Kevin Chapman (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Chapman optioned to AAA

The Astros have optioned LHP Kevin Chapman to AAA Oklahoma City and purchased the contract of Raul Valdes.

Facing the team that originally drafted him, Chapman walked the only batter he pitched to last night.  That helped the Royals stage a seventh inning rally that tied the game. Kansas City would go on to win in eleven innings.

Unable to duplicate the success he enjoyed as a rookie last season, Chapman was starting to look like a left-handed version of Hector Ambriz. Walks have been the biggest issue. Chapman has issued seven free passes in only 3 & 2/3 innings this season.

Raul Valdes (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Actually, this is nothing new for the hard throwing lefty. Chapman has averaged five walks per nine innings during his minor league career. That is a number that must be improved upon for Chapman to have sustained success in the big leagues. Hopefully Kevin can work out his problems at the AAA level and come back to help the Astros later in the season.

Veteran Raul Valdes has been summoned to replace Chapman as the lone left-hander in the Astros bullpen. The 36-year old native of Cuba has pitched in the big leagues for the Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, and Phillies.

Valdes was DFA’d by the Astros earlier this spring and passed through waivers unclaimed. Don’t expect Valdes to be a big improvement over Chapman. Left-handed relief seems to be one of the bigger weaknesses in Houston this season. Maybe he can at least throw some strikes.


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Tags: Houston Astros Kevin Chapman Raul Valdes

  • Bob Gordon

    Well at least they’re trying to address their pitching problems re Chapman (and Harrell). As you mention though, hard to see that Valdes will be a significant improvement.

    • astrosince1975

      Yes. Despite the extensive rebuilding effort the Astros still have no real left-handed pitching presence in the majors (other than the 2 starters) and no top prospects in the in the upper minors. Josh Hader and Kent Emanuel are still a long way from the majors. Hader (Lancaster) looks like a pretty good bet for 2016 and Emanuel is just getting his feet wet at Quad Cities. David Rollins and Luis Cruz (AA) have both been pleasant surprises up to this point but aren’t quite ready to help in Houston.

      Porter has already gone on record saying that he has right-handed relievers that can get lefties out so he doesn’t view this as a problem. Bo’s ability to toe the company line in such a manner is impressive. Let’s see how he feels in a few months.