to start three straight openers since right-hander Derek Lowe from 2005-07.

METS: Manager Terry Collins confirmed that right-hander Zack Wheeler, one of the team's top prospects, will open the season at Triple-A Las Vegas.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Rafael Soriano, the former Rays closer who filled in for injured Yankees great Mariano Rivera last season, cleared up his visa issues in the Dominican Republic and reported to camp.

PADRES: Reading from a prepared statement, catcher Yasmani Grandal apologized for a second time following his 50-game suspension for a positive test for testosterone.

Comments
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Closer Alex Colome was not traded by the Rays to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.But he appeared to be either prepping for or having some fun with the possibility.On his alexcolome37 verified Instagram account, Colome started following the Cardinals o...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Boys basketball: St. Petersburg 62, Countryside 61

CLEARWATER – St. Petersburg already had Serrel Smith, an Ole Miss signee who is the reigning Pinellas County player of the year.The lineup became even better in the summer with the addition of Tampa Catholic transfers Tai and Terrell Strickland...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Bucs’ problem isn’t how they finish; it’s how they start

The Bucs’ problem isn’t how they finish; it’s how they start

For the second straight week, the Buccaneers had the ball in the final minutes of a tie game.For the second straight week, they could not finish.As disappointing as that might be, they have a larger problem, and one that has existed all season: The B...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Even dealing with a biceps injury and his Bucs at 4-9, Gerald McCoy isn't giving up on playing this season."I'm a fighter," McCoy said Tuesday night. "Y'all know me. I don't quit. I give it everything I have. Even the slightest possibility of being a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

The West Club at Raymond James Stadium was packed on Tuesday night with 75 needy local families who thought they were getting a holiday dinner and stadium tour with Bucs players.The defensive line stepped up to give the families a much bigger surpris...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Updated: 2 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 12

Tuesday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 5, Tarpon Springs 0Palm Harbor U. 8, Alonso 0Boys soccerShorecrest 2, Indian Rocks Chr. 0Palm Harbor U. 3, Alonso 0Girls basketballNortheast 65, Dixie Hollins 25...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Leonard makes season debut in Spurs defeat

Leonard makes season debut in Spurs defeat

DALLAS — Spurs star Kawhi Leonard made his season debut Tuesday night, getting the start in a 95-89 loss at Dallas after missing 27 games with a quadriceps injury. Leonard has been recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that cause...
Updated: 2 hours ago