2013 Reds / Chapmania

39 thoughts on “Aroldis Chapman will be on innings limit in Reds’ rotation

  1. I’m just hoping Walt gives Dusty very strict rules concerning the innings limit. Rather than a aggregate limit (that could be addressed as the season progresses), I would prefer that Walt give Dusty a non-negotiable pitch/innings limit per game. When the first limit is met (pitches/innings), Chapman is removed from the game. Perhaps there can be a 10 pitch range that Dusty could work with. However, I would hope that Walt is very strict with the innings per game limit. Also, I would consider skipping his spot (with him throwing on the side) every fifth or sixth start.

  2. So when he gets his innings up, the Reds lose him to free agency.

    Unless the pocket books are going to open up for an extension or overpay on the FA market.

    If the Reds aren’t going to pony up the cash, keep him closing and let some other team invest.

  3. I’m guessing that AChapman will not pitch past the sixth or seventh inning very often, and might be taken out after five occasionally no matter how he is pitching. It will save innings while keeping him on a regular schedule. If I’m right, that means a heavy reliance on middle relievers.

    Then whom do we need to keep?

    • I’m guessing that AChapman will not pitch past the sixth or seventh inning very often, and might be taken out after five occasionally no matter how he is pitching.

      Aroldis is a 17 pitch per inning guy, and that’s as a reliever tossing 80%+ fastballs. He’s liable to toss more balls trying to harness his previously little used slider and change up. 17 pitches times 6 innings is 102 pitches per game. If they are monitoring him closely, he may hardly ever see the 7th inning.

  4. @rfay00: If ifs & buts were candy & nuts………….

    No question, he needs to be given the opportunity to be a starter. If he is anywhere as effective a starter as a reliever, Red’s will strike gold.

    On paper, at least, a top-of-the-rotation of Cueto, Chapman & Latos is a-oaky to me!

  5. @CharlotteNCRedsFan: So he thrives for two years, but can never make it to the playoffs. Year three or four, the Reds make the playoffs and Chapman is pitching for the Yankees against us in the world series. That’s I don’t want to see.

    Extend him. Plain and simple.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: So he thrives for two years, but can never make it to the playoffs. Year three or four, the Reds make the playoffs and Chapman is pitching for the Yankees against us in the world series. That’s I don’t want to see.

      Extend him. Plain and simple.

      The only point I will make is: the window is now open for the Reds to make a serious run, as serious as you can with DB as the manager, for the WS Champs. I think his value as starter has the greater potential than he would have as even the league’s best stopper. If you mean extend his contract, I don’t know if I can get there. He showed some maturity issues last year and I hope they are gone. But I would not take it for granted at the moment. Let’s see how 2013 plays out first would be my advise but you have a decent point.

  6. So are we looking at him pitching till when maybe late Aug or early Sept like the Nationals did with Strausburg? What happens when he isn’t starter material, which I still think is a very good posibility, does he go back to the bullpen? Sorry but if I can package him along with another player and get a real upgrade at say our LF position, I make that move NOW.

  7. Chapman will be a mess for Dusty to manage in the rotation. If Chapman does well throughout the season Dusty will be faced with a lot of no-win situations. Leave Chapman in for a complete game when he’s dominating or pull him after 100 pitches? Either option (overworking him or being too protective) will be received really badly by fans. Even if Bryan Price makes the decision Dusty will get the criticism.

    I think that suggestion of skipping Chapman every 5th start is crazy. Why the heck would they move him to the rotation if they didn’t want to start him every 5th day? If he can’t start every 5th day why convert him? If he can’t be as effective for as many innings as Mike Leake, why not just keep Mike Leake in the rotation instead?

    This whole thing is crazy. The Reds are shooting themselves in the foot before trying to run a marathon.

    • I think that suggestion of skipping Chapman every 5th start is crazy. Why the heck would they move him to the rotation if they didn’t want to start him every 5th day? If he can’t start every 5th day why convert him? If he can’t be as effective for as many innings as Mike Leake, why not just keep Mike Leake in the rotation instead?

      This whole thing is crazy. The Reds are shooting themselves in the foot before trying to run a marathon.

      You say it is crazy, but neglect to say why. That seems to be your thing @redsfanman. So let me explain why it is not.

      You might agree that having Chapman on the roster during the playoffs might be a good thing rather than seeing him get shut down in September like Strasburg. (I’m going to assume you agree, otherwise this exersize is pointless.) Skipping him every 5th start saves a start and moves that shut down date further into the season, hopefully well into October. In addition, letting him get a workout on the side, or having him pitch an inning from the bullpen that day keeps him on schedule. The value of Chapman as a starter FAR exceeds his value as a closer if the conversion is successful. And if it fails he can be moved back the bullpen. Experiment over. There is a risk of injury, but the Reds had far more injuries from the bullpen last year than the starting rotation. I’m not certain one can argue starting is harder on an arm than relieving.

      Crazy? Your turn.

      • @Tom Diesman: It’s funny that Bryan Price is responsible if things go well, Dusty Baker is responsible if things go badly. Bryan Price has his plan, fans are okay with it, but if it goes badly, BAM, Dusty’s fault, another young arm gone Mark Prior-style.

        You say it is crazy, but neglect to say why.That seems to be your thing @redsfanman.So let me explain why it is not.

        You might agree that having Chapman on the roster during the playoffs might be a good thing rather than seeing him get shut down in September like Strasburg. (I’m going to assume you agree, otherwise this exersize is pointless.)Skipping him every 5th start saves a start and moves that shut down date further into the season, hopefully well into October.In addition, letting him get a workout on the side, or having him pitch an inning from the bullpen that day keeps him on schedule.The value of Chapman as a starter FAR exceeds his value as a closer if the conversion is successful.And if it fails he can be moved back the bullpen.Experiment over.There is a risk of injury, but the Reds had far more injuries from the bullpen last year than the starting rotation.I’m not certain one can argue starting is harder on an arm than relieving.

        Crazy?Your turn.

        Skipping Chapman’s starts regularly defies the whole purpose of moving him to the rotation. The ONLY way Chapman is pitching in the 2013 playoffs is if he’s a reliever or if he misses time with an injury, preferably to something other than his shoulder or elbow. Maybe a good old fashioned broken leg or a finger on his right hand in June. If he stays healthy he’ll be shut down by October like Strasburg.

        If Chapman fails he can be moved back to the bullpen, experiment over? No harm done? That’s wishful thinking. If the experiment fails and he gets dumped to the bullpen his reputation as a dominant pitcher will be gone. Instead of the dominant Cuban Missile teams would face some failed experiment who is hoping to reestablish himself as a pitcher in a lesser role. If his ERA is high he won’t get enough innings out of the bullpen to balance that out. Got a closer coming in with an ERA over 5? That’s embarrassing, nobody cares if most of the runs were given up in a failed conversion to the rotation, he’s a pitcher with an ERA over 5. Dumping him to the rotation won’t wipe his record for the season. Not to mention hitters will be better prepared for what he can throw after facing him more frequently.

        Moving Chapman to the rotation is a huge and silly risk that should define the Reds’ 2013 season. If he enters the rotation the bullpen gets worse, no question about it – roll some dice to figure out the rest. That’s a gamble a last place team needs when they struggle to fill out the starting rotation (like Danny Graves’ conversion years ago) but not one the defending NL Central champions should take when the pitching staff is already such a strength.

        The Reds should move Joey Votto to left field. There’s no reason to do it, firstbase would become a big weakness for the Reds, but who cares? We’re willing to choose a worse closer (Broxton) to fill a rotation hole that doesn’t exist, why not gamble Votto’s career on an opening that does exist?

        • If the experiment fails and he gets dumped to the bullpen his reputation as a dominant pitcher will be gone. Instead of the dominant Cuban Missile teams would face some failed experiment who is hoping to reestablish himself as a pitcher in a lesser role.

          A little melodramatic, I think. Hitters don’t hit reputations. They hit baseballs.

        • Moving Chapman to the rotation is a huge and silly risk that should define the Reds’ 2013 season.

          I don’t think it’s silly, but it is certainly a risk and should be approached carefully. The Reds obviously believe he can be a successful starter and that is good, because it means we get 3X more out of one of our best pitchers. The Reds missed the boat last season on Chapman. They should have moved into the rotation after acquiring Broxton. They could have gotten him 10 starts, and got his innings last season up to about 110 or so and had him for the playoffs. Then they could have put him in the rotation this year from the start as the 5th man and got him up around 150 without sweating the injury risk as much. Now it looks as if they want to roll the dice and double his innings this upcoming year and hope he don’t break.

        • A little melodramatic, I think.Hitters don’t hit reputations.They hit baseballs.

          Fans tend to boo and criticize on reputation, not on performance. It often takes a while to get over a bad reputation. Homer Bailey and Alfredo Simon are fine examples from 2012.

          Part of Chapman’s success as the closer was winning over the fans – most people stayed until the 9th inning in hopes of seeing him pitch, wondering just how many strikeouts he’d pull off. If he gets pounded in the rotation and demoted to the bullpen I think that aura will be gone.

          I don’t think it’s silly, but it is certainly a risk and should be approached carefully.The Reds obviously believe he can be a successful starter and that is good, because it means we get 3X more out of one of our best pitchers.The Reds missed the boat last season on Chapman.They should have moved into the rotation after acquiring Broxton.They could have gotten him 10 starts, and got his innings last season up to about 110 or so and had him for the playoffs.Then they could have put him in the rotation this year from the start as the 5th man and got him up around 150 without sweating the injury risk as much.Now it looks as if they want to roll the dice and double his innings this upcoming year and hope he don’t break.

          I think the 2012 Reds were right to stick with their closer in the playoff stretch. Moving the closer in the rotation to get him some innings in hopes things can go better the following season is something you consider when you’re stuck in last place and rebuilding, not when you’re in first (or if you’re in second place behind the Pirates, nobody expects that to last).

          I just hope he doesn’t get an injury related to his arm. As I said, a broken leg or something in June or July would be great – it’d give him time to rest his arm midseason. Just don’t injure anything that bends or moves related to throwing.

        • Moving the closer in the rotation to get him some innings in hopes things can go better the following season is something you consider when you’re stuck in last place and rebuilding, not when you’re in first (or if you’re in second place behind the Pirates, nobody expects that to last).

          I couldn’t disagree more. They had just traded for another closer with 23 saves on the season. The only reason Chapman wasn’t in the rotation already, is because the closer they signed in the off season, Madsen was injured. And here we are doing the exact same thing, but in a more riskier manner since they don’t have Chapman’s inning count built up. Not to mention that there’s a good chance that Chapman starting in the playoffs might have made the difference. Big difference having 3 aces in the playoffs instead of two. I would have applauded the move then, whether it worked or not.

        • The Reds should move Joey Votto to left field. There’s no reason to do it, firstbase would become a big weakness for the Reds, but who cares? We’re willing to choose a worse closer (Broxton) to fill a rotation hole that doesn’t exist, why not gamble Votto’s career on an opening that does exist?

          That’s not an apt comparison at all. If moving him to LF meant the Reds were going to get to 3x as many innings out of him, that would be a brilliant idea. That’s what they’ll get out of a starting Chapman. It would also be a brilliant idea of the Reds had somebody that could put up another 5-7 WAR but only play first. There is solid, logical reasons to believe the closer spot will not be dramatically different for Broxton than Chapman. The Reds stand to improve themselves as a team simply by better using the pieces they already have.

        • That’s not an apt comparison at all. If moving him to LF meant the Reds were going to get to 3x as many innings out of him, that would be a brilliant idea. That’s what they’ll get out of a starting Chapman. It would also be a brilliant idea of the Reds had somebody that could put up another 5-7 WAR but only play first. There is solid, logical reasons to believe the closer spot will not be dramatically different for Broxton than Chapman. The Reds stand to improve themselves as a team simply by better using the pieces they already have.

          If all goes well the Reds might get 3x as many innings out of Chapman, yes. Does anybody expect him to be as effective in those innings as he was out of the closer role? I don’t think so, everybody is expecting his fastball velocity to go down and for him to rely more on second and third pitches. Does everybody expect the conversion to the rotation to be a sure thing? No, it’s an experiment. A big, expensive, dangerous, and risky experiment to cure a non-existent problem while providing new problems.

          We’ve seen a lot of Reds closers over the past decade and Chapman is in a class by himself above the rest. Maybe on paper his success rate at saving games is little better than guys like Francisco Cordero, David Weathers, Danny Graves, or Jonanthan Broxton. The whole outlook towards the 9th inning is completely different though. Thousands of fans would stay for the 9th inning just to see Aroldis Chapman – The Cuban Missile – pitch, betting on whether he’d get 1, 2, or 3 strikeouts. With Broxton the Reds are taking a step back – the 9th inning outlook drops back to hoping that the closer won’t allow any runs (like we did with Cordero) rather than expecting a dominant performance.

          In 2013 I think we’ll hear a lot of questions about the bullpen. Why isn’t Marshall getting more save opportunities? Shouldn’t JJ Hoover get a shot? Cingrani? Sam LeCure maybe? If Dusty uses Broxton too much he’ll be criticized for bad managing of the bullpen. If he uses Broxton too rarely for saves he’ll also be criticized. Big mess, but it’s part of having a closer who isn’t as good as Chapman.

        • If all goes well the Reds might get 3x as many innings out of Chapman, yes. Does anybody expect him to be as effective in those innings as he was out of the closer role? I don’t think so, everybody is expecting his fastball velocity to go down and for him to rely more on second and third pitches. Does everybody expect the conversion to the rotation to be a sure thing? No, it’s an experiment. A big, expensive, dangerous, and risky experiment to cure a non-existent problem while providing new problems.

          He will definitely not be as effective over 200 IP, but he’ll still be good enough to win the Cy Young Award. Change is always risky, and the move will prove to be cheap if successful. Check out what a Cy Young caliber pitcher goes for these days.

          We’ve seen a lot of Reds closers over the past decade and Chapman is in a class by himself above the rest. Maybe on paper his success rate at saving games is little better than guys like Francisco Cordero, David Weathers, Danny Graves, or Jonanthan Broxton. The whole outlook towards the 9th inning is completely different though. Thousands of fans would stay for the 9th inning just to see Aroldis Chapman – The Cuban Missile – pitch, betting on whether he’d get 1, 2, or 3 strikeouts. With Broxton the Reds are taking a step back – the 9th inning outlook drops back to hoping that the closer won’t allow any runs (like we did with Cordero) rather than expecting a dominant performance.

          If that is the case, then we’ll now we can have tens of thousands of fans show up every 5th day to see him start for sure. Bottom line is, the more Chapman pitches, the better the Reds will be. The dropoff in the back end of the bullpen is way less than the improvement to the starting rotation will be.

          In 2013 I think we’ll hear a lot of questions about the bullpen. Why isn’t Marshall getting more save opportunities? Shouldn’t JJ Hoover get a shot? Cingrani? Sam LeCure maybe? If Dusty uses Broxton too much he’ll be criticized for bad managing of the bullpen. If he uses Broxton too rarely for saves he’ll also be criticized. Big mess, but it’s part of having a closer who isn’t as good as Chapman.

          A non-issue, if we aren’t moaning about the bullpen, it’ll be something else.

  8. I think that suggestion of skipping Chapman every 5th start is crazy. Why the heck would they move him to the rotation if they didn’t want to start him every 5th day?

    -To save the stress and strain on a young power pitcher who is making a jump in innings pitched.

    If he can’t start every 5th day why convert him?

    -There is a good chance that he could be an ace for years to come, if handled delicately early on.

    If he can’t be as effective for as many innings as Mike Leake, why not just keep Mike Leake in the rotation instead?

    -Mike Leake’s performance as a starter has been spotty and largely underwhelming. He is simply not a front line starter. Leake himself failed to make it through six innings in 9 of his 30 starts. Simply put, if there is a substantial chance that Chapman moving to the rotation will result in more wins over the course of the year, then the Reds’ brass should do it. There is and they will.

  9. What I wouldn’t mind seeing is on Chapman’s starts, let him throw up to 5 innings (6 if he’s efficient with his pitches), and then bring in Leake or LeCure for several innings. That way, Chapman doesn’t hit his limit in August, and the bullpen doesn’t take a whooping every 5th start. Letting Chapman only throw ~5 innings should limit most opposing batters to seeing him twice a game. I believe this is a nice way to work him back into a rotation after pitching in short/late relief for 2 years.

  10. Price says they will “see where [Chapman] is in terms of innings and pitches after 25 or 30 starts.” Really? They are going to put him in from the start of the season for 25 starts and thus he’ll be at somewhere between 125-150 IP based on 5-6 IP per game. His career IP history is below. Anything next year over 102 IP will be breaking the “only 30 more IP than the year before rule of thunb.” This for a guy with some history of shoulder issues and having never surpassed 118 IP in his career. Sounds pretty risky to me. Could very likely turn into a late season shoulder problem and being shutdown before we go to the playoffs without one of our best pitchers, assuming he makes the adjustments and is successful.

    Price goes on to say “I don’t think there’s an absolute. You have to have a plan and hope it works. Any time you have a young pitcher and he’s going to surpass his inning total, there’s going to be questions if he gets hurt. We can’t be scared of that.”

    So far it sounds like the current plan is very risky and way to aggressive as far as the number of IP they are planning on giving him. It also sets us up to get Strasburg’d. I hope for the best, but it’s way more risky than I care for.

    Chapman Career IP

    Cuba Age IP GS
    2006 18 54.0 15
    2007 19 81.1 12
    2008 20 74.0 16
    2009 21 118.1 20

    Min/MLB Age IP GS
    2010 22 109.0 13
    2011 23 63.0 3
    2012 24 71.2 0

    • “only 30 more IP than the year before rule of thunb.”

      The Verducci Effect: A hypothesis that that young pitchers tend to break down the season after an increased workload. Specifically, a pitcher 25 and under is supposed to be at risk if he pitched at least 30 more innings than his previous career high.

      Chapman is 25 so according to Verducci, it does apply. According to this, his inning limit should be 148.1

      • The Verducci Effect: A hypothesis that that young pitchers tend to break down the season after an increased workload. Specifically, a pitcher 25 and under is supposed to be at risk if he pitched at least 30 more innings than his previous career high.

        Chapman is 25 so according to Verducci, it does apply. According to this, his inning limit should be 148.1

        Does it still hold if the career high was 3 or 4 years ago? I wouldn’t think so.

        • Does it still hold if the career high was 3 or 4 years ago? I wouldn’t think so.

          Nor would I. And the fact that, under Reds management, He went from 109 innings to 63 and 71 the next two seasons just steams my hot dog buns.

          So here’s my questions:

          – Were the Nationals wrong for starting Strasburg this past season? If they’d kept him in the pen, he would have been available for the playoffs.

          – How can you *ever* convert a relief pitcher to a starter if you don’t accept that, given that he’s an ex-reliever, he probably can’t pitch a full season’s worth of innings? Is conversion a one-way street? Starter to reviever, yes, but never the other way round (unless you’re willing to send the guy to the minors for a year, possibly two)?

          – Does the fact that Chap could be throwing 200ish innings for us next year but won’t, due to the Reds’ (mis)use of the guy the last two seasons (see above) bug you? Cuz it bugs the heck out of me.

          Grrrrr.

        • @RC:

          Nor would I. And the fact that, under Reds management, He went from 109 innings to 63 and 71 the next two seasons just steams my hot dog buns.So here’s my questions:- Were the Nationals wrong for starting Strasburg this past season? If they’d kept him in the pen, he would have been available for the playoffs.- How can you *ever* convert a relief pitcher to a starter if you don’t accept that, given that he’s an ex-reliever, he probably can’t pitch a full season’s worth of innings? Is conversion a one-way street? Starter to reviever, yes, but never the other way round (unless you’re willing to send the guy to the minors for a year, possibly two)? – Does the fact that Chap could be throwing 200ish innings for us next year but won’t, due to the Reds’ (mis)use of the guy the last two seasons (see above) bug you? Cuz it bugs the heck out of me.Grrrrr.

          The Reds didn’t misuse Chapman last year. He was slated to be a starter, but the spring training injuries to Madson, Masset, and Bray torpedoed their plans. You can’t lose those three relievers and not expect there to be repercussions. The 2012 Reds had a deep starting rotation, so Chapman solved the injury problem in the pen.

          The Broxton signing mirrors the Madson signing of last year, and sets the bullpen up again so that they can move Chapman to the rotation.

          The front office is comprised first and foremost of businessmen, and they have been salivating at the prospect of having Chapman start every 5th day, and the home sellouts that will ensue.

          The Broxton signing gives them Broxton

  11. Chapman is the most physically gifted pitcher since Mark Prior. Dusty will take good care of him!

    I jest. This conversion is long overdue.

    • Chapman is the most physically gifted pitcher since Mark Prior. Dusty will take good care of him!

      LOL!

      I know you jest, but he is more physically talents than Prior.

  12. Prior to last season, only 1 pitcher in the Reds rotation had thrown more than 200 IP in a season. You guys are worrying about something highly unlikely to occur.

    Besides, innings pitched is completely arbitrary. I’d worry about the number of pitches, something Dusty has shown himself being pretty inept at managing.

  13. In addition… (and this is important), if it’s crazy to have a starting pitcher who, if he goes every 5th day, can’t finish an entire season, then it would be crazy to bring any new starting pitcher up from the minors who can’t pitch a full 200 innings per year.

  14. Nobody knows how it’ll turn out, guys. At the moment, it looks as though the Reds are taking their most physically gifted pitcher and attempting to capitalize on his potential. In 3/4 of a year, it may look as though the Reds are an extremely incompetent organization who badly mismanaged him; they may also look like geniuses in 3 years. The jury’s out until then, so lets keep the criticism or praise civil and realistic.

  15. Well that Span trade completely blows away the Leake for Span proposal in the threads below. Leake is an okay guy for teams who want cheap innings. But no upside means relatively cheap starting outfielders are pretty much off the table.

  16. Denard Span was traded for an alright, but good prospect from WAS…I am guessing that is the equivalent of Robert Stephenson…

    • Well that Span trade completely blows away the Leake for Span proposal in the threads below.Leake is an okay guy for teams who want cheap innings.But no upside means relatively cheap starting outfielders are pretty much off the table.

      Denard Span was traded for an alright, but good prospect from WAS…I am guessing that is the equivalent of Robert Stephenson…

      I don’t know anything about the guy the Minnesota Twins got, Alex Meyer, except that he’s 22 year old who just finished a season in single A. He’s years away from reaching the rotation (like Robert Stephenson). I guess that rules out the possibility of the Twins hoping to compete in 2013 – with Span they made a rebuilding move looking further down the road. Part of Leake’s appeal would be that he could pitch immediately and for a long time.

      I was more hoping that the Reds would get Ben Revere than Denard Span, but that trade does seem to eliminate the possibility of acquiring either.

  17. i made the mistake of reading the comments in the linked article. I am now dumberer because of it.

  18. @redsfanman: I may slightly disagree with your opinion, but at least now I understand where you are coming from. Injury is the worrisome factor to me as well as having to shut him down in August when he is needed most. Reputation and stats are a thin reason to not try. I am actually on the fence about converting Chapman. There are some solid arguments for not doing it, some of which you have touched on. But if you do try, which I believe this should be the last attempt, then you need to be creative in order to extend his season and give his arm a rest along the way.

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