TCB continues day two of TCB's 40 In 40 series with left-handed reliever Kevin Chapman.
Chapman was signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2010 after being selected in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida. He came to Houston as part of the Jason Bourgeois and Humberto Quintero trade back in 2012 .
Chapman started his career at Florida by making a start here and there, but settled into a role as full-time reliever in his final season as a Gator in 2010. In the minors he has appeared in 240 games, all of which were as a reliever over six seasons.
The lefty specialist found a roll in the youth movement in 2013 and 2014 Astros rosters. Chapman appeared in 25 games at the end of the 2013 Major League season, posting a glowing 1.77 ERA, 15 strikeouts, 13 walks, .183 batting average against, and a 1.28 WHIP in 20 1/3 innings.
Chapman opened the 2014 season on the major league roster, walking a batter in each of his first six appearances and allowing earned runs in four of them. He was sent down before then end of April and returning for extended time in August and Sept. in 2014. He was once again steller, Chapman was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in nine games with eight hits allowed, one walk, six strikeouts .242 batting average against, and a 1.04 WHIP in 8 2/3 innings.
Chapman once again didn't start with the Major League club in 2015 after being beat out by veteran Joe Thatcher. He made a short trip with the Astros in May.
He was a solid option out of the pen for the 2015 Pacific Coast League Champions Fresno Grizzlies. Chapman had a 3-2 record with a 4.75 ERA, 3 home runs allowed, 26 walks, 61 strikeouts, .286 batting average against, and a 1.62 WHIP in 53 innings with Triple A Fresno.
Chapman had career numbers in walks per nine innings (4.42) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.36) and strikeout per walk ratio (2.35) in 2015 when compared to his Triple A seasons. The one number that skyrocketed in the negative direction was hits per nine innings (10.19).
Now the question is where does Chapman fit into the plans for the 2016 Astros? The Astros have their number one left-handed pitching option out of the bullpen in Tony Sipp. But who will be number two in the pecking order? It could very well be Chapman.
Chapman is on the 40-man roster with no other veteran competition ahead of him. If the Astros want to have a second left-handed pitcher in the bullpen, the internal option is Chapman. We'll have to see how Spring Training shakes out.