Jeff Castner is the Assistant Director of Operations at a major university in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he has been employed for nearly thirty years. He spends a lot of time on the job and the work is very demanding, so he enjoys those things that keep him occupied away from work. One of those things is baseball.
Jeff Castner is a big fan of the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team. Unfortunately, the Reds are struggling so far in the 2014 campaign, hovering around the .500 mark in the midseason. One of the few bright spots for the Reds this year is the return of Aroldis Chapman, their flame-throwing left-handed relief pitcher.
Aroldis Chapman has impressed Jeff Castner and just about everyone else who has seen him pitch. His velocity is unbelievable. Jeff Castner recalls that in May 2013, Chapman threw a fastball that was clocked at an incredible 106 miles an hour, a Major League record. He is very strong on strikeouts: as of July 29, 2014, Aroldis Chapman had struck out at least one batter in forty-five consecutive relief appearances for the Reds, another Major League record. Chapman has made the National League All Star team for three straight years.
Still, the team appears to be headed for a disappointing finish this season, and so Jeff Castner is paying closer attention than usual to the Indianapolis Indians, the city's minor league baseball team that is part of the Pittsburgh Pirates system. The Indians, known informally as the Tribe, are the two-time defending champions of International League West Division. Past Indianapolis Indians include Roger Maris, Harmon Killebrew, Al Lopez, Randy Johnson, and current Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen.