The comeback trail will continue for Milwaukee Brewers’ reliever, Jaye Chapman. While he was not signed to a major league contract or even put on the 40-man roster, Chapman will be back in the Brewers’ system as team beat writer, Adam McCalvy tweeted earlier today that he was re-signed to a minor league contract. Here is a look at why Chapman is a guy to cheer for as he works to get back on a major league roster.
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Chapman was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 16th round of the 2006 draft. After toiling the minors for seven years and being traded to the Chicago Cubs, Chapman finally made his major league debut in 2012. In 14 innings of work, he went 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA while averaging a strikeout per inning.
But there is more to Chapman’s story than just being a one time major leaguer, his work to get back to the major leagues means much more. After not making the big league roster out of camp in 2013, it was revealed that he was pitching through pain each time out. While many pitchers battle arm trouble, Chapman’s pain was different. He battled constant hip pain. In an article by Adam McCalvy, Chapman noted that his doctors had said, “it was somebody had taken a razor blade to my labrums. They were that torn up.”
After having surgery on both of his hips, Chapman spent all of 2014 in the Independent League, successfully pitching 53.2 innings out of the bullpen and opening the eyes of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Last season, Chapman looked great pitching for both the AA Biloxi Shuckers and the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox. In Biloxi he went four and two with a 0.81 ERA and in Colorado Springs he was nearly as good, going two and three with a 3.16 ERA. He pitched so well in AAA that he even became the Sky Sox closer by season’s end.
Though he will enter 2016 without a big league roster spot, he will at least be given a chance to again prove himself. Joining a strong group arms, Chapman will help to make that AAA pitching staff even stronger as the season beings. In his career Chapman has dealt with a lot and it is hard not to root for him as he continues to comeback trail.