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Chapman brings velo and value

5/11/2014

Aroldis Chapman returned to the majors after the horrific head injury that sidelined him for the season’s first six weeks.

Chapman struck out the side to finish a 4-1 win for the Cincinnati Reds over the Colorado Rockies.

The velo

Chapman hit at least 100 mph on the radar gun 15 times on 21 pitches.

Sunday marked the fifth time over the last four seasons that Chapman has thrown 15 or more pitches clocked at 100 mph or faster.

The rest of the sport’s pitchers have combined for only two such games over that same span (one by Bruce Rondon, the other by Andrew Cashner).

Chapman has thrown 297 pitches of at least 100 mph since the start of last season. Rondon, out due to Tommy John surgery, ranks second with 144.

What’s 100 mph worth?

How hard is it to hit a 100 mph pitch from Chapman?

Consider this:

Opponents have missed on 42 percent of their swings against pitches clocked that fast by Chapman in his career (counting both the regular season and postseason).

The average major-league pitch thrown less than 100 mph is missed about 23 percent of the time.

Chapman has recorded 196 outs and yielded only 22 hits and 15 walks against his 100-mph pitches.

He’s allowed only two extra-base hits against them:a double by Lance Berkman in 2011 and a homer by Jose Lopez in 2012.

Chapman’s value

Chapman’s return should play a significant role in returning some sense of normalcy to the Reds’ bullpen.

In his absence, Reds relievers were 3-8 with a 4.80 ERA to start the season.

They ranked 29th in ERA and 29th in strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Chapman entered the season with a 2.40 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk rate of better than 3 to 1.