Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds has been selected as the winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award for July, it was announced today. This Major League Baseball award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball.
Chapman recorded a Major League-best 13 saves during July, successfully converting each of his opportunities while not allowing a run over 14.1 innings pitched. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed just six hits and two walks with 31 strikeouts in his 15 appearances and did not factor in any decisions. In three appearances during a three-game series against the N.L. Central-rival St. Louis Cardinals from July 13th-15th, the Cuban native recorded two saves and permitted just one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts over 3.0 innings. Chapman tossed 5.1 consecutive innings without allowing a hit from July 14th-22nd, yielding just two walks in that span with 12 strikeouts. Chapman, who signed with the Reds as a free agent in 2010, was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and he tossed 0.1 innings with one walk and one strikeout at the 83rd Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium on July 10th. Dating back to July 15th, Aroldis has recorded a save in each of his last 11 outings, and he has successfully converted each of his last 15 save opportunities dating back to June 26th. On the season, he is 4-4 with a 1.39 ERA. In 51.2 innings, he has allowed eight earned runs on 23 hits with 14 walks and 96 strikeouts. In addition, he has recorded at least one strikeout in 47 of his 48 appearances, and produced at least two strikeouts in 33 games. He is on pace for 149 strikeouts this season, which would set a new club record for strikeouts by a reliever (Rob Dibble – 141 in 1989; the N.L. record is 157 by Houston’s Brad Lidge in 2004; and the MLB record is 181 by Boston’s Dick Radatz in 1964).
Other relievers receiving votes included Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 SV, 13.0 IP, 13 SO); St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte (1-0, 0.79 ERA, 7 SV, 11.1 IP, 16 SO); and Joel Hanrahan (1-0, 2.38 ERA, 11 SV, 11.1 IP, 12 SO) of the Pittsburgh Pirates.