Aroldis Chapman deserves his spot on the National League All-Star MLB roster for the Cincinnati Reds, even though the ace reliever perhaps isn’t satisfied with his own pitching, in recent games. When he’s on his game, Chapman is unstoppable.
He has 61 strikeouts in his first 36 innings of work this season, and that stat alone indicates his dominance. He had an ERA of 2.38 last year and it has been 2.50 this season. He has been very successful in his first 23 save opportunities, converting 20 of them. That’s still what it’s all about as a closer.
Although he has struggled recently, Chapman is still widely considered to be one of the most the most dominant closers in the major leagues when he’s throwing well and his fastball is working.
Chapman’s parents defected from Cuba earlier this year and Chapman indicated they might be watching him at the All-Star game. A perfect setting for the National League will be to have a lead going into the ninth to get Chapman in the game. Chapman’s 2.57 ERA is higher than last year’s number (2.38), but that hasn’t stopped him from converting 20 of 23 save opportunities.
The two-time All-Star will also be able to pitch in front of his parents who defected from Cuba in January, according to Chapman. The Reds obviously need Chapman to stay on top of his game for the rest of the season if they’re to make a legitimate bid for the postseason. So far, it looks like they’ll be able to count on him all the way.