2012 Reds / 2013 Reds / Chapmania

Aroldis Chapman to the rotation?

I refuse to get my hopes up about anything relating to the Reds, but I’d certainly be pleased if the Reds gave Aroldis Chapman a serious look as a starting pitcher. Jon Heyman (take this for what it’s worth) says the Reds are looking to do just that. Go read the piece; evidently, the Reds are looking at Jonathan Broxton, Ryan Madson, or Joakim Soria as potential back of the bullpen replacements for Aroldis.

Also, there’s this:

It would be disappointing if for the Reds they can’t come up with a replacement closer. They believe Chapman’s changeup (as well as his dynamic slider), which he hardly uses now, should allow him to be a top starter.

Indeed. This needs to happen.

29 thoughts on “Aroldis Chapman to the rotation?

  1. hmm. Broxton is not really a closer anymore. Madson and Soria are both coming off surgery…I’d like to see them get Brox and use him and Marshall interchangeably, with JJ Hoover being a good 7th-9th inning guy, but we know better. If we have to have one, I’d say Soria because he’s the youngest and has the best chance of getting into a situation in which he could be an effective closer for 5-7 more years, where Madson’s age isn’t exactly enticing. HOWEVER, if anyone of these guys means Aroldis is to the Rotation, I’m good with any of them.

  2. Chapman to the rotation? Now, please. Sign Broxton and Madson (if they are both relatively cheap-which they should be in this market). Madson is a fastball/change guy and the straight stuff comes back first following Tommy John. Then, do not declare a closer. Use Broxton, Madson, and Marshall (and perhaps others) at different times.

  3. Here’s the problem everyone, these guys won’t be cheap.

    Until the Reds announce they plan on extending the salary cap, I won’t buy in to this.

    The best way for the Reds to get a long term closer is to trade for one that is affordable.

    • Here’s the problem everyone, these guys won’t be cheap.

      Until the Reds announce they plan on extending the salary cap, I won’t buy in to this.

      The best way for the Reds to get a long term closer is to trade for one that is affordable.

      I know this is most likely what the Reds are looking to do. Which is exactly the problem for this organization. Why does everything have to be done the way they have always been done (or in the case of closers, the way they have been done the past 25-30 years or however long)? The people in our front office and on field coaches still haven’t learned the value of OBP (last team in the league to board that ship, I believe).

      No one needs a long term closer. Or to name a closer. Or especially to pay someone to be a closer. If you have 5 league average relievers, and 2 that are just a little above average, you can have a very good bullpen with a high save percentage. All you have to do is use them properly, and get a lead to the 9th inning. History shows that more than 85% of those games will be won, regardless of whether there is a tired starter on the mound, a kid making his first appearance, a guy who has never pitched in the 9th inning before, or Mariano Rivera.

  4. Dusty has to have a closer. And a set up guy. He seems to mix and match only in the 6th and 7th. So I anticipate some deal getting done
    My concern with Chapman to starter is his fatigue issues

  5. I really do not care as it is not my money. Put Chapman in the rotation with Cueto, Latos, Bailey and Arroyo we’d kill it. We would need a 6th pitcher as Chapman should not have that big of an innings pitched number. Think about a 2014 rotation of Cueto, Chapman, Latos , Bailey , Cingrani. When was the last time the Reds had this depth of pitching?

    • When was the last time the Reds had this depth of pitching?

      SFredsfan: I don’t think they ever had this depth of pitching.

  6. @rodentdog: As far as I know, Chapman did not have “fatigue issues” when he was a starting pitcher in Cuba. Some pitchers find relieving to be tougher on their throwing arm than starting, where they get regular work and then 4 days off. At the end of the 2011 season. Bryan Price suggested several reasons why Chapman would benefit from starting. This was one of them.

    I know there’s a lot of skepticism about this, but I think the Reds want to see Chapman in the starting rotation in 2013.

    • I’ll go so far as to say that the vast majority of pitchers find starting easier on the arm than relieving. I did both through high school and college. No pitcher I ever played with would actually prefer to relieve.

      @rodentdog: As far as I know, Chapman did not have “fatigue issues” when he was a starting pitcher in Cuba. Some pitchers find relieving to be tougher on their throwing arm than starting, where they get regular work and then 4 days off. At the end of the 2011 season. Bryan Price suggested several reasons why Chapman would benefit from starting. This was one of them.

      I know there’s a lot of skepticism about this, but I think the Reds want to see Chapman in the starting rotation in 2013.

  7. Anthony Castrovince posted an article today on why Chapman should close. I disagree with him, but it was a thoughtful article. He used the durability and the “two pitch” issues as arguments for keeping Chapman in the bullpen. FWIW here was my reply:

    ————–
    Durability: Chapman has had durability issues as a reliever. He comes down with a shoulder problem or “dead arm” twice a year. He has to be used as sparingly as possible, needing more days off than you’d like a closer to have. There is no reason to think he would have the same sort of durability issues as a starter. Of course he’d have to build up his innings, but his history in Cuba and with the Reds strongly suggests that his arm much prefers throwing every 5th day, rather than a few days in a row here and a few more in a row there.

    The “two pitch”argument: He has only two pitches because he’s been a reliever. In spring training of 2012, given a chance to start, his best pitch (according to scouts and pitching coaches who saw him) was his slider, he’s not a “fastball only” guy. More to the point, he already has a 3rd pitch, a change up, which he was using and that was improving.

    No reason anyone should listen to me. But people should listen to Bryan Price, who has made all of the statements I make above. Price has added that Chapman’s mechanics and consistency would improve with his starting and pitching on a regular basis with those 4 days in between to work with Price.
    —————

    Castrovince replied to the above in a positive way on the thread, he seems pretty classy.

    • Great post. . . Regarding the “two pitch” argument, Randy Johnson was a two pitch pitcher. He had an explosive fastball, made even more explosive because it seemed like he was letting go of the ball ten feet from the plate, a filthy slider, and was just wild enough to keep hitters honest. Does that sound like anyone you know? . . . .

      If Chapman does not begin the year as a starter, I will be shocked.

      Anthony Castrovince posted an article today on why Chapman should close. I disagree with him, but it was a thoughtful article. He used the durability and the “two pitch” issues as arguments for keeping Chapman in the bullpen. FWIW here was my reply:

      ————–
      Durability:Chapman has had durability issues as a reliever. He comes down with a shoulder problem or “dead arm” twice a year. He has to be used as sparingly as possible, needing more days off than you’d like a closer to have. There is no reason to think he would have the same sort of durability issues as a starter. Of course he’d have to build up his innings, but his history in Cuba and with the Reds strongly suggests that his arm much prefers throwing every 5th day, rather than a few days in a row here and a few more in a row there.

      The “two pitch”argument: He has only two pitches because he’s been a reliever. In spring training of 2012, given a chance to start, his best pitch (according to scouts and pitching coaches who saw him) was his slider, he’s not a “fastball only” guy.More to the point, he already has a 3rd pitch, a change up, which he wasusing and that was improving.

      No reason anyone should listen to me. But people should listen to Bryan Price, who has made all of the statements I make above. Price has added that Chapman’s mechanics and consistency would improve with his starting and pitching on a regular basis with those 4 days in between to work with Price.
      —————

      Castrovince replied to the above in a positive way on the thread, he seems pretty classy.

  8. From an article at mlbtraderumors: “Pitching coach Bryan Price feels strongly that Chapman can become a top of the rotation starter.”

  9. Personally, I’d love to see this move made…it’s why we signed him in the first place…It’s a lot easier to find a closer than a starter with the potential Aroldis has…and we’ve done it a zillion times in the past! Ted Power, John Franco, Randy Myers, Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, Jeff Brantley, Jeff Shaw, Danny Graves, Scott Williamson, David Weathers, Francisco Cordero…Have we had that many effective starters with the stuff Aroldis has in the past?!?!? Of course not!!! Starters are MUCH more valuable than closers….Sadly, I’m afraid idiot will stick Aroldis in the pen again…

  10. Remember now, who was the Reds best and most consistant starter in spring training last year? Chapman. He belongs in the rotation.
    I hate to go against the axiom, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Meaning, Chapman exceled as a closer so why mess with it. However, Chapman is also a proven starter, and like people have said, that is why he was signed for, to be a starter. If Bryan Price believes he should be moved to the rotation, I will put my faith in him. The Texas Rangers are moving Ogando back to their rotation after one year in the bullpen.
    However, moving Chapman then begs one big question. What happens to Mike Leake??? Could Leake be converted to a closer??? I don’t know the answer to that one. It seems like every year 3 or 4 teams have a closer that comes out of nowhere and has a stellar year. Johnson in Baltimore ring a bell?? Could Leake or Hoover be that guy for the Reds??
    As for a closer, there are a few on the market. Broxton should be the man. The Tiger’s Valverde is a free agent but probably will be too expensive. Boston is supposedly shopping Andrew Bailey, remember him?? Madson and Soria coming off surgery has too much risk to it.

  11. I want to see Chapman moved to the starting rotation, just as I’ve wanted to see it the last three seasons. But I’d also like to know on how the Reds plan on doing it. There are obvious risks in the move, all brought to light above. We suspect that the move from starter to reliever will address the shoulder tightness/fatigue issues, but we won’t know until we actually do it. I still have great concern over Chapman adding two pitches, his nearly non-existant slider, and the change up they claim he can throw. Will Chapman, who was much improved finding the plate last season, be able to throw these pitches for strikes and keep batters off of his fastball which will lose a few ticks now that he is starting. Chapman still showed flashes of Steve Blass syndrome trowing 90% fastballs and it will be tougher for him to find the plate with the two additional pitches. Also consider that we have no idea if the young Cuban knows how to pitch, aka, mix his pitches. Can meat shake his head yes and toss up what Hanigan is laying down? Third and most significant to me is how the Reds plan to stretch him out and control his IP for the upcoming season as a starter. As shown below, Chapman has never broke the 120 IP mark in his career. The most games he’s started in a season is 20. So if Chapman does make the move, what is his target for IP next season? I realistically don’t see how they can run him out there for any more that 20 GS/120 IP next season. If he’s as successful as we believe he will be, how do we ensure we don’t run into a Strasburg IP issue so that we have one of our top guns for the playoffs next season? I like the move, but it comes with questions that should have all been answered 2-3 years ago. It will be very interesting to see how the Reds manage his transition to the starting rotation next season if that is what they finally decide on.

    Chapman Career IP

    Cuba Age IP
    2006 18 54.0
    2007 19 81.1
    2008 20 74.0
    2009 21 118.1

    Min/MLB Age IP
    2010 22 109.0
    2011 23 63.0
    2012 24 71.2

  12. This Chapman move may already be a done deal. I heard on MLB Network radio at lunchtime that the Reds may be on the verge of swapping former 1st round draft picks with the Twins. Mike Leake for OF/CF Ben Revere. Stubbs will move to LF or may be on his way to Miami. Apparently the Marlins are extremly interested in Stubbs if the Reds want to move him.

    • This Chapman move may already be a done deal.I heard on MLB Network radio at lunchtime that the Reds may be on the verge of swapping former 1st round draft picks with the Twins.Mike Leake for OF/CF Ben Revere.Stubbs will move to LF or may be on his way to Miami.Apparently the Marlins are extremly interested in Stubbs if the Reds want to move him.

      Revere sure has been Stubbs like in the majors.

  13. @Hank Aarons Teammate:
    I don’t know if you are saying that is a bad thing or a good thing.
    Batting .290 in 540+ AB’s is Stubbs-like???
    He bats LH. He made 0, thats a zero, errors in 128 games. Regarded as a great defensive OF. Has speed, 40 SB’s. Will be 25 years old next May.
    The big question would be, Can he be a leadoff hitter?? I don’t know what he batted in the leadoff spot for the Twins, or if he even hit there any for them. That would take some more in-depth research on him. It would, however, be interesting if he was in CF and Stubbs was in LF, or vice-versa. Speed kills, but does that apply with Dusty and in GABP??

    • @WVRedlegs:

      The big question would be, Can he be a leadoff hitter?? I don’t know what he batted in the leadoff spot for the Twins, or if he even hit there any for them.

      Revere came up through the minor leagues as a CF & hit #1 or #2 almost his entire major league career. Defensively, he is OK in CF, but not excellent, but he is very good defensively at the corner OF spots, as are most CF playing the corners. His OBP from the #1 hole is .310 but his OBP from the #2 hole is .340. He is not arb eligible until 2014 and will not be FA eligible until 2018.

  14. They also said that SF, if they lose Pagan in free agency would be interested in Stubbs for CF if the Reds are shopping him. If that were the case, I would only want SF’s releiver Romo in exchange. That would solve any closer issues. SF would be getting Wilson, their closer, back anyway. I certainly don’t think that would happen though.

  15. Closers = Meh. I agree with those above who have suggested they re-sign Broxton or Madson and take a chance on they and/or Marshall at the back end. They could have as many as three guys with the potential to finish games, and it would be an added advantage if the opposing manager didnt’ ALWAYS know what Dusty would do if ahead in the ninth. Of course, the entire world knows that will not happen, but it would be nice. Of course, the last time the world didn’t know what Dusty was going to do, it was before Game 4 of the NLDS when he decided to start Mike Leake and treat it as thought the game were being played in Goodyear in March.

    This probably will be, barring injuries, a 90-plus win team again. Winning the division doesn’t mean anything anymore, so would it really be that big a risk if they experimented with Chapman in the rotation and didn’t go all out for another new closer and one or both of those decisions cost them a few games in April and May? You can move Chapman back to the bullpen at any time. He wasn’t supposed to be a closer last year either.

  16. Reds and Giants rarely trade and haven’t in years. I just don’t see Stubbs for Romo. That’s fantasy talk. I do hope Stubbs gets moved ASAP. The sooner we get rid of Dusty’s boy, the better. Leake for Revere is fine with me IF Chapman is going to the starting rotation.

  17. Revere would be a good get because he can be flipped to left once Hamilton gets up to the majors, but can man center for now. He’d be decent at the top of the order, but probably not THE answer. With that said, I’m sure we’re all hoping THE answer is Billy Hamilton sometime next year.

    Stubbs to the Marlins would be an interesting deal. I wonder who would be involved really…I’d say Logan Morrison, but there’s no way they’d deal Lomo right now, would they? Not for only Stubbs. And there isn’t really a bullpen arm there that will solve our closer problem. I could only see the Leake getting flipped for Revere and then Stubbs getting moved if, and only if, Walt get’s HIS guy to close. Just a question of who Walt has identified as HIS guy.

  18. I never did see anything official regarding Bray and Valdez being non-tendered, but both are off the 40 man roster and Mark Polishuk at MLBTR is reporting both opted for FA. Good luck to both players in landing a major league deal. I think they’ll need it.

  19. The Leake for Revere rumor just doesn’t feel right, at least if it is a 1 for 1 deal. An established, successful major league starter straight up for an unestablished, unproven major league outfielder? I could see Leake for Revere & Perkins, but not straight up for Revere. Hearing about such a deal in the rumor mill also doesn’t sound like WJ either.

  20. @Shchi Cossack: Agreed. If Walt has a move in mind, we’re always the last one’s to find out, and it’s only after the deal is made. If we hear about it…not likely to happen. Therefore, Mike Leake will be a Seattle Mariner after we make a deal for King Felix!

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