Skip to content

Scout on Aroldis Chapman starting: “Joba Chamberlain all over again”

Mar 15, 2013, 8:32 PM EST

Aroldis Chapman AP

Ken Rosenthal talked to a rival scout about the chance of Cincinnati Reds lefty Aroldis Chapman joining the starting rotation, and the scout wasn’t exactly a fan of the transition:

“I hope they do start him, but they’re crazy if they do,” said the scout, who works for another National League club. “It’s Joba Chamberlain all over again.

“His velocity dropped off in the second inning. He couldn’t get his off-speed stuff over the plate consistently. No question in my mind, he’s the closer.”

Chapman averaged 97.7 MPH on his fastball last season, the second-fastest among all relievers, trailing only Kelvin Herrera of the Kansas City Royals (98.5). He finished the year with a 1.51 ERA and 38 saves in 71.2 innings of work.

The scout is referencing the Yankees pitcher who bounced between the bullpen and the rotation since making his Major League debut in 2007. The Yankees went to great lengths to protect his arm, which led to the moniker “Joba Rules” for their refusal to use him on consecutive days.

Though a closer more often than not pitches in some of the most important situations during a game, it is hard to overcome the value of pitching 175-200 innings. John Smoltz, a common point of comparison for starters-turned-relievers or relievers-turned-starters, posted 1.1, 3.2, and 2.2 Wins Above Replacement as a reliever between 2002-04 according to Baseball Reference. Despite the aggregate 2.47 ERA and 144 saves, his best season as a reliever (2003) ranks as his 12th-best season by WAR.

Chapman would have to become more or less average as a starter for the Reds to lose value moving him to the rotation. The average National League starter posted a 4.04 ERA last season.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Red Sox finalizing a deal with Hanley Ramirez

    Nov 23, 2014, 11:41 PM EST

    hanley ramirez getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox and Hanley Ramirez will finalize a deal on Monday in the range of five years and $90 million, according to Ken Rosenthal.

  2. Astros showing interest in David Robertson

    Nov 23, 2014, 11:10 PM EST

    Reuters David Robertson Reuters

    The Astros, in the market for a top-end closer, have spoken to the agent of David Robertson.

  3. MLB players react to Odell Beckham, Jr. catch on Sunday Night Football

    Nov 23, 2014, 10:20 PM EST

    Odell Beckham Jr. Odell Beckham Jr.

    Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made a ridiculous catch on Sunday Night Football. MLB players reacted to it on Twitter.

  4. Rangers have spoken with the Braves about Justin Upton

    Nov 23, 2014, 9:35 PM EST

    Justin Upton

    The Braves have been shopping Justin Upton and the Rangers are interested.

  5. Marlins have discussed trading for Wade Miley

    Nov 23, 2014, 7:15 PM EST

    Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

    The Marlins have discussed swapping Nathan Eovaldi for Wade Miley.

  6. Red Sox going after both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez

    Nov 23, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    The Red Sox could revamp the left side of their infield if they have their way in free agency.

  7. Pirates trade first baseman Ike Davis to the A’s

    Nov 23, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

    ike davis getty Getty Images

    Davis was designated for assignment by the Bucs a couple of days ago to open up a 40-man roster spot for top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon. Now the first baseman is headed to Oakland.

  8. “At least six” teams interested in Jon Lester

    Nov 23, 2014, 2:15 PM EST

    jon lester a's getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox and Cubs have long been considered the favorites to sign free agent Jon Lester, with the Braves and Cardinals also lingering. But there may be a surprise coming.

  9. Indians acquire Charles Brewer from the Diamondbacks

    Nov 23, 2014, 12:03 PM EST

    indians logo

    Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians have acquired right-hander Charles Brewer from the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash.

  10. Torii Hunter “favors the Twins”

    Nov 23, 2014, 10:51 AM EST

    th getty Getty Images

    Torii Hunter could be headed back to where it all began.

  11. Video: Introducing new commissioner Rob Manfred

    Nov 23, 2014, 9:44 AM EST

    manfred getty Getty Images

    Watch as former MLB commissioner Bud Selig introduces new commissioner Rob Manfred …

  12. Diamondbacks trade Mike Bolsinger to the Dodgers

    Nov 22, 2014, 10:35 PM EST

    Mike Bolsinger Mike Bolsinger

    The Dodgers added some pitching depth, picking up Mike Bolsinger from the Diamondbacks on Saturday.

  13. Wily Mo Pena is a free agent and the Twins are interested

    Nov 22, 2014, 9:30 PM EST

    wily mo pena reuters

    Wily Mo Pena could be back in the major leagues if the Twins are willing to play ball.

  14. Derek Jeter went golfing with President Obama

    Nov 22, 2014, 8:25 PM EST

    Derek Jeter AP AP

    Are they looking to hire a caddie?

  15. Rockies sign John Lannan to a minor league deal

    Nov 22, 2014, 7:20 PM EST

    John Lannan Getty Getty Images

    The Rockies added a bit of pitching depth, signing John Lannan to a minor league deal.

  16. If Giants can’t bring back Pablo Sandoval, they’re expected to bid on Yasmany Tomas

    Nov 22, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

    yasmany tomas getty Getty Images

    The Giants have a Plan B if they can’t bring back Pablo Sandoval.

  17. Reds sign Josh Satin

    Nov 22, 2014, 1:13 PM EST

    Josh Satin Mets Getty Images

    Satin spent parts of the past four seasons in the majors with the Mets.

  18. Henry Blanco leaves Diamondbacks for Cubs coaching staff

    Nov 22, 2014, 12:12 PM EST

    Henry Blanco Getty Getty Images

    Blanco played for the Cubs from 2005-2008.

Featured video

Maddon has high hopes for Cubs
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. P. Sandoval (4650)
  2. Y. Tomas (3145)
  3. J. Lester (2979)
  4. G. Stanton (2649)
  5. A. LaRoche (2402)
  1. J. Upton (2384)
  2. T. Hunter (2327)
  3. M. Scherzer (2145)
  4. B. Butler (1945)
  5. R. Martin (1786)