HomeTrending MLB NewsAroldis Chapman can still help Pirates

Aroldis Chapman can still help Pirates

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Aroldis Chapman was the type of reliever the Pittsburgh Pirates needed.

He signed a one-year deal worth $10.5 million at the end of January, adding a veteran presence to the back of the Pirates bullpen. A seven-time All-Star and two-time World Series winner, Chapman was a player who could help teach the young pitchers how to win. 

The trio of Chapman, closer David Bednar and breakout reliever Colin Holderman were supposed to give the Pirates a formidable combination to close out victories.

Those plans have not come to fruition. Bednar has imploded this season, posting an 11.70 ERA and a 1.600 WHIP over his 10 innings, issuing three walks with 15 strikeouts. Chapman has not helped matters, posting a 6.00 ERA and a 1.889 WHIP over his nine innings, striking out 16 batters with 12 walks.

Command issues have been a problem for Chapman over his career. He has a 4.7 BB/9 rate over his career and has walked more than five batters per nine innings five times before this season. Instead of being able to step in for Bednar, Chapman has been a tightrope act of his own.

There are reasons to expect that Chapman will dominate again. He is still generating plenty of swings and misses, ranking in the 85th percentile in whiff rate and the 96th percentile in strikeout rate. 

His average fastball velocity of 97.6 mph is in the 96th percentile. Chapman can still reach back for triple digits; when he can locate his fastball, he is completely untouchable.

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