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The Aroldis-Chapman-to-the-bullpen experiment is not going so well

Jul 15, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

Because the let’s-take-a-young-starter-and-turn-him-into-a-reliever trend is one of the latest windmills at which I like to tilt, I got all upset last month when the Reds said that they were converting Aroldis Chapman into a relief pitcher.

Maybe I won’t need to worry about it, though, because John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that — early progress notwithstanding — the experiment is not going so well.  Chapman is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA since the move to bullpen. According to Fay, three of his seven
outings have been “ugly.”  At the same time, the Reds’ bullpen has become less of a concern than it was a month ago.  Yes, they could use an arm, but not one that has to learn on the job like Chapman.

So, the most important thing to watch as far as Chapman goes these days is not when he’ll be called up to the big club, but when the big club will let him go back to being a starter so he can develop like a proper young studly prospect should.

  1. Jonny5 - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Craig, after pokin’ Old Cholly in the eye a little over the All Star game, you must read this. It’ll make ya smile. Gauranteed.
    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20100715_Braves__McCann_says_Manuel_inspired_him.html

  2. adam - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Amazing. A hard thrower who can’t find the strike zone doesn’t make for a good reliever.

    Any Mets fans running to tell Minaya before he gets the genius idea to try Oliver Perez in the bullpen?

  3. akbled - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    What but Tom Verducci said this morning that he will help the Reds by years end. Sure Tom sure!

  4. bigtrav425 - Jul 15, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    This was a really DUMB move by the Reds anyways to move him

  5. willmose - Jul 15, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Yeah, it certainly didn’t work out for the Cardinals in 2006 when they did it with Wainwright.

  6. Paper Lions - Jul 16, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    You can’t compare Wainwright at the time the Cards moved him to the bullpen to Chapman…..well, you can, but it is a poor comparison. Wainwright was already a polished pitcher with command, it was near the end of the year, they didn’t want him to pitch too many more innings, and they had great need for a closer. It was the perfect situation. In contrast, Chapman is a young, inexperienced pitcher who needs reps to work on his mechanics and approach. He is still a thrower and not yet a pitcher. Trying to convert such a player to relief will probably fail while retarding the development of that player.

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