2013 Reds

Dusty Baker signs two-year extension

Mark Sheldon is reporting that Dusty Baker has signed a two-year extension to manage the Cincinnati Reds.

“In Dusty’s five seasons here he’s taken us to the Postseason twice and has proven he can lead our teams to championship-caliber play on the field,” Reds CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement. “He’s the right manager to continue the building process that will take us deeper and deeper into the playoffs in the future.”

77 thoughts on “Dusty Baker signs two-year extension

  1. I like Dusty. I really do. And I will try to like him as a manager for the next two years. But next year I will follow the team from the morning box scores.

    • “In Dusty’s five seasons here he’s taken us to the Postseason twice and has proven he can lead our teams to championship-caliber play on the field,” Reds CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement. “He’s the right manager to continue the building process that will take us deeper and deeper into the playoffs in the future.”

      Sorry, Bob. The goal is to win another World Championship, and Dusty’s track record in the PLAYOFFS, the environment in which you win a World Championship, is abysmal. The 2013 Reds may be a better regular season team, but with Dusty at the helm, it’s Groundhog Day all over again in the postseason. Shame on you.

    • @TC:

      I like Dusty. I really do. But next year I will follow the team from the morning box scores.

      I agree completly, I really like Mr. Baker. I think he is a tremendously interesting person and certainly a dedicated and loving father. Unfortunately, watching Mr. Baker’s inept game management is just no fun for me.

      I had $3500 saved and reserved for my first two season tickets for the Reds. I had saved all year to accumulate the extra money to buy my first season tickets and I was exciteed to send in my $100 deposit. I simply can’t justify spending the money I had saved on a product I can’t fully enjoy, so now I will follow the Reds again this season with TC, through the box scores. I won’t even be able to follow most of the games on TV this year like I did this past year, because the $3500 I had saved for my two Reds season tickets just paid for four season tickets to the Clippers and my evenings and weekends of baseball enjoyment for the coming season will be spent at Huntington Park.

  2. Well, all you can hope for now is Price gets an extension and that Walt continues to Dusty-proof the lineup. To that end, it would be nice to see:

    1. Rolen retire.
    2. Chapman start.
    3. Billy Hamilton take over for Stubbs.
    4. Cairo/Valdez stop ruining baseball by trying to play it.

    • Well, all you can hope for now is Price gets an extension and that Walt continues to Dusty-proof the lineup.To that end, it would be nice to see:

      1. Rolen retire.
      2. Chapman start.
      3. Billy Hamilton take over for Stubbs.
      4. Cairo/Valdez stop ruining baseball by trying to play it.

      (1) might happen but now is less likely to than it was. (2) will never happen, IMO, with Baker around. (3) could happen eventually, and (4), well, the chance of both returning is now higher than it was.

  3. Ugh…

    That said, to respond to the Sultan..

    I think 1 and 2 happens. 3 won’t be until mid-year at the earliest…and wouldn’t be surprised to see Valdez back, though I think Cairo is gone.

  4. @Sultan of Swaff:

    5) New hitting coach. Preferably one who can teach how to hit after August.
    6) No more grizzled veterans brought in just for clubhouse presence.
    7) A song to replace “Seven Nation Army” at GABP. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

  5. Well,

    I can blame the man all we want.. but as Walt just said.. he has taken us to the Post Season Twice in 3 years.. (Not that we won but hey.. more then we had before?)

    WE just need to hammer up our offense better.. First thing is first is Rolen needs to go play at the retired league.. Super Tod your time is NOW.. Should have been EARLIER but yeah..

    I like Chapman has a closer/reliever to be honest.. the Marhsel/Broxton/Chapmen we had going on was pretttty nasty.. but we could have use for another starter.. Baily turned it on Leak fail to the side..

    I dunno.. just still disappointed :( is all.

  6. Good job by the Reds!

    In my own response to Sultan, Chapman’s status isn’t something to be decided by Dusty, they’ve made it clear all along that it’s an organizational decision. Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty, and Bryan Price all probably have a say in the matter, and they’ll have to come to an agreement.

    Billy Hamilton just began playing CF in the Arizona Fall League and has only played half a season above single A, in AA Pensacola. I wouldn’t be betting on seeing him quickly.

    I think we should hope for a trade for David DeJesus of the Cubs to provide the Reds with a LF/CF and left handed veteran leadoff hitter. THAT is Dusty-proofing the lineup, acquiring a flexible lefty who reaches base while rarely striking out to hit leadoff for a mostly right handed lineup. 542 career starts in CF, 283 in RF, 260 in LF – anybody who wanted to see Jay Bruce in CF should be satisfied with DeJesus’ defense in CF.

  7. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve been as conflicted over something as this. I think Dusty will continue to keep the Reds a contender but I don’t think the club will ever win a title with him at the helm. His game management is just too bad to be successful in a playoff environment.

    On the other hand, the wrong choice for a new manager good ruin what is a pretty good thing.

    In the end, my conservative nature feels good that Dusty will be back and the Reds are likely to continue to be successful for the near future and will probably disappoint us in the playoffs for the near future as well.

  8. Also, why so soon to re-sign the guy? Were they really that worried some other team would snatch him up?? We have a good team that managers would kill for, so we had the leverage. You’d think they would try and use it.

    • Cairo is a free agent and I doubt he’ll return – he will probably retire. Walt Jocketty makes the roster moves, not Dusty Baker, and I think that’s an important point. Maybe Henry Rodriguez can get Cairo’s job next year. Maybe the Reds can bring back Jeff Keppinger. Wilson Valdez is still under contract (after having been acquired in a trade by Walt Jocketty).

      Also, why so soon to re-sign the guy? Were they really that worried some other team would snatch him up?? We have a good team that managers would kill for, so we had the leverage. You’d think they would try and use it.

      Why so quick to extend Dusty? The Reds were saying a year ago that they expected to extend him after the season, and they know what other potential managers are available. Maybe the Reds had leverage but they didn’t have any other candidates they were interested in. Now it’s settled and they can focus on other issues, like player transactions.

  9. Since people have brought up the issue of Chapman’s status next year, I am re-posting my question from the previous thread because I am really trying to get an answer.

    A lot of people seem to think that putting Chapman in the rotation is a no-brainer and is the natural fit for him. I’m just curious what that is based on.

    He is a young lefty with blazing heat and (seemingly) mediocre movement. I would have two main concerns with putting him in the rotation: 1) he doesn’t seem to have a third pitch (he rarely needs to throw his slider and he hardly ever does, so it is difficult to say how good it is) and 2) I think that he will seriously damage his arm if he pitches 180+ innings. Obviously he will have to dial down his speed if he’s in the rotation, because he can’t throw 100+ mph for 6 innings every 4th or 5th night. But regardless, lefties that throw that hard don’t usually last long under a heavy workload without requiring some kind of surgery.

    • Since people have brought up the issue of Chapman’s status next year, I am re-posting my question from the previous thread because I am really trying to get an answer.

      A lot of people seem to think that putting Chapman in the rotation is a no-brainer and is the natural fit for him. I’m just curious what that is based on.

      He is a young lefty with blazing heat and (seemingly) mediocre movement. I would have two main concerns with putting him in the rotation: 1) he doesn’t seem to have a third pitch (he rarely needs to throw his slider and he hardly ever does, so it is difficult to say how good it is) and 2) I think that he will seriously damage his arm if he pitches 180+ innings. Obviously he will have to dial down his speed if he’s in the rotation, because he can’t throw 100+ mph for 6 innings every 4th or 5th night.But regardless, lefties that throw that hard don’t usually last long under a heavy workload without requiring some kind of surgery.

      Some people believe that he’s too good to be a closer but I don’t think there’s any basis for that. Conventional wisdom suggests that starters are hard to find but closers grow on trees (except they never like the guys who close – Francisco, Marshall, and Masset are not satisfactory).

      I think a third pitch would continue to develop, but more importantly Chapman’s best pitch – the overpowering 98-101mph fastball will likely to become a thing of the past if he converts to the rotation. As a closer he mostly got by with one pitch but as a starter his main pitch would get worse (by losing velocity) and he would rely more on worse secondary pitches, AND hitters would face him 3 or 4 times per game. If he Chapman gets injured as a starter you’ll hear all sorts of calls for everyone involved, including Dusty and Bryan Price, to be fired. After all, they should have known better. I think the conversion would be a big mistake that would cause more problems than it solves.

      After years of watching Francisco Cordero I want Chapman to keep closing. If a rotation spot opens up I want lefty Tony Cingrani to get a chance, and it’s important that the rotation no longer has an opening like it would have had years ago. The Reds have tried for a long time to find a good closer, which they now have, and to build a quality rotation, which they already have without gambling on Chapman.

      • I think a third pitch would continue to develop, but more importantly Chapman’s best pitch – the overpowering 98-101mph fastball will likely to become a thing of the past if he converts to the rotation. As a closer he mostly got by with one pitch but as a starter his main pitch would get worse (by losing velocity) and he would rely more on worse secondary pitches, AND hitters would face him 3 or 4 times per game.

        THIS.

    • I think most pitchers would say that pitching out of the pen is more stressful on the arm. Chapman reminds me of Randy Johnson. Filthy, can’t pick up the ball delivery, explosive fastball, good slider. If he starts next year, he will have control of both the slider and fastball. He will live around 95-98 with the heater and may even pick up a two-seamer. The slider will be the out pitch, however. He has really good break on the pitch and, if he is healthy, could very well win 15-17 games (at least) for the good guys. I don’t care if Johnny Wholestaff is the closer. A starter like this if much more valuable than any pitcher out of the ‘pen.

      Since people have brought up the issue of Chapman’s status next year, I am re-posting my question from the previous thread because I am really trying to get an answer.A lot of people seem to think that putting Chapman in the rotation is a no-brainer and is the natural fit for him. I’m just curious what that is based on.He is a young lefty with blazing heat and (seemingly) mediocre movement. I would have two main concerns with putting him in the rotation: 1) he doesn’t seem to have a third pitch (he rarely needs to throw his slider and he hardly ever does, so it is difficult to say how good it is) and 2) I think that he will seriously damage his arm if he pitches 180+ innings. Obviously he will have to dial down his speed if he’s in the rotation, because he can’t throw 100+ mph for 6 innings every 4th or 5th night. But regardless, lefties that throw that hard don’t usually last long under a heavy workload without requiring some kind of surgery.

  10. I agree with Sultan, why such a hurry, do they really think other teams are beating down his door. Could thy not have interviewed a few other folks? Matheney had no Major League managing experience and look where he has the Crudinals. I do hope they at least a had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment with him and said no more giving a .270 o.b.p. guy who has 4x as many strikeouts as walks and can’t lay down a bunt 500 at bats, especially at the top of the lineup.

  11. @redsfanman: Only someone trying hard to make a specific point would try to state that the field manager has zero role in player personnel.

    • @redsfanman: Only someone trying hard to make a specific point would try to state that the field manager has zero role in player personnel.

      Only somebody who likes to blame the manager for everything assumes that the manager points at a player, says ‘fetch!’ and the GM acquires him. I’m sure the field manager has a say in personnel moves but he doesn’t have the final say. If Jocketty and Castellini don’t want to sign a player they don’t have to.

      • Only somebody who likes to blame the manager for everything assumes that the manager points at a player, says ‘fetch!’ and the GM acquires him.I’m sure the field manager has a say in personnel moves but he doesn’t have the final say.If Jocketty and Castellini don’t want to sign a player they don’t have to.

        There you go trolling again. You always start with some ridiculous interpretation of what someone said. I said that you were wrong to say the field manager has zero say, and of course, you come back with “Only somebody who likes to blame the manager for everything assumes that the manager points at a player, says ‘fetch!’ and the GM acquires him.”. Do you think that accurately covers what I said? You also said that I blame Baker for everything, which could not be further from the truth. If I really did, I’d not be defending moves such as the walk to Arias. I also never said he should not be back. But it makes for good copy, I suppose.

        So now you admit that Baker has a say. Because he does. And to think he has zero role in whether Chapman starts or not is ridiculous. Go ahead, now report that I said Baker solely decides as to whether he starts.

        You just think you are so smart, because you pull the trick of attributing some outlandish statement to others, then you of course are the voice of reason and less extreme. This is called “trolling”.

        • @vegastypo: Xavier Paul, after he was promoted from AAA I recall Dusty saying that he was impressed when he saw Paul in the past but he never indicated that he pushed the Reds to acquire him. I thought it was a good move by the scouting department, but I guess you could argue that Dusty Baker is responsible for his acquisition. I guess.

          There you go trolling again.You always start with some ridiculous interpretation of what someone said.I said that you were wrong to say the field manager has zero say, and of course, you come back with “Only somebody who likes to blame the manager for everything assumes that the manager points at a player, says ‘fetch!’ and the GM acquires him.”.Do you think that accurately covers what I said?You also said that I blame Baker for everything, which could not be further from the truth.If I really did, I’d not be defending moves such as the walk to Arias.I also never said he should not be back.But it makes for good copy, I suppose.

          So now you admit that Baker has a say.Because he does.And to think he has zero role in whether Chapman starts or not is ridiculous.Go ahead, now report that I said Baker solely decides as to whether he starts.

          You just think you are so smart, because you pull the trick of attributing some outlandish statement to others, then you of course are the voice of reason and less extreme.This is called “trolling”.

          I say the field manager probably offers advice but the GM gets the final decision on roster moves. The GM isn’t under any obligation to listen. I do believe you think Dusty Baker says “I want Miguel Cairo!” and Walt Jocketty blindly writes a check.

          The idea that Dusty Baker is the source of all evil and all that is wrong with the Reds organization, do I think that covers what you’ve said in the past? Yes. Definitely.

          Attacking me and calling me extreme or a troll rather than offering any ideas or points is the finest way to build on a discussion.

  12. I’ve said pretty much everything I had to say elsewhere, so I’ll just say cogratulations and good luck, Dusty! Give ‘em hack next year.

    As for the Chapman question above, many a reliever has arm isuues, too. Pitching in relief three nights out of four cuts down on rest, and forces you to throw a lot more pitches *in* the bullpen. Warm up pitches might not count on the stat sheet, but they count on you arm. It’s possible Chap’s arm will respond better to four days rest between appearances. And it’s possible that even as a closer, he winds up under the knife next year… who can say?

    A dominant starter is worth ten times more than a dominat closer. Maybe more. Keeping Chapman in the pen is like buying a Lambourghini and only driving it once around the block three times a week. Let’s take a drive and see what happens.

  13. Hate to say it, but I don’t think Chapman can start. How many times during the last 2 years has he gone through bouts of “tired arm?” Twice this year, and I think once or twice last year. Now a pitcher who the manager doesn’t like to pitch 2 days in a row(even though he has on occassion) is all of a sudden going to start? He has a fastball and a “sometimes” slider, who pitches only 1 inning, has tired arm from time to time, is suddenly going to throw 5, 6, 7 innings?

    Don’t bet on it. . . and bty the time he’s matured enough with multiple pitches, he’ll be a FA. I know that this suggestion will get crucified, but I would at least look into what I could get for him – maybe someone(Yankees, Boston really overpays for him?), and by all means re-sign Broxton. Madsen only comes back with an incentive laden contract.

    Lastly, at least 1 of Cairo & Valdez has to go. Are you telling me that Valaika can’t do a better job than eith or those 2 guys?

    Remember however, even with better years from Cozart, Votto and a full time Frazier(over Rolen), it will be more difficult to win 97 next year as we don;t have Houston to kick around for 18 games next year!

    • Lastly, at least 1 of Cairo & Valdez has to go.Are you telling me that Valaika can’t do a better job than eith or those 2 guys?

      Remember however, even with better years from Cozart, Votto and a full time Frazier(over Rolen), it will be more difficult to win 97 next year as we don;t have Houston to kick around for 18 games next year!

      Miguel Cairo is a free agent is a free agent and I think he’s unlikely to return. Can Chris Valaika do a better job? I’m not convinced, he hit .223 in AAA this season, down from .261 last year. I think Henry Rodriguez is more likely to earn a roster spot than Valaika next spring, but we’ll see. That way Rodriguez can succeed Frazier and Heisey as the young guy wrongfully being blocked by bad managing.

      Valdez is likely to return as backup shortstop, unless they trade for another shortstop (which I doubt they’ll do). Didi Gregorius still has something to prove in the minors.

      Houston will leave the division but the Reds get to play more interleague games throughout next season, which often includes using a DH. The Reds still have the Cubs in the division.

  14. @RC:

    Obviously good starters are worth more, but they have to have more than a fastball and changeup to be successful. I still don’t know if Chapman has a decent third pitch. And that’s assuming he has enough control of his dialed-down fastball to be successful.

    I don’t advocate for not using him more. I do think he is being wasted as a closer. I just think I would use him in high leverage situations and not as a starter.

    I understand that relievers have arm issues too. But even if he pitched one inning 3 out of every 4 nights (possible, but doubtful), that’s still only 120 innings, significantly less than a regular starter. I’m sorry, but your argument about warm-up pitches baffles me; you do realize that most starting pitchers go through a much more rigorous warm-up on their start day than relievers, right? Starters throw warm-up pitches too, and probably more of them than any reliever.

  15. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Exactly. I also found it interesting that, during the season, Dusty was talking about how he had really been interested in X Paul dating to Paul’s Pirates’ days, and that Dusty pushed to get him. So I think it’s ridiculous to think that the manager has little or no input in player acquisitions. My bigger gripe is sticking with these guys for so long well past their expiration date. To stay with Cairo and/or Valdez all last season, expecting a dramatic turnaround, seems ridiculous. … I know, I know, the Reds won 97 games, so no criticism is allowed.

    Two more years of Dusty, so let’s hope he takes us to the next level!

  16. We’ll look back on this era as a huge wasted opportunity and it isn’t very likely that we’ll ever see such a great combination of homegrown talent again.

  17. So how is it that Verlander throws in the upper 90s? After all, he’s a starter, shouldn’t he have lost that pitch? To not put a hard thrower in the rotation solely because he throws hard seems strange.

  18. In three seasons since signing Chapman to a 6 year $30 mil contract (guestimate), he has pitched a grand total of 135 innings. Not exactly getting your money’s worth out of that investment at this point IMHO.

    • In three seasons since signing Chapman to a 6 year $30 mil contract (guestimate), he has pitched a grand total of 135 innings.Not exactly getting your money’s worth out of that investment at this point IMHO.

      This.
      He’s our best pitcher and he threw 3 innings in the NLDS. LeCure threw 4.
      If Chapman can’t start, it’s no problem at all returning him to the bullpen. But you gotta try it.

      • He’s our best pitcher and he threw 3 innings in the NLDS. LeCure threw 4.
        If Chapman can’t start, it’s no problem at all returning him to the bullpen. But you gotta try it.

        He threw more innings in the NLDS than the Reds’ ace, Johnny Cueto.

        No problem at all if Chapman struggles and gets dumped from the rotation in April or May? I disagree, so much for his self confidence, so much for the reputation of the dominant Reds closer if he has to spend the remainder of the season getting his ERA down. So much for the respect Reds fans had for him if he starts getting pounded. It’s also unlikely that he’d get dumped from the rotation and return immediately to the closer job, and in the meantime the Reds would need a capable closer, which they’ve had trouble finding for the past decade. It’s a mess to experiment with if you’re a last place team building from the ground up, but not if you’re hoping to build on a 97 win season.

        When I think of converting Chapman to the rotation I think of Neftali Feliz, not Justin Verlander.

  19. @Hank Aarons Teammate:

    No one is saying not to make him a starter strictly because he throws hard. The point is that starters are successful because they mix at least three pitches together and the ball moves. Verlander has four good pitches, and he is a bit of an outlier given how much he changes the speed of his fastball in late innings. Chapman has a straight fastball (and little movement that I have seen). After two times through the lineup, hitters will catch up to him, and his speed will diminish.

    There is a big difference between throwing 15 pitches for one inning and 100 pitches over 6 innings. It isn’t a big deal for someone to throw 100 mph in the first case, but he will be very tired if he does the same in the second situation. If Chapman mves to the rotation, the effectiveness of his main weapon (his fastball) will diminish.

    • In three seasons since signing Chapman to a 6 year $30 mil contract (guestimate), he has pitched a grand total of 135 innings.Not exactly getting your money’s worth out of that investment at this point IMHO.

      What did Jonathan Papelbon get paid to become the Phillies’ closer? A 4 year, $50m deal? Right around the time Heath Bell got a 3 year $27m deal. Other closers get paid a lot more than Aroldis Chapman.

      @Hank Aarons Teammate:

      No one is saying not to make him a starter strictly because he throws hard.The point is that starters are successful because they mix at least three pitches together and the ball moves. Verlander has four good pitches, and he is a bit of an outlier given how much he changes the speed of his fastball in late innings.Chapman has a straight fastball (and little movement that I have seen).After two times through the lineup, hitters will catch up to him, and his speed will diminish.

      There is a big difference between throwing 15 pitches for one inning and 100 pitches over 6 innings.It isn’t a big deal for someone to throw 100 mph in the first case, but he will be very tired if he does the same in the second situation.If Chapman mves to the rotation, the effectiveness of his main weapon (his fastball) will diminish.

      There’s a stereotype that throwing hard makes somebody a good starter, and it’s kept Bronson Arroyo open to constant criticism for years. Arroyo has been successful through mixing and matching pitches to get him through the order while Chapman relies on one, sometimes two pitches. Is Chapman the next Justin Verlander or Randy Johnson because he throws hard… or is there more to it than that? I think starting him would be a huge experiment and a huge failure that would cost the Reds several wins… but some people won’t accept anything else.

  20. @yoobee: Are you saying that a starter warming up for a start throws more warmups than a closer who might throw total when needed three nights in a row? Might be true, but I’ve never heard such a thing.

    I believe Chap had a third pitch when he excelled as a starter in the Spring. As a closer, he became a one-pitch pitcher (you’ll recall Dusty “bristling” when asked why Chapman wasn’t throwing his slider anymore – and then a week or so later he got bombed a couple of times, he wound up getting shut down for a while). Thereby showing how Chapman’s devolpment as a pitcher is being ridiculously delayed in the bullpen.

    Verlander seems to be able to reach back for that hundy in the 7th and 8th when he wants to. Why do we think we’d never see one from Chap as a starter?

  21. @gosport474: I agree, I think he is used too little. I also think strict adherence to a closer role is somewhat silly. I would prefer to use him in middle or late innings in high leverage situations (i.e., close game and heart of the order coming up).

  22. [Beaten twice to the Verlander ref. Plus I can't type... oh well.]

    And why do we think that going out there 3-4 nights a week to throw one inning as hard as you can is less damaging as throwing seven innings slightly less than as hard as you can throw.

    But to me, it still comes to this – if you have a pitcher who *could* be the next Randy Johnson, but you’re too chicken to find out, well… like someone said above, TRADE HIM. You’ll get a lot in return, and avoid all the risk. If ya don’t mind bein’ yeller.

    • if you have a pitcher who *could* be the next Randy Johnson,

      Besides him being a tall left-hander who throws 101 mph, I think this is a bit of an overstatement. Johnson had way more movement on his fastball, not to mention the fact that the big reason he was an effective starter was his slider.

  23. @RC: Wihtout a doubt, I would say that a starter throws more warmup pitches on his start day than a closer does on a given day. I can’t definitively say that it is more than how many a closer throws 3 days in a row (assuming he will be called in), but my gut would still say yes. This is anecdotal, but I would estimate that most relievers throw about 10 pitches on average to warm up, because they usually are only building up their speed so they can come in and throw fastballs. Starters warm up by working through all of their pitches and seeing how the ball is moving out of their hand.

    Again, regarding Verlander, he is an outlier. Very few pitchers can do that. Not saying that Chapman cannot be like him, I just have a hard time believing it. It is true that he is probably not developing as well in the bullpen as he could be, but his slider (and his movement generally) also doesn’t instill much confidence as it is.

  24. Chapman was the best starting pitcher in spring training last year. If Madson’s ligament hadn’t torn, Chapman would have been in the rotation last year. Chapman was a starter in Cuba. He’ll need to work on a third pitch, but the focus of his training, preparation and coaching will change once they decide he’s going to start.

    • Word. I cannot imagine looking back at this era and thinking, “Gee, I wonder how good of a starter Chapman would have been.”

      Chapman was the best starting pitcher in spring training last year. If Madson’s ligament hadn’t torn, Chapman would have been in the rotation last year. Chapman was a starter in Cuba. He’ll need to work on a third pitch, but the focus of his training, preparation and coaching will change once they decide he’s going to start.

  25. @Redsfanman
    If other teams want to blow huge amounts of payroll on the overglorifed closer position, that is there prerogative. As a small market team, I would think the Reds couldn’t afford to buy into that thinking. Do you believe Chapman has been a good investment so far? I don’t necessarily believe so, just strictly from a business point of view.

  26. We’ve about beat this to death AGAIN. But I’ll just leave it at this – I will never understand the mindset that says “we don’t know if he can do it, so let’s never find out.”

  27. @redsfanman: OK, we’ll play your game.

    You think Dusty Baker is the best manager in the history of the game, and you think Aroldis Chapman should be the closer and throw only 10 innings per year. You obviously think Scott Rolen should have played 3B and batted cleanup in the postseason. You obviously think Walt Jocketty makes personnel moves to try to hurt Dusty Baker’s managerial ability. You obviously think it’s a certainty that if Chapman starts, he’ll blow his arm out and/or suck. You obviously think the Reds will only win 40 total games next year if Chapman starts. How could you think such a thing? Me, I think that they’ll win more than 40 games next year.

    See, I’d say YOU don’t contribute to the discussion by misstating on purpose what others say, just so you can sound smart and reasoned.

    • @Redsfanman
      If other teams want to blow huge amounts of payroll on the overglorifed closer position, that is there prerogative.As a small market team, I would think the Reds couldn’t afford to buy into that thinking.Do you believe Chapman has been a good investment so far?I don’t necessarily believe so, just strictly from a business point of view.

      The Reds signed Aroldis Chapman and sent him to AAA, I think they were expecting the deal to get better as it progresses, and it has. $5m for Chapman’s dominant performance as the Reds’ closer this year, when they already paid $8.5m to Ryan Madson to do the same job? I’d say he’s been a good investment. From a strictly business point of view players all get paid way too much.

      We’ve about beat this to death AGAIN.But I’ll just leave it at this – I will never understand the mindset that says “we don’t know if he can do it, so let’s never find out.”

      But we DO know that Chapman CAN be a dominant closer, and the Reds need a closer. It seems wiser to leave him where he’s been extremely successful than to gamble on his ability to adapt to the rotation while turning to a new closer.

      @redsfanman: OK, we’ll play your game.

      You think Dusty Baker is the best manager in the history of the game, and you think Aroldis Chapman should be the closer and throw only 10 innings per year.You obviously think Scott Rolen should have played 3B and batted cleanup in the postseason.You obviously think Walt Jocketty makes personnel moves to try to hurt Dusty Baker’s managerial ability.You obviously think it’s a certainty that if Chapman starts, he’ll blow his arm out and/or suck.You obviously think the Reds will only win 40 total games next year if Chapman starts.How could you think such a thing?Me, I think that they’ll win more than 40 games next year.

      See, I’d say YOU don’t contribute to the discussion by misstating on purpose what others say, just so you can sound smart and reasoned.

      I don’t think Dusty Baker is the best manager in the history of the game, but I think he’s done fine with the Reds.

      After watching Danny Graves, David Weathers, and Francisco Cordero closing for the Reds I’ve been very impressed by Chapman’s performance. Chapman can hold down the position long term or they can keep with a revolving door of mediocre closers by turning to Jonathan Broxton, fresh off Tommy John surgery Ryan Madson, or Sean Marshall.

      If Chapman starts a lot of things will happen – only one thing is guaranteed, the Reds’ closer will perform worse in 2013 than in 2012.

      I never said Scott Rolen should have batted cleanup in the postseason, I said he hit better than Frazier over the final month – if they were battling for a job Scott Rolen won fair and square.

      I think Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty are two different people who value different things in players, but Jocketty gets the final say in roster moves.

      Now you’re just trying to make things up to make people angry, that’s the finest example of a troll :D

      • I never said Scott Rolen should have batted cleanup in the postseason, I said he hit better than Frazier over the final month – if they were battling for a job Scott Rolen won fair and square.

        So you think cherry picking the last couple of weeks of the season shows Rolen competively beat out Frazier fair and square?

      • After watching Danny Graves, David Weathers, and Francisco Cordero closing for the Reds I’ve been very impressed by Chapman’s performance.

        The closers you mentioned had save percentages:

        Chapman’s save percentage 2012: 88%
        Cordero’s save percentage 2008-2011: 86%
        Weathers save percentage 2007: 85%
        Graves save percentage 2004-5: 86%

        That’s why people say (with only a little hyperbole) that “anyone can close.”

        Oh, and this one:

        Sean Marshall 2012 before being lifted from role: 89%

  28. @RC:

    Thanks for putting up with me enough to argue about this. I probably missed some earlier heated discussions on this, but I was just trying to figure out the main reasons why people think Chapman will be a good fit in the rotation.

    But I wouldn’t say my attitude is “we don’t know if he can do it, so let’s never find out.” It just doesn’t seem like there is much evidence for Chapman starting and he hasn’t shown that he has the necessary qualities that one would normally attribute to a starter. Joey Votto is a great hitter and fielder, but good catchers are worth more than good first basemen. You don’t know if Votto can be a good catcher, so why not try him there?

    Obviously the last question is facetious, but my point is that the goal is to put players where they are the best fit, not to try them out in another position just because “good starters are worth more than good relievers”.

  29. @yoobee: Nah, you’ve been fine. We won’t agree on this topic, but hey! You’re a Reds fan, and you’ve been perfectly civil through the discussion. If I had a beer handy, I’d hoist it to you. My boss would prefer I didn’t, though.

    Go Reds 2013!

  30. This was the right move even though Dusty sometimes drives me just as crazy as others.

    You cannot under-estimate the work he did on a personal level with each player and team chemistry.

    • This was the right move even though Dusty sometimes drives me just as crazy as others.You cannot under-estimate the work he did on a personal level with each player and team chemistry.

      No, but obviously you can over-estimate it.

  31. @yoobee: All anybody has asked for is that Chapman have a chance at starting. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and he’s a closer. But the upside is much too big to deny at least a chance.

  32. Aside from the obvious issues talked about nearly every day, I was overall pleased with how Dusty managed in the regular season. I was disappointed with his managing the Giants series like it was a regular season series. One freaking win away from winning the series, and he’s always thinking about the next game.

    Anyway I do not regard this as bad news. Castellini made it clear they were going to re-sign him, and no way they could have re-signed him for one year only.

  33. @Steve Mancuso: So, what you’re saying is, there aren’t bonus points awarded to closers for striking out the side in triple digits? Huh. Looks good though. :D

  34. Hope I’m wrong but signing Dusty to another contract is a big mistake. Great pitching and defense masked his bone-headed lineups. IF that flaters, his Managerial weaknesses will be even more evident. Seriously, two more years of his stupid lineups. Spare me.

    • Alright, Cordero converted 86% of saves and Chapman 88% – but there was still a big difference in how Chapman performed compared to all his predecessors in the past decade. It wasn’t necessarily blown saves or losses that made Cordero or Graves so unpopular, but that they’d let runners on base and frequently put the game in jeopardy. The whole outlook of the 9th inning changed with Chapman.

      With Cordero and Graves fans would watch the 9th inning hoping that the closer could preserve the lead. Comeon, just three outs, they can pull it out, and hopefully a more reliable closer will come along next year. When Chapman enters most people believe the game is already over and fans are excitedly predicting how many strikeouts there will be while watching for 100mph+ pitches. Hoping the closer can strike out the side and make the opposing hitters look like a little league players is a big change from prior concerns about just getting through the inning. It’s amazing how many fans stay until the end just to see Aroldis Chapman pitch.

      I’m not opposed to Sean Marshall getting asked to close again – I think he can do fine- but I think it’s a downgrade from Aroldis Chapman. Marshall was quietly one of several great acquisitions.

      Hope I’m wrong but signing Dusty to another contract is a big mistake.Great pitching and defense masked his bone-headed lineups.IF that flaters, his Managerial weaknesses will be even more evident.Seriously, two more years of his stupid lineups.Spare me.

      I think the key is to find the team a leadoff hitter so that the rest of the lineup falls into place. If the front office provides him with a capable leadoff hitter it will be the first time he’s had one as Reds manager.

  35. @Steve Mancuso: Yes, Steve, but those numbers are so close because of Chapman’s big slump soon after he was promoted to closer. And of course, as far as evaluating Chapman in 2012 goes, you’re omitting what Chapman did before he became the closer.

    Speaking of which, are you including Chapman’s blown save to the Mets (on an unearned run) as a setup man. That’s not fair. Setup men get to blow saves but never get to be rewarded with a save.

  36. @Steve Mancuso: PS The Marshall pct. of saves is misleading. He had to be rescued from blowing a save 3 times. Speaking of Marshall, the blog was quiet about him in the 2nd half because he pitched so well. His numbers ended up similar to his 2010 and 2011 numbers, with even a higher K rate.

  37. People do say (with a little hyperbole) that “anyone can close”. That might usually be true, but it’s not true, for example, in the postseason. Look at how many saves have been blown this postseason. Small sample size ? (I don’t actually care about sample size in the post season, I care about results.)
    Bur I’ll put it this way. A team with an average pitcher for a closer has little chance of beating the Cardinals in a close game in the 2011 or 2012 postseason.

    And if the Reds made it to the NLCS and were playing the Cardinals, and had a 1 or 2 run lead going into the 9th, who would you feel more comfortable with, Chapman or a David Weathers. If Chapman’s throwing strikes, Reds win. With Weathers as closer, Reds lose.

    We saw how many games Graves and Weathers blew to the Cardinals when the Cards were good in 2004-2005. In Weathers’ case, I’m including his 8th inning blown saves. The 6 run 9th inning blown lead was of course shared by Weathers and Graves.

  38. Chapman has to be given a chance to start. That’s what he was in Cuba, and his arm will continue to bark as long as he’s relieving, which stresses the arm in a different kind of way. Steve M. noted above that Chapman was the Reds best pitcher in spring training in 2012, that he was effectively using 3 pitches.

    No one can know that Chapman would develop into a Randy Johnson. But to say that his fastball does not move is dead wrong. Hitters who have faced him say his fastball is so effective more due to movement than velocity. And the sure sign that Chapman is either tired or hurting is when his fastball is not moving.

    Another common misperception is that Chapman has only one pitch. When he was starting in spring training, carrying over into the season until he became closer, his slider was lethal. A lot of hitters and scouts said his slider was his best pitch. And bringing back use of his slider ended his slump after he became the closer.

  39. @RiverCity Redleg: I realize that he played as a catcher briefly in rookie ball (i.e., below even the low A level). I don’t think that means he would be a great catcher in the majors.

    To say it another way, just about every guy in the majors was a stud in high school and probably played four different positions (many of them as pitcher). That doesn’t mean I want them to be in my starting rotation.

    @Matt WI: I appreciate that, and I think that’s fair. I guess to me the question is how long do you let him go until you conclude that he’s not going to make it? How long would you let Dusty (a manager with a history of probably over-using young arms to the point of breaking down) continue to send Chapman out there? i think you can try the experiment, but I think you should have a fairly concrete idea of what success should look like. Otherwise, he may end up not being worth even the relative bargain contract he is signed to.

  40. Anyone who’s watched many baseball games knows that a save is difficult if it’s under a lot of pressure, such as 1 run lead in a post season game. Under those circumstances, successful closers like Armando Benitez and even Billy Wagner would overthrow, walking people, leading to disaster. Ask a Mets fan about either of them.

  41. @pinson343: Well now, if that is true, that would be more likely to persuade me. I see a fair amount of Reds games but not a ton, so it may be that I have seen more games when he is tired or in a slump and his pitches just seem straight.

  42. @redsfanman: I agree 100% with you that pct. of saves converted is not a good measure of the performance of a closer. In particular, it’s not a good basis for predicting future success. Look what happened to CoCo and Valverde this year. WHIP, K/BB, etc. are better measures of performance.

  43. @yoobee: Hi yoobee, you’re the one who said that ? Believe me, when he’s OK, his fastball has a LOT of movement. So much so that good fastball hitters look silly swinging at 96-97 mph fastballs. And so much so that umpires miss a lot of calls, both for Chapman and against him.

  44. @pinson343: I see–that makes more sense. Like I said before, I’m just trying to undertstand the justifications for putting Chapman in the rotation, and I was hoping the reason was more than just because he throws hard.

  45. @Bob Purkey: I would contend that the “tired arm” is largely the result of irregular action. A reliever can go five days without any action or may pitch in four consecutive games. Some arms cannot take this. I believe Chapman’s is one of these arms. On a regular schedule, however, I believe he would be just fine.

    • I would contend that the “tired arm” is largely the result of irregular action.A reliever can go five days without any action or may pitch in four consecutive games.Some arms cannot take this.I believe Chapman’s is one of these arms.On a regular schedule, however, I believe he would be just fine.

      Drew Mac: Bryan Price agrees with you, and since late 2011 has publicly stated his preference for Chapman to start. He has also said that as a starter he feels Chapman would have more consistent mechanics and of course would have to develop his secondary pitches, which he (Price) wants to see.
      I’ve developed a lot of respect for Price, and believe his opinion will have weight.

  46. Congrats to Dusty! I pray his health continues to be be good in such a high stress environment.

    I am not a Dusty supporter or hater. However, I would have liked a little change to happen in the coaching area. With that said, at least I know what to expect from my Reds! After having a losing record for many years, I will be more than happy to have a winning record and possible postseason appearance in the next two years.

    Either way I am happy with my Reds and cant wait till the pitchers and catchers report to spring training. God willing I will make a track to some of the spring training games this coming year.

    laus Deo

  47. I would like to see management make a commitment to actually getting better. Ludwick blew me away this year, but the chance of him recreating this season aren’t likely.

    It would say a lot to the fan base to go out and trade for Justin Upton. He wouldn’t be a rental, the Dbacks are rumored to be looking to deal him. He plays good defense.

    A lineup of:
    Hamilton
    Phillips
    Votto
    Upton
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Cozart
    Han/Mes

    That could possibly be the best in all of the National League.

    • I would like to see management make a commitment to actually getting better.Ludwick blew me away this year, but the chance of him recreating this season aren’t likely.

      It would say a lot to the fan base to go out and trade for Justin Upton.He wouldn’t be a rental, the Dbacks are rumored to be looking to deal him.He plays good defense.

      A lineup of:
      Hamilton
      Phillips
      Votto
      Upton
      Bruce
      Frazier
      Cozart
      Han/Mes

      That could possibly be the best in all of the National League.

      And to clarify, I think maintaining Ludwick is worth looking into. I just envision Ludwick asking for something ridiculous coming off this season and the Reds reaching.

      • And to clarify, I think maintaining Ludwick is worth looking into.I just envision Ludwick asking for something ridiculous coming off this season and the Reds reaching.

        Actually, I read somewhere that Ludwick may be open to coming back for a 2year, 10 million contract. All reports says he likes it here and may be willing to take slightly less for a multiyear deal.

        I would go three years tops with him.

    • I would like to see management make a commitment to actually getting better.Ludwick blew me away this year, but the chance of him recreating this season aren’t likely.

      It would say a lot to the fan base to go out and trade for Justin Upton.He wouldn’t be a rental, the Dbacks are rumored to be looking to deal him.He plays good defense.

      A lineup of:
      Hamilton
      Phillips
      Votto
      Upton
      Bruce
      Frazier
      Cozart
      Han/Mes

      That could possibly be the best in all of the National League.

      Having Upton and Hamilton both in the lineup is impossible, because to get Upton, you’d have to deal Hamilton.

      I just don’t think Upton is worth what it would surely cost.

  48. I don’t undertsand the importance of Dusty on the 162 game season, when you consider that it is very possible that a team with only the 5th best record in the NL will win the World Series this year. The regular season matters much less now(you just have to be in the top third of your league) and as we have seen, home field advantage means squat. Granted you still need to make the playoffs, but the Reds don’t need a manager who can guide them through the regular season perfectly. What they need is a manager who can make all the right chess moves in the playoffs. DUSTY CANNOT DO THIS! He has never been able to match the other team’s manager move for move, and that will always doom you in the postseason. Now that the Reds are stuck with Dusty how do they advance in the playoffs with a man who uses a style that doesn’t win? I am absolutely sick over this rehiring, which places loyalty and continuity over winning championships (kind of like another Cincy franchise). I fear all this talk about Chapman starting is worthless, considering who will be at the helm in October of 2013-14.

  49. @CI3J: Ludwick definitely likes it in Cincy. He was thrilled to be with the Reds in the first place. The Reds were his favorite team as a kid and his dream was to play for them.
    He hoped a change in venue would help a comeback, which it did.

    He’s made it clear he likes being with the Reds and he likes Cincinnati. I would be fine with 2 years for $10M for him.

    • @CI3J: Ludwick definitely likes it in Cincy. He was thrilled to be with the Reds in the first place. The Reds were his favorite team as a kid and his dream was to play for them.
      He hoped a change in venue would help a comeback, which it did.

      He’s made it clear he likes being with the Reds and he likes Cincinnati. I would be fine with 2 years for $10M for him.

      I don’t know how we can say 2/10M is a good deal for the Reds without knowing a host of other things, like, say, the 2013 budget.

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