Originally written September 11, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
Cincinnati-reds-louis
CINCINNATI Most major-league pitchers are enthralled and ecstatic when their fastballs consistently hit 95 or 96 miles an hour on the radar guns.But when you are Aroldis Chapman and the reading says 94 and 95 it is time to call the pressbo and ask, What wrong with the radar gun.Unfortunately for Chapman and the Cincinnati Reds, there is nothing wrong with the radar gun. There is something wrong with Chapmans shoulder.They are calling it shoulder fatigue and rest has been prescribed for the 24-year-old lefthanded closer.Five days or a week and Ill be OK, said Chapman through translatortrainer Tomas Vera.When the season began, Chapmans fastball hit triple digits, above 100 miles an hour, nearly every time. By mid-season it was down to 97 and 98.But he kept striking out hitters and kept annexing saves, a club record 27 straight after he blew one on June 24. Along the way he struck out 119 in 67 23 innings and they were talking about a possible Cy Young Award and the Fireman of the Year award for sure.Then, pitching the ninth-inning against the 96-loss Houston Astros, asked to protect a 3-2 lead, he gave up two singles and a three-run home run to rookie Matt Dominguez, his second career home run.And his velocity was at 95 and 96.On Monday Chapman came into a tie game, 3-3, in the 10th inning against Pittsburgh. He walked the bases loaded and was removed from the game with two outs.His velocity was down to 93 and 94.After the game, manager Dusty Baker said, Are we concerned? Yes, it is worrisome His velocity is down. Weve had him checked and our doctor and trainers tell us it is shoulder fatigue.Chapman said there is no pain, but he knows his speed is down and that he cant reach back for extra when he needs it.A little fatigue for I know I havent been myself for a couple of games, he said. I feel weak. But there is nothing wrong. I just feel tired and weak.Chapman said it is nothing new, It has happened before, but it happens to every pitcher. At some point every pitcher gets fatigued.It isnt the innings Chapman has pitched (67 23s) because he was a starting pitcher with the Cuban National team and he was a starter in the Reds minor-league system. But he has had 64 appearances this season, most of them under pressure situations.Chapman said his loss of command is more disconcerting than the loss of speed and said, The fatigue affects not only speed, but muscle control and everything goes off.Vera probably offered the best quote at the end of the interview when he said, as digital recorders and cameras clicked off: Dont worry, guys. He is going to be all right.Baker said it is the command that bothers him more than speed reduction beause before the three walks Monday Chapman had walked only 11 in his first 67 innings.Nobody goes to the mound with the same velocity all the time, he said. Were lucky we got him to this point. When a guy throws 102 miles an hour he is going to fatigue sooner or later. He is reaching a plateau he hasnt reached before. This is another step to learning how to be a closer and learning how to work away from the field to maintain his strength.What is happening is that Aroldis is growing, growing into the closers role and growing into the workload, Baker added. Weve monitored him about as close as you an monitor him. He is still learning the role. We want him for the next six weeks, hopefully, and we need to stop this fatigue right now.So who steps into the closers role during Chapmans absence?Jonathan Broxon is the No. 1 candidate, but it is a match-up, too, said Baker. If they had three lefthanders coming up it could be (lefthander) Sean Marshall. It could be Jose Arrendo or J.J. Hoover.But Broxon has closer experience with the Los Angeles Dodgers and with the Kansas City Royals, from whom the Reds acquired at the nonwaivers trade deadline.Yeah, hes our No. 1 chocie, said Baker. But we try to limit him to two days in a row. When we got him we said this is the luxury we now have two guys who can close.Baker, though, will count the days until he can press a button and turn the Cuban Missile loose once again.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Five things to watch in the AL Wild Card game

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

Is hiring Mack Brown a real possibility for SMU Mustangs?

NFL: Abdullah should not have been penalized for praying

Belichick: Pats 'didn't play well enough at all' against Chiefs

Astros new manager A.J. Hinch: ‘Goal is to win championships’

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

The best and worst MLB players in September

Tracking demanding career paths of all Top 25 head coaches

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

AL Wild Card preview

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Raiders to make a run at Jon Gruden?

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.