Many people wrote Aroldis Chapman off at the end of last season, but the Cuban has regained the supersonic speed on his pitches after working with pitching guru Héctor Berrios in the offseason. The flamethrowers fastball has reached a staggering 104 mph on the radar gun on various occasions this season. In 22 ⅓ innings pitched he has a record of 1-2, a 2.82 ERA, saved two games and has struck out 38 batters over that span.
In his role as the setup man for closer Scott Barlow the left-hander has a 1.35 WHIP and is averaging a staggering 15.3 SO/9. Opponents are hitting a miniscule .190 on the campaign against the southpaw. Judging by the fast start to his season the planets might be lining up for another stellar campaign for “The Cuban Missle” in Kansas City.
In his career Chapman has saved 317 games and is a seven-time All-Star. In 661 ⅓ innings pitched the lefty has retired 1,080 hitters via the strikeout. In the opinion of many the hurler might be the next Cuban inducted to Cooperstown when it is all said and done.
Hablamos con @AChapman_105 sobre su trabajo en la temporada muerta con el profesor @HLB_Pitching y la posibilidad de llegar a 400 juegos salvados. #pelotacubana #WelcomeToTheCity #orgullocubano pic.twitter.com/8L14oS0Gwz
— Yusseff305 🇨🇺🇺🇲 (@yusseff305) June 12, 2023
In the offseason you worked with Professor Héctor Berrios. How did it help you re-establish yourself as the Aroldis Chapman you once were?
Firstly it helped me regain my confidence. To be exact my confidence when it comes to throwing. He also aided me with my mechanics and the command of my pitches. Working with really helped me regain my form.
You returned to the role of setup man this year, something you hadn’t played in a long time. How have you adjusted back to that role again?
Quite a few years have passed since I have been a setup man and I think that my past experience has helped me to be able to adapt to the role once again.
Would you like to have more save situations this year?
Do I want them, of course I’d like to have those opportunities, but I’m doing my assigned job here which is pitching seventh or eighth, and sometimes ninth. I’m just trying to do my job and do it well.
Could Aroldis Chapman reach 400 saves, and if he achieved such a feat do you think that would open the doors to the Hall of Fame?
Well, that I don’t know. First of all I need the opportunities to be able to save and fulfill that goal. I would like it to come to pass. I’m going to focus on having a good season and, God willing in the coming years I’ll have a better chance of closing more games and reaching that goal. I think I still have several years to play at the highest level, so I’m looking forward to that opportunity.
Do you have any goals for the rest of the season?
To stay healthy, keep doing my job well and have a good year.