No, the Cuban Missile isn't ready to pitch in a major league game just yet. But he did take one more step on the road to recovery by throwing a 25-pitch live batting practice session before Tuesday's game against the Cubs. Tucker Barnhart, who had the privilege of catching Chapman for the session, had nothing but praise for his battery mate's performance.
"He was good, he was commanding all three of his pitches," Barnhart said, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He keeps baffling guys with how good his changeup is. It's something I don't think he throws much of during the season -- or he hasn't in the past -- but when you throw 101, 102, 103, you don't really need a changeup. It's really good, all his pitches look good. His slider has a good down-hill plan and he looks ready to go."
Afterward, Chapman talked with members of the media about he felt, and did so thanks to the guidance of interpreter (and assistant athletic trainer) Tomas Vera. Basically, Chapman believes he's ready to return to game action, which should come later this week with Single-A Dayton. The southpaw is expected to appear in a handful of minor league games before ultimately returning to Cincinnati's bullpen.
Again, there's still no official date for his return, but we are getting closer.