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Not in the pen yet, Aroldis Chapman goes five innings for Reds

Mar 29, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT

Aroldis Chapman Getty Images

When the Reds said Ryan Madson needed Tommy John surgery, ruling him out for the season, all indications were that Aroldis Chapman was headed back to the pen to help out in the seventh and eighth innings. Yet the 24-year-old Cuban defector made another start Thursday, allowing two runs in five innings against the Brewers.

Facing something close to Milwaukee’s regular lineup, Chapman struck out six and walked none. Obviously, control is the big issue for him as a potential starter — he walked 41 in 50 innings out of the pen last season — but he’s been great this spring, amassing an 18/2 K/BB ratio in 17 innings of work.

The Reds may still figure they’re better off with Chapman in the pen and Homer Bailey in the rotation, and given Bailey’s ever improving peripherals, they might be right. Still, if Chapman can keep his walk rate down, he’d likely be a dynamic starting pitcher. It’d be nice to see what he can do in that role next month, considering that he can always be sent back to the pen later. It’s not quite so easy going the other way.

  1. metalhead65 - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    after what he has done this spring there should be no doubt he needs to start but I am sure dusty and the reds will see it differently and continue to mess with this kid by sending him to the pen. once there dusty can blow out his arm by using 4 days in a row on a consistant basis.

    • paperlions - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      Of course he should be in the rotation, he should have ALWAYS been in the rotation. Moving him to relief was a classic example of mis-use of resources in which a team sacrificed a potential large benefit (front end starter) in exchange for an immediate very small potential benefit (a few relief innings). They’ve wasted his first 2 years.

  2. yahmule - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Situations like this kind of make me feel sorry for Dusty Baker. You can see how badly he wants to waste Chapman’s talent, but he’s really not sure about the best way of doing it.

  3. wlschneider09 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Maybe, just maybe, it’s related to control issues.

  4. yahmule - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Baker’s or Chapman’s?

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Hahaha! Outstanding Mule. I would venture to guess it is control issues on BOTH parts. LOL!

    • wlschneider09 - Mar 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      That made me laugh too. Well played.

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