The last time a pitching phenom was called up to the major leagues, he blew out his elbow three months later. The Cincinnati Reds are hoping that their pitching phenom doesn’t suffer the same fate.

The Reds have called up LHP Aroldis Chapman from Triple-A Louisville and he will be available to pitch in tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. By calling up Chapman on the 31st, he will eligible for postseason play.

Chapman and his legit 100 mph fastball should pay immediate dividends for the Reds. He could have the same impact for the Reds out of the bullpen that Francisco Rodriguez had for the Los Angeles Angels back in 2002.

He has a 2.40 earned run average as a reliever in the minor leagues. Chapman has allowed 17 hits, 12 walks, and struck out 49 in 30 innings, since moving to bullpen. That is all kinds of nasty.

With Arthur Rhodes obviously hurting (can someone explain to me why Dusty Baker left him out to dry in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs?), Chapman can be the left-handed bridge to closer Francisco Cordero.

Here are some other facts about Aroldis Chapman

Age: 22

Bats: Left

Throws: Left

College: None

Drafted: None. Signed as a free agent out of Holguin, Cuba. Signed a six-year, $30.25 million contract in Jan. of 2010.

Minor League Stats:

2010 Triple-A: 9-6 with a 3.57 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, and 11.9 K/9 in 95.2 IP.

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis:

Ranking: No. 16 out of 100 best prospects in baseball in 2010

Analysis: “Chapman’s surprise decision to sign with Cincinnati gives the Reds an impressive stable of young arms who could form a contender’s rotation by 2012 or 2013, with Chapman possibly at the head.

“He projects comfortably as an ace with a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and has legitimately hit 101 with good life, and he will flash a plus slider with good tilt. He has a changeup but seldom had to use it because he could get hitters out with velocity and fastball movement.

“He’s also a good athlete whose velocity comes easily from a loose arm, and, with age and physical maturity, should be able to handle workloads of 180 to 200 innings.

“As well as Chapman projects in pro ball, that projection is based entirely on a small number of scouting looks that MLB evaluators have had, as he has pitched a handful of times in international competitions and threw once for scouts in Houston not long before signing with the Reds.

It’s not clear how much he’ll be able to throw in 2010 or what kind of command he’ll have when facing high-quality lineups in the United States. He’s very likely to become a No. 1 starter, but there’s enough risk here—including the possibility he’ll end up in relief—to keep him out of the top 10.”

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