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Aroldis Chapman isn’t moving into the Reds’ rotation

Dec 5, 2013, 10:01 AM EDT

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When the Reds fired Dusty Baker and hired Bryan Price as their new manager there was speculation that it could lead to Aroldis Chapman moving from the bullpen to the rotation, as Price had previously indicated he’d be in favor of getting more innings out of the stud left-hander.

However, now that Price actually has the job it sounds like Chapman will remain the Reds’ closer. Via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com here’s what general manager Walt Jocketty said during an MLB Network radio interview yesterday:

We feel we have the depth in our rotation now that we can continue to keep him in the bullpen. That’s probably the plan going into spring training. We’ll have him prepare for spring training like he has in the past. He’ll come in and pitch a lot of innings in spring training, so he could go either way. In all likelihood when we get to spring training, we’ll make a decision. I would think he’ll continue to be our closer.

I’m all for giving young pitchers every opportunity to become 200-inning starters before relegating them to a 60-inning role for the rest of their careers, but in this case Chapman has been truly spectacular as a reliever–posting a 2.40 ERA with 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings–and he hasn’t started regularly since 2010 at Triple-A.

On the other hand, Price told C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he still thinks there’s a way to get more value out of Chapman than a traditional one-inning closer role and indicated that he could be used for multiple innings at a time in 2014. This year Chapman appeared in 68 games and logged 63.2 innings.

  1. villain612 - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Call me old school, but I have no problem keeping Chapman in the bullpen. Its nice to have that Ace in the hole, shutdown closer in your pocket. I think they should let him go more than 1 inning per outing though.

    • gibbyfan - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      He is really the personification of ‘lights out’…………..great job by WJ finding and signing this guy up………

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        great job by WJ finding and signing this guy up………

        This is sarcasm right?

      • gibbyfan - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Not sure what you mean Church.are you saying you don’t think this was a good move unders Walt’s watch ?..because I think any MLB would love to have him for the bargain price he is. Am I missing something?

      • philsieg - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        Last season NL pitchers in save situations converted 88.9% of their opportunities. Chapman converted exactly 88%. His BB/9 was 4.1 and he gave up 7 dingers in 63.2 innings. That seems an odd definition of “lights out”.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        My comment was in regards to the “finding” part. Chapman defected from Cuba where he was a well known pitcher and everyone was given the opportunity to bid on him as he was a FA. Jocketty didn’t unearth this guy playing in some Mexican league.

      • gibbyfan - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        OK Church. I guess I was more referring to having(//finding) the good sense to sign him. I do know his background. I think it was the same situation with YP in LA……But I give Walt a lot of credit for pulling the trigger on him.He of course is still young and developing –pitchers can get better with control issues—but still he is quite an awesome talent…I cant imagine what he would bring on the FA market today, give what we are seeing.

      • timburns116 - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:01 AM

        His save % is league average. It’s a waste of a good arm

  2. yahmule - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    At least they didn’t drag out this non-decision like they did a couple years ago.

  3. nsstlfan - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I don’t know why you would want this guy in the rotation when he can come in and throw 100 mph for an inning

  4. jonrox - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Remember how every year they have been saying “Oh ya he’s def a starter now” but then decided at the end of Spring Training that he should be wasted in the bullpen instead? Let’s hope that the Reds are just perpetual liars about him, and this in fact means he will be a start come opening day.

  5. metalhead65 - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    the plan was for him to be a starter when they signed him but that was not going so well in the minors and they needed a reliever and called him up. he excelled in that role and never should have been tried to be converted into a starter again. I think with price he will a more consistent pitcher and used in the right way. under baker he could go a week without being used then come in and be wild which caused his rise in ERA and the giving up the home runs. then the next week baker would use him 3 and sometimes 4 days in a row forcing him to take 2-3 days off. hopefully that nonsense will stop under price.

  6. joshfrancis50 - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    If Price will use Chapman in high leverage situations out of the pen, I have much less issue keeping him there as opposed to becoming a starter. My problem with him in the bullpen was that Dusty was so close minded to using him outside of the 9th inning in a save situation that his value was incredibly diminished. If Price wants his usage to vary where we can plug him into any of the later innings to fend of their best hitters, I have much less issue with him as a RP.

  7. timburns116 - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Yay, the best arm in the organization will be utilized –again –so that he won’t pitch in the post-season. After all, who needs their best pitcher in the post-season

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