2013 Reds

It’s official: Chapman to close

Various reports from Reds’ beat writers. The Reds have announced that Aroldis Chapman will be the team’s closer.

46 thoughts on “It’s official: Chapman to close

    • @kmartin / EdEddandEdWerder: Give me a break. The team that won nearly 100 games, took the division by 9 and looks better this year is “incompetent” because of a single decision NOT to change?

      I had a roommate that would watch Miami football games and flip out every time the other team scored. “OMG@@ A TOUCHDOWN! THIS GAME IS OVER@()Q#(R” And then they would come back and win. It was exhausting.

      • @Brian Van Hook: @Jared: What was it, would you say that lost the Reds their playoff series last year?

        I seem to remember soething about Mike Leake pitching terribly in a game he had no business coming anywhere near. I remember something about wishing that Aroldis Chapman was going to pitch more than a single inning in that series. I remember thinking, gee, I really hope the Reds do something about this obvious problem that has cost them their playoff hopes.

        • @al: How many games was it Mike Leake lost? Just one?

          Accusing Leake of losing the series is patently wrong. To suggest that Chapman would have won the game without doubt is silly. To believe that Chapman would have even been pitching well at that point after a full season is naive.

          But you know what? I agree with all of that. What I don’t agree with is blowing up like babies.

        • @Jared: I don’t feel like hoping the Reds form a legitimate plan to make their team better after losing a rough series in the playoffs is blowing up like a baby.

          I think the Reds plan for the whole offseason was to have Chapman start. I think they shaped their offseason moves around that idea.

          They spent $7mil on Broxton so that he could close, allowing them to move Chapman. Spending that money meant that they didn’t have money to get an impact bat. They got Ludwick instead, and that was fine with me, because it allowed them to impove the team by moving Chapman.

          If the Reds had come out at the beginning of the offseason and said “we think Chapman’s best role is closing” they could have signed BJ Upton or Michael Bourne. Then they could have traded for Choo. The team would have been clearly improved, and improved around Chapman closing.

          But changing plans like this two weeks before opening day just doesn’t make sense, and it means that the Reds aren’t as improved as they could have been.

          My point with bringing up Game 4 was not to say that Chapman would have one it for sure, it was to reiterate what the post above said. Many people have said “if it ain’t broke…” but I think it was clearly broke last year. The Reds had an offseason to address that, and this move means that they have not.

    • Why the charade? Why sign Broxton? Why did it take this long?What an incompetent organization.

      Then all the experts were wrong and Joe fan isn’t?

  1. I am glad that the bullpen has 6-7 good arms and the starting rotation has 3, maybe 4.

    It’s 2013, I’m tired of having a manager who lives in the 80s.

    • I am glad that the bullpen has 6-7 good arms and the starting rotation has 3, maybe 4.

      It’s 2013, I’m tired of having a manager who lives in the 80s.

      A manager who guided this team to two playoff spots over the past three years? Wow…

  2. While I’m not happy about moving Chapman back to the bullpen, our rotation is still very good 1-5 and hopefully barring any injuries should win quite a few games for us this season.

  3. If they’d said Chapman would be in the bullpen, it would have left open the possibility that he could pitch more innings and possibly be converted later in the season.

    Naming him “closer” pretty much shuts the door on that idea.

    • @Jason Linden: I think you’re right. I love what the Castellini family has meant for Cincinnati baseball, but it seems that whatever Dusty wants is what Dusty gets and that’s got to come from the top.

  4. Oh well. This stinks. But this team is still better than it was last year, and my fondest hope is that, if Choo and Votto can stay healthy, there will be such a vivid demonstration of the usefulness of OBP that even Dusty will see it clearly.

  5. I’m a huge advocate for Chapman starting, but I could live with him going to the pen more if he was going to be a super reliever ala Tim Lincecum in the playoffs last year. Pitching two or three innings at a time, coming in when there are runners on etc, etc. But to just have him close makes me vaguely ill. What a tremendous waste of an asset. I know it’s been said many times but I look at last years playoffs. 46 innings. Three from perhaps the best arm in baseball. One with a four run lead. One with the Reds down three and one with the game tied. Never with runners on. How can the Reds, or any organization for that matter, allow their best pitching asset to go through an entire playoff series and not make a meaningful impact.

    What a farce. I can honestly say this diminishes my excitement for the season because I derive no joy from watching Chapman close. None whatsoever. I know many do, but all I’ll be thinking about when he closes is what he could have been as a starter. And I’ll be thinking about Dusty behaving like a petulant five year old in the media for the past month. And I’ll be thinking about Jocketty and the rest of our baseball operations not standing their ground. And i’ll be thinking about us paying our third or fourth best reliever 7 million dollars a year.

    What I really would like to know is what went into the decision. Why the sudden change of heart? I would hope it wasn’t based on 8 spring training innings, or what Dusty wanted or even what Chapman wanted. I hope it was a baseball decision, but if it was a baseball decision I’m left to really question the judgement of those who are calling the shots for the Reds.

    Many will argue that this won’t have an impact on the season and they may be right. The Reds could win 97 games again and the world series. Or they could miss the playoffs. What I would argue is that either way, because Chapman is the closer, it won’t really matter. I would also argue that this may actually weaken us this year. We don’t know what Mike Leake is going to do and Bronson Arroyo is 36 years old. To me a rotation with Chapman is a superior rotation and one that really does make us better in 2013.

    All that being said, Go Reds!

    • @aweis09: i assume that once the season gets going, i’ll be right there every day. but yeah, right now iit’s pretty deflating. i really wanted them to let dusty go last year, and i thought they had a perfect excuse in that they blew it in the playoffs and dusty had a stroke.

      i do not think the reds will in the world series with dusty managing.

    • I’m a huge advocate for Chapman starting, but I could live with him going to the pen more if he was going to be a super reliever ala Tim Lincecum in the playoffs last year. Pitching two or three innings at a time, coming in when there are runners on etc, etc. But to just have him close makes me vaguely ill. What a tremendous waste of an asset. I know it’s been said many times but I look at last years playoffs. 46 innings. Three from perhaps the best arm in baseball. One with a four run lead. One with the Reds down three and one with the game tied. Never with runners on. How can the Reds, or any organization for that matter, allow their best pitching asset to go through an entire playoff series and not make a meaningful impact.

      What a farce. I can honestly say this diminishes my excitement for the season because I derive no joy from watching Chapman close. None whatsoever. I know many do, but all I’ll be thinking about when he closes is what he could have been as a starter. And I’ll be thinking about Dusty behaving like a petulant five year old in the media for the past month. And I’ll be thinking about Jocketty and the rest of our baseball operations not standing their ground. And i’ll be thinking about us paying our third or fourth best reliever 7 million dollars a year.

      What I really would like to know is what went into the decision. Why the sudden change of heart? I would hope it wasn’t based on 8 spring training innings, or what Dusty wanted or even what Chapman wanted. I hope it was a baseball decision, but if it was a baseball decision I’m left to really question the judgement of those who are calling the shots for the Reds.

      Many will argue that this won’t have an impact on the season and they may be right. The Reds could win 97 games again and the world series. Or they could miss the playoffs. What I would argue is that either way, because Chapman is the closer, it won’t really matter. I would also argue that this may actually weaken us this year. We don’t know what Mike Leake is going to do and Bronson Arroyo is 36 years old. To me a rotation with Chapman is a superior rotation and one that really does make us better in 2013.

      All that being said, Go Reds!

      At this point the two men who have more knowledge about this game then any of us and they have the resumes to prove and thier jobs are on the line.

  6. My question is the same one that was posted earlier this week, do we as Reds fans worry that the future (statistical analysis) has left us entirely behind now?

    • @UDRedsFan: I don’t even think this is even really a sabermetrics issue. Stats help support the idea, but really, at its core, it’s just common sense allocation of resources being bungled. They appear to have let fear of change influence their decision making. In short, they took the easy way out. Now if Chapman gets hurt, nobody gets to say “I told you so.”

  7. In my opinion, this decision doesn’t affect the Reds’ chances of making the playoffs. But it does hurt the probability of actually winning the World Series for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

    Just as an aside, anytime you see logic and reason defeated by superstition or silly tradition, the good guys have lost.

    Also, it’s downright goofy, maybe even disrespectful to fans for the Reds to put on this obviously false unified front. Just put out a statement that reasonable people can differ, that management ultimately decided that Chapman relieving is the best thing for the organization and the player, and let it go. Don’t lie to your fan base.

  8. So I guess the we’ll just never know. I’m glad the Reds weren’t in charge of Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, David Price, or any of the other generational talents that started as relievers.

    Funny that the Reds are playing Kershaw now.

    • So I guess the we’ll just never know.I’m glad the Reds weren’t in charge of Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, David Price, or any of the other generational talents that started as relievers.

      Funny that the Reds are playing Kershaw now.

      Chapman is no where near the quality of those pitchers you named.

  9. the dumbest thing about this is that there really never should have been a chapman v. leake competition.

    does anyone actually think the reds are going to only need 5 starters (the same 5 starters) again this year? to predict that would be insanity. so why not just have them both stretch out as starters and put one as the swing man until the injury happens?

    the reds have 6 good starting pitching options, and they ARE going to need AT LEAST 6 starters this year. to plan for anything but that seems incredibly short sighted.

  10. To me, this smacks of Dusty stomping and whining like a pouty child – to the media – and going over Walt’s head to the ownership until he got what he wanted. All winter, it was said – by Jockety, and even Price – that Chapman was going into the rotation. Why say that ALL WINTER if you’re going to change your mind 2 weeks before the season starts? It certainly isn’t based on spring training stats. For 2 springs in a row, Chapman has been a starter, and a good one, only to be stuck right back in the bullpen because Dusty wanted him to close. (And for the record, last year’s excuse for doing so – Madson’s injury – wasn’t a valid excuse. the team had Marshall to do the job, but Dusty wouldn’t trust him for some loony reason. Oh right, he’s just a LOOGY, at least in Dusty-think).

    If Walt truly wants him to start but was over-ruled (with Dusty’s footprint on his head), then he should tell Castellini where to shove it, and walk away from the job. If a GM has no power over the manager, then he has no authority at all.

    • To me, this smacks of Dusty stomping and whining like a pouty child – to the media – and going over Walt’s head to the ownership until he got what he wanted. All winter, it was said – by Jockety, and even Price – that Chapman was going into the rotation. Why say that ALL WINTER if you’re going to change your mind 2 weeks before the season starts? It certainly isn’t based on spring training stats. For 2 springs in a row, Chapman has been a starter, and a good one, only to be stuck right back in the bullpen because Dusty wanted him to close. (And for the record, last year’s excuse for doing so – Madson’s injury – wasn’t a valid excuse. the team had Marshall to do the job, but Dusty wouldn’t trust him for some loony reason. Oh right, he’s just a LOOGY, at least in Dusty-think).

      If Walt truly wants him to start but was over-ruled (with Dusty’s footprint on his head), then he should tell Castellini where to shove it, and walk away from the job. If a GM has no power over the manager, then he has no authority at all.

      It’s the job of the GM to get the players and the managers to say who plays and where.

  11. I hope this is the last year of Baker’s contract.

    Chapman will NEVER start as long as Dusty is manager.

    • @RedForever: they signed him to a two year extension last year. So he’s signed through 2014.

      And I think it’s probably safe to say that Chapman will never start for the Reds now, whoever manages the team.

      He’ll pitch about 70 innings this year, and then if they wanted to start him next year he’d only be able to go 140-150, and then the next year only 180 or so. So at the poin the Reds would never even be able to get a 200 inning season out of him before he leaves.

      The failure to develop Chapman is a serious black eye for this organization. I honestly think it’s sort of sad that it was us that signed him. I mean, I’m still glad he’s on the team, but it would have been much better for him if a different team had signed him.

  12. So I guess that makes Broxton one of the most overpaid players in the game? I wonder how many other non-starters, non-closers are making more than $7mil.

    Too bad we couldn’t afford Nick Swisher ($15mil) or B.J. Upton ($15mil). Just didn’t have the money I guess. If only we could have found an extra $7mil somewhere.

    It’s also a shame that we’re going to have to send down two good relievers since we have so many extra arms in the pen. It’s almost like we didn’t even need to sign some of them this offseason. Oh well, I guess there’s no way to plan for this sort of thing. [sadsnark]

    • @al: I keep hearing conflicting arguments that the closer is the most overrated role, but that Broxton was paid to be a closer. Maybe Broxton and Marshall now will be used in the high-leverage situations, which many people argued was more relevant than the closer’s role.

      I’m interested in how the bullpen turns out. In my opinion they can justify cutting (designating for assignment, releasing, trading, whatever) Manny Parra, Jose Arredondo, and Alfredo Simon. I think Hoover and Ondrusek have earned a spot, despite options. Now that becomes an interesting battle.

      • @redsfanman: it is a little conflicting, but it makes sense if you think about it.

        A) paying a ton of money for a relief pitcher of any kind is probably never a wise use of team resources. Relief pitchers are the most plentiful and most volotile players in baseball. So if you pay a lot of money for one guy you’re probably going to get some bad years from him (volotile) when someone else in your system is having a great year (plentiful).

        B) good relievers who show themselves to be pretty reliable in the 9th get the label of Closer, and teams have traditionally overpaid them.

        So, what that means is that paying a reliever $7mil is always a gamble, and $21mil over three years could almost always be better spent. So that’s what the Reds have done with Broxton. But, with a “Closer” his money seems more normal to other teams, so if he’s a closer, he’s being overpaid less relative to other teams.

        This may not seem like a actual disctiction, since it’s only relative to other teams. But that distiction becomes very real when you try to trade him to another team at some point and have to take a chunk of his salary.

      • @redsfanman: Well, let’s see. Too seasons ago, the Cards won the WS with one of the worst pens in the league. Last season, the Giants won the WS after they lost their regular closer, replacing him with a person who had never closed before. It’s not too hard to see, closing may not be an overrated position, but it apparently isn’t too hard, with a lead with 1 inning left at the end of the game with the other team tired, to find someone who can do it.

        Al describes it correctly. We have put a lot of money towards players who aren’t going to see that many innings, not a very effective use of money for a small market team. I could understand putting up that kind of money for a closer. Possibly for the setup guy if there isn’t one in the pen already (I believe there is one of them in there, also). But, for the setup guy to the setup guy? I am hoping there is going to be a move sometime soon (maybe not next week but maybe as long as midseason) where we loosen up some of that money (trade someone off) to use it toward other needs like possibly trying to re-sign Choo or finding a better 4 hole hitter.

    • So I guess that makes Broxton one of the most overpaid players in the game? I wonder how many other non-starters, non-closers are making more than $7mil.

      Too bad we couldn’t afford Nick Swisher ($15mil) or B.J. Upton ($15mil). Just didn’t have the money I guess. If only we could have found an extra $7mil somewhere.

      It’s also a shame that we’re going to have to send down two good relievers since we have so many extra arms in the pen.It’s almost like we didn’t even need to sign some of them this offseason. Oh well, I guess there’s no way to plan for this sort of thing. [sadsnark]

      What leads you to believe money was ever an issue with whom the Reds signed or didn’t sign?

  13. Great to see that probably the Reds second most talented player will pitch, oh, 70 innings. Many of which will be in situations where someone much less talented could have done the same job.

    Honestly, anyone who doesn’t understand why this is a mistake can’t do math.

    • Great to see that probably the Reds second most talented player will pitch, oh, 70 innings. Many of which will be in situations where someone much less talented could have done the same job.

      Honestly, anyone who doesn’t understand why this is a mistake can’t do math.

      So all the experts and scouts are wrong, and all the numbers show that a one pitch pitcher is not going to have ling term as a starter.

  14. The only problem I have with the decision was they never really gave Chapman the opportunity to see what he can do starting. Sorry, I don’t count ST in that aspect. ST to me is to get in shape, get into the zone ready for the season, etc. For something like “The Chapman Situation”, I would have gone into the season at least 4 starts anyhow, to see what he can do as a starter. If it didn’t work, fine; send him to closer.

    Now, that was probably pushed wrongfully by Baker, which I can still understand people making errors. But, taking it to the papers, you just don’t do that. That discussion stays internal. Sorry, but Baker seems like a little crybaby to me. He complains when reporters ask him tough questions. But, then, he goes running to them as soon as he wants something. Most notably, he did it in 2010 with his extension then (He didn’t do it with his last extension; why not?) and now with this, demanding a decision on Chapman.

    My first hope is always a WS title with us. Without that in the next 2 years, my hope is that Baker isn’t extended again. Uncle Bob needs to realize that Walt and the last 2 GM’s have done more to take the talent level and success of this organization to this level than Baker could ever do. Sorry, but Baker simply doesn’t impress me.

  15. My reading is they never could figure out what to do with Leake. They left things open in case one of the starters got in injury… but ultimately they got stuck with 6 starters. Maybe we should have hoped Homer stubbed his toe or something. Who gets the ball if there’s in injury in the first month?

    • @groujo: I see it the same (or a similar) way. The Reds are more supportive of Mike Leake than many of the fans want them to be, and all six guys staying healthy all spring probably seemed like a longshot going into spring training.

      Who gets the ball if there’s an injury in the first month? I think Tony Cingrani is the top candidate. Or maybe a Chapman-LeCure tandem if a key player – particularly Cueto or Latos – get hurt and they feel the need to make an extreme move. Or Armando Galarraga, who pitched fairly well in spring training and is heading to Louisville.

  16. Leaving AC in the closer’s role isn’t a dealbreaker for me, though I admit wanting to see if he could be another staff ace.

    The dealbreaker part is that the Reds have no lefty anywhere near the rotation. You can’t get that lucky two years in a row.

    Maybe.

    I think, with a much stronger NL-C this year (arguably 4 teams can win it) … not having a rotation lefty is troublesome. I have no facts to support this other than history. Name the last team to win a W.S. without a quality southie in their rotation.

    I don’t think the back end of the bullpen needed that much fixing. Now for sure it doesn’t.

    • The dealbreaker part is that the Reds have no lefty anywhere near the rotation. You can’t get that lucky two years in a row.

      I think lefty Tony Cingrani is as close to being in the Reds’ rotation as anybody who didn’t make the final cut.

  17. Just wondering…which move will mean more to this team winning, Getting Choo or having Chapman as your 5th starter?

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