Odds & Ends: Chapman, Pirates, Westbrook

Some more links to go along with what's been a slow Sunday thus far:

  • If you haven't already, take a look at Jorge Arangure Jr.'s article on Aroldis Chapman. Arangure covers Chapman's journey and the decisions and sacrifices that he made when he defected from the Cuban national team. There are also two videos (one Insider only) to go along with the story. It's lengthy, but a great read. Peter Abraham offers a cautionary note regarding Chapman: "…keep in mind that the same things were being said about Jose Contreras and he’s just another guy at this point. There’s a lot more to being a great pitcher in the majors than having a good arm."
  • Dejan Kovacevic has some of Pirates general manager Neal Huntington's thoughts on several issues, including the club's recent losses and the need for a left-handed reliever. Jen Langosch has some of Huntington's thoughts as well, on topics including the farm system and newly-acquired Ronny Cedeno. Huntington would rather have a quality arm who can retire both left- and right-handed hitters than just a left-handed specialist.
  • Bad new for Indians fans: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Jake Westbrook experienced another setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and will see Dr. Lewis Yocum this week. Westbrook isn't sure if the pain is something he should expect and work through, or if there are new issues in his arm. General manager Mark Shapiro has said that if Westbrook is healthy, he'll be Cleveland's opening day starter in 2010.
  • Buster Olney has a new article up, and talks about the Dodgers' shrinking lead on the NL West. Olney wonders if, with a growing need for starting pitching, the Dodgers will call on John Smoltz to try his hand back in the National League. Olney stresses that the Smoltz idea is just his own personal speculation.
  • Joel Sherman's Sunday Hardball column looks at how to fix the Mets for 2010. His solution begins with Mark DeRosa and Chone Figgins.

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