2013 Reds

What changed?

I was all set to move on. Steve Mancuso had written a fantastic editorial on behalf of the editors of RN and I knew I couldn’t do better. I was set to swallow my disappointment (to the best of my ability) and move on with the season.

Then I read yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. Specifically, this article by John Fay.

It contains no real explanation as to why this decision was made. I’ll highlight some of the quotes:

Walt Jocketty says: “It was like last year. It was what gave us the best opportunity to win as an organization this year. The rotation as it was, we had four guys who pitched 200 innings. We have another guy who is capable of pitching 200 innings. That’s a very strong rotation.”

I don’t disagree, but what about improving the team? Do you believe that Chapman in the rotation can’t top 8 wins and a 4.58 ERA (Leake’s contribution last season)?

Jocketty also says: “Leake’s had a good spring. As long as we felt he was close to coming back to where he was a couple of years ago, we thought we were a better team.”

Good spring? By what definition? I’m not big on spring stats, but what makes you believe this is the case? In addition, what makes you believe that Leake won’t continue to regress (his ERA went from 3.86 in ’11 (with a very low .269 BABIP) to 4.58 (fairly average .306 BABIP) last year).

He also says: “We’re a team built to win. In our opinion, this gives us the best chance to win now.”

And you believe that Chapman in the rotation (vs Leake) and Broxton closing (or Marshall, or Hoover for that matter) (vs Chapman) would have made a difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs? Because if you don’t believe that, then you have to look at the big picture also.

Jocketty also said: “We approached this spring exactly the same as last year with Chapman. He was either going to be a starter or closer.”

This is simply untrue.

Last year, he was being primed for the rotation, injuries made the Reds decide to move him to the bullpen and, eventually, Baker’s panic made him the closer.

Chapman didn’t record his first save until his 18th appearance of the season on May 20th. He was not “either going to be a starter or closer” last spring. Injuries sent him to the bullpen; he was never slated for closer.

Jocketty did not rule out Chapman starting in the future. “Who knows, one day he may start,” Jocketty said.

If not now, Walt…when? You’re running out of time. You’ve already wasted two years of his contract and this will be a 3rd and you still won’t know if he can start.

What did the team envision for Chapman when ownership spent $30M on him? Did they envision 70-80 innings per year or a starter that would anchor your rotation?

When asked about a 200 inning pitcher being more valuable than a 70 inning pitcher, he said, “We wouldn’t have gotten 200 innings out of him this year.”

Probably true, Walt, but a 150 inning pitcher is more valuable than a 70. So is a 130 inning pitcher.

Also, what happens next year? Then you’re really looking for a starter because Arroyo is gone.

Do we go through this same exercise again, only the need is more pressing because there is a real hole in the rotation to fill?

Yes, we’ll have options like Tony Cingrani and Daniel Corcino, but they’ll be unproven and I doubt you’ll get 200 innings from them either. Doesn’t it make more sense to try this NOW, when you’ve got some depth and the ability to overcome if it doesn’t work out? (And saying that, who’s to say if Chapman was still struggling mightily by say…Memorial Day, you can’t move him back to the pen then?)

I do not blame this fiasco on Dusty Baker (though I believe he played the media like a fiddle to get his way). Jocketty could have / should have shut him down at any time. For that matter, he should have made the club’s position clear before signing Baker to an extension and if he didn’t agree, he could have told Baker to take his services elsewhere. But once he was signed, he should have called Baker into his office and told him to get with the program or shut the heck up. (Of course, this is all assuming that Jocketty has the support of ownership.)

But my big question is this: what changed?

All winter Walt Jocketty said the plan was for Chapman to be a starter in 2013. Bryan Price said they had a plan to deal with the increase in innings. I even thought John Erardi had a great idea to stretch Chapman out and at the same time get better use out of an asset (Sam LeCure).

Spring stats are meaningless, we all know that, but Chapman’s (9 IP 6 H 4 BB 5K 1.11 WHIP) were much better than Leake’s. (13.1 IP 20 H 2 BB 13 K 1.65 WHIP). And according to Baseball Reference they played against similar levels of competition (Chapman was a little higher 9.3 to 8.7 on their competition scale).

So what changed?

It seemed as if it was Jocketty and Price on one side of the argument and Baker, the players who the media sucked into it (Arroyo, Phillips, LeCure), and a large part of the media (including former players) on the other.

I don’t believe this move will keep the Reds from winning their division. I don’t think it says they can’t/won’t win the World Series.

I don’t know if this had anything to do with disagreements between Baker/Jocketty on team philosophy (which both try to downplay in the article) or if it shows which one has more power with ownership or even if Walt changed his mind. Could be any of those.

What do I believe?. I think Walt decided that it was easier to do the safe thing than to do the smart thing because they would have taken some heat for it when Chapman struggled or when Broxton blew a save.

What I really believe is that Walt Jocketty chickened out and that this will turn out to be a wrong move in the long term interest of both the Cincinnati Reds and Aroldis Chapman.

49 thoughts on “What changed?

  1. What in the world would they have done if Latos had broken his foot yesterday? Would they have backpedaled, or would they have done something really dumb like slot in Galarraga?

    I tend to think the latter, unfortunately.

    • @Chris Garber: I believe that with any injury here forward, Dusty would pervert the logic and say “That’s why you have to have a solid bullpen, sometimes you got guys starting that struggle, or get hurt, and the AAA guys are in there.”

  2. Bill, you asked the question what they will do next year when Arroyo’s spot is open. Hopefully resign Arroyo. I realize the prevailing thought is that Arroyo will be too expensive at this late point in his career. But consider, pitchers can last well into their late 30s before they regress and Arroyo is not a hard thrower. In addition he has proven that he can stay healthy.

    I think it would be a mistake to write him off. I love having Arroyo on the team. I hope they bring him back.

  3. Chapman has thrown 150 innings in Cuba as a starter, so you’d think that he could at least give us that many innings. Why wouldn’t you want your best pitcher throwing 150 innings instead of 7-80? This is a bad situation and Walt and Dusty share in it. Dusty should never have gone public and Walt should have stuck with what he said at Redsfest, Chapman will start.

  4. I was a disappointed as anybody by the decision to pull the plug on the experiment and I would have like to have seen it played out. But let me play devil’s advocate.

    I think a lot of the disappointment with this decision is predicated on the notion that Chapman would have been a brilliant starting pitcher from the very start. I read more than one comment over the off season to the effect that Dusty Baker would be more in love with the decision when Chapman went into the All-Star break with a 10-3 record and an ERA of 2.65. Let’s it’s the middle of June and Chapman is 1-6 with a 5.37 ERA and is averaging more than six walks per nine innings. I think it is fair to say nobody is in love with the idea at this point.

    I understand for a move to the starting rotation to work, you have to be willing to live with the struggles. I further understand that successful organizations have to be willing to take risks, and that is something the Reds are very reluctant to do.

    It is also incumbent on a successful organization to know its personnel, and Chapman’s commitment to becoming a starter is something that really hasn’t been addressed. I never got the impression that Chapman was fully committed to transitioning to the rotation this spring. Certainly his comments last weekend suggested otherwise. Now how much of that is on Chapman and how much is the result of Dusty Baker’s resistance to the plan is unclear.

    No matter how true it is that Chapman is more valuable giving the Reds 130 innings as opposed to 65, that only applies if he does not take a half-hearted approach to being a starting pitcher.

    And what do you do with him if starting doesn’t work out and Broxton or Marshall are lights out at the back of the bullpen? What if he goes back to the bullpen and he isn’t effective there either? All of a sudden you have Joba Chamberlain and that is of no use to a team with serious World Series aspirations.

    I’m not saying I agree with all of this, but these are things that should be taken into consideration.

    I fully appreciate the mass disappointment both the with the decision to put Chapman back in the closer’s role and the sloppy way the Reds handled it. I share a lot of it, but I think it’s time to move on.

  5. You obviously never want a guy to get injured; however, I’m curious if the Reds will change their minds should one or two starters get hurt early in the season. I think we can all almost guarantee that at some point in the season, one of the starters will miss a start.

  6. The thing is….. I don’t think there is much risk to starting him even if he was terrible and on June 1 the team says, he’s got to go back to the pen. So it costs them a few wins. I’d rather they do that than never give it a shot. Even if he blew out his arm trying to start, finding a dominant starter is worth that risk; he just doesn’t add *that* much value as a closer over what a Marshall or Broxton could do.

  7. I wonder if attendance factored in to it – considering the cost of running a baseball franchise, not unreasonable. If there is a chance of seeing him pitch every day instead of every fifth, and more people come out as a result, it’s a reasonable decision. Finances don’t rule, but do matter.

  8. Only Walt, Dusty and possibly ownership know whether Walt was somehow overruled and then told to put on a united front that he was good with the decision, but his winter and early spring enthusiasm for Chapman as a starter was undeniable. I guess I’d be curious what Bryan Price thinks of this. … And now that Chapman is back as the closer, I don’t see that role changing unless several guys in the rotation get hurt. And maybe not then, either.

    As it is, I’m pretty Chapman’d out.

    • @Brian Van Hook: I agree with this line of thinking I think what we’re seeing in the comments now from Walt are those of a man being a professional… the anti-Dusty to this charade. Walt may not want this, but he’s done presenting the organization as divided and fragmented. Dusty would have never found it in himself to be so diplomatic.

      Poor Mike Leake is left to carry out the rest of the trash as the season goes.

  9. May I respectfully suggest/request that everybody just move on…It’s a great time to be a Reds fan…The Reds will have a nice team for us all to enjoy watching this season. They should win the Central and make a run in the playoffs. I for one can’t wait for the season to start, and I’m not going to let Bakerjocketychapman etc. steal my joy. Go Reds!

      • @Sultan of Swaff: Yeah. I am annoyed – far more annoyed than I imagined I’d be. And I’m pretty sure that annoyance will rekindle every time our blessed closer appears. I will try to withhold the snide comments in those moments, but I can’t guarantee a few won’t slip out…

  10. I consider the use of “we” and “our” to indicate something meaningful. Is he referring to unanimity in the decision or simply the key actor in the “we” and “our” (B.C.) essentially made the decision? We may never know. As much as I hate this decision, I am still extremely excited about the season. I’m just hoping that Armando Gallaraga does not have to make a start for the Redlegs.

  11. I just wanted to throw in my two cents. I have agreed to a degree with every opinion put forth by the editors, as well as commentators, except that I am not nearly as emphatic in my disappointment. I wanted Chapman to start last year, and again this year. But having read almost every word written here on the subject, I think two key factors have not been raised properly.

    1. Ownership cares about winning and making money. Chapman as closer simply does not mess with either of those two things. It might not maximize the winning, but Chapman in the ninth put butts in the seats last year and will again this year. I don’t think they care nearly as much about that 30 mil as we might (when we talk about efficiency of spending) considering it is raising revenues at the ticket office.

    2. More importantly, you had three! bullpen arms go down last year before the season started and zero starters go down all year. That odd’s of that playing out are very small, and if three starters had gone down and no relievers (a much more reasonable scenario) Chapman may well have started last year, staying on as a starter if he earned it. All of the arms look healthy to start the year (knocking on wood), and they may go long enough into the year so that younger arms are ready. This is where Walt (and Dusty, who I don’t have it in for as much as others) gets a great deal of slack from me as a fan.

    That outcome of these facts are not pleasant, but they shouldn’t be as unmentioned as they are in my view.

  12. I’ll take Jocketty at his word when he says that he believes that this move gives the Reds the best chance to win now. That’s arguable, but I think he’s being honest about how he views the situation. It may be short-sighted to move Chapman to the bullpen–a critique we’ve heard around here–but the move seems to be based on their evaluations about how to construct a roster with the best chance of winning the World Series in 2013. We may disagree with these evaluations, but I’m willing to concede that winning now, this year, was their top priority and drove their decision making.

  13. What changed? The last two years the Reds pitching staff was struck by injuries in spring training, this year they’re basically all healthy. Good job by Dusty, Price, the training staff, and whoever else is responsible. After Cueto and Bailey got injured in the spring of 2011 (and Arroyo got mono) and Madson, Masset, and Bray all got hurt in the spring of 2012 I think the Reds expected a role for Chapman to open up that way.

    No such luck (on the other hand, shouldn’t we be happy that everyone stayed healthy?). Everyone stayed healthy, leading to a controversial decision that had to be made.

    Also, since last year, Aroldis Chapman established himself as a dominant relief pitcher. That is a big change, he’s gone from a contingency plan to help the bullpen to the key member of the bullpen. That’s a big change presented by his own remarkable success.

    If Arroyo leaves it looks like there will be a rotation spot open for free competition next year, which there wasn’t this spring. This spring the final rotation spot was Mike Leake’s job to lose, next spring the final spot can be won by anybody, and that is a big change.

  14. Outside of Chapman’s first month, and maybe that little period where he flirted with the MPH records (most likely with gimmicky radar guns), I’ve never met anyone that bought tickets to watch the closer pitch.

    Wins put butts in the seat. Almost certainly, if Chapman was a SP, those games would have higher attendance than games with Mike Leake pitching.

    • I’m with you, in that I would be much more excited to see Chapman start. But I was simply referring to the excitement of him at closer over Hoover, Broxton or Marshall, which is obvious. That him at closer is mathematically meaning less over those guys is beyond a doubt here, but not necessarily to WLW listeners and other casual fans.

      As far wins go, if Chapman does well as a closer his immediate value isn’t going to fluxuate a tremendous amount. Your not talking about a large differential in wins between him or Leake starting during the season (the playoffs are a whole other beast). It’s not like he was going to immediately become a 20 win Randy Johnson-esque pitcher, even if a few years from now he would be. More likely your looking at +/- 3 wins difference with Leake, and a 96 win team is not going to out draw a 93 win team. If Chapman was a potential bust as closer and could cost the team wins from that spot, then it’d be a very different story.

  15. Must admit I’ve lost a lot of respect for Mr. Walt Jocketty throughout this process. Just when I thought we’d overcome the mistake of a player on the roster being placed in the wrong spot (Stubbs, top of the order), we now have possibly the most electric arm in the majors in a slot comparable to what Coco Cordero did in 2011. Maybe there’s some way this wasn’t the fault of Walt, but until I know otherwise, he’s wearing out his welcome.

        • @MarvinBakerDustyLewis: It is an achievement. Sure a pennant would be better. If it was easy to make the postseason the Reds would have done it sometime between 1995 and 2010. The Pirates and Royals probably would have made it in the last 20 years or so too. The O’s wouldn’t have had the long drought they did.

    • Must admit I’ve lost a lot of respect for Mr. Walt Jocketty throughout this process. Just when I thought we’d overcome the mistake of a player on the roster being placed in the wrong spot (Stubbs, top of the order), we now have possibly the most electric arm in the majors in a slot comparable to what Coco Cordero did in 2011. Maybe there’s some way this wasn’t the fault of Walt, but until I know otherwise, he’s wearing out his welcome.

      That closer guy in NY had a pretty dominating electric pitch also, so why didn’t the Yankees ever consider moving him to the rotataion. There is more to pitching then being electric. I don’t remember anyone called Greg Maddux electric, dominate but not electrafying at anypoint.

  16. “Good spring? By what definition? I’m not big on spring stats, but what makes you believe this is the case? In addition, what makes you believe that Leake won’t continue to regress.”

    What makes you think last season wasn’t just a bad season, like most every ballplayer goes through? It’s not like Homer hasn’t had seasons like Leake had last season. And, Homer was able to improve. Why couldn’t Leake? Leake is just one season removed from having the most victories of all starting pitchers on this team as well as an ERA below 4. And, don’t look now, but that season was also his worse ST season, worse than this ST has been for him.

    • @steveschoen:

      “Good spring? By what definition? I’m not big on spring stats, but what makes you believe this is the case? In addition, what makes you believe that Leake won’t continue to regress.”

      What makes you think last season wasn’t just a bad season, like most every ballplayer goes through?It’s not like Homer hasn’t had seasons like Leake had last season.And, Homer was able to improve.Why couldn’t Leake?Leake is just one season removed from having the most victories of all starting pitchers on this team as well as an ERA below 4.And, don’t look now, but that season was also his worse ST season, worse than this ST has been for him.

      I’m not saying it wasn’t simply a bad season (though I admit I’m not a Leake fan), I’m saying saying he’s had a good spring defines any definition I can come up with.

  17. One scout said Leake would be a 3 on his club. Granted, this scout could’ve been with the Cubs, Rockies or Padres, but he isn’t trash. Leake is a GOOD pitcher. I would rather Chapman be our five and Leake be in the ‘pen or Louisville, but Leake is a good pitcher, and he can handle the 5 hole on the rotation. I’m most worried about Arroyo. Everyone runs out it eventually, right? Hopefully he doesn’t before he decides to hang up the spikes, but You gotta feel he’ll only quit when he feels like he can’t do it anymore. But he has to be close, right? Here’s to him NOT being close however.

  18. I apologize if this has been discussed previously, and I’ve mentioned this thought here last year, but I think the decision regarding the bullpen has to do with keeping Chapman’s schedule uncertain. I think he is well served by believing he will pitch the next day when deciding what to do with his evenings. Four days off out of five is not a good recipe for someone who has displayed some questionable leisure decision-making. The Reds of course won’t be telling us publicly if they think about this.

  19. It is easy to forget that Mike Leake has only played three seasons of professional baseball and, unlike most, he’s done almost all of it at the major league level. I know a lot of fans are still unhappy about how he pitched last year and have not forgiven his awful start in Game 4. And, no, he doesn’t have a sexy fastball like Aroldis Chapman, but that doesn’t mean Leake can’t make step forward. I don’t think he’ll ever be a staff ace, but he can still be productive.

    It is not unheard of for a pitcher to take some steps backward before establishing themselves. Tom Browning won 20 games as a rookie in 1985, regressed a little in 1986 and by 1987, was unquestionably terrible. He was so bad he got sent down to the minors in the middle of a pennant race. By 1988, he put it together and gave the Reds five years of steady pitching.

    I see no reason why Mike Leake can’t develop in a similar manner and be a steady, if unspectacular, fifth starter.

    • It is easy to forget that Mike Leake has only played three seasons of professional baseball and, unlike most, he’s done almost all of it at the major league level.I know a lot of fans are still unhappy about how he pitched last year and have not forgiven his awful start in Game 4. And, no, he doesn’t have a sexy fastball like Aroldis Chapman, but that doesn’t mean Leake can’t make step forward.I don’t think he’ll ever be a staff ace, but he can still be productive.

      It is not unheard of for a pitcher to take some steps backward before establishing themselves.Tom Browning won 20 games as a rookie in 1985, regressed a little in 1986 and by 1987, was unquestionably terrible.He was so bad he got sent down to the minors in the middle of a pennant race. By 1988, he put it together and gave the Reds five years of steady pitching.

      I see no reason why Mike Leake can’t develop in a similar manner and be a steady, if unspectacular, fifth starter.

      Completely agree, but the Reds are deciding on someone that could be a steady 5 over someone that many folks believe could develop into a 1. Again, I ask, what changed from the time they announced what the plan was?

  20. Leake also has a rare athleticism which does help justify his spot. He can pinch hit/run. He’s usually good for something positive in another aspect of his game to help offset his pitching numbers.

    • Leake also has a rare athleticism which does help justify his spot. He can pinch hit/run. He’s usually good for something positive in another aspect of his game to help offset his pitching numbers.

      How can a pitcher with only one pitch he can consistantly throw for strikes and not be able to go 200+ innings be your best pitcher? Sorry but both Cuteo and Latos in my opinion are far better pitchers then Chapman. Both have multiple pitches they can throw for strikes, can give you 200+ innings while all Chapman can do is throw near 100 mph, which in my opinion is overated, Great pitchers pitch, right now Chapman is a thrower.

      Chapman has thrown 150 innings in Cuba as a starter, so you’d think that he could at least give us that many innings. Why wouldn’t you want your best pitcher throwing 150 innings instead of 7-80? This is a bad situation and Walt and Dusty share in it. Dusty should never have gone public and Walt should have stuck with what he said at Redsfest, Chapman will start.

  21. I think it was a case that when push came to shove, the baseball folks felt Chapman wasn’t ready to start right now at the MLB level; and, for whatever reasons, they they chose to put him in the major league pen as opposed to sending him to AAA to woek as a rotation pitcher and get himself into that grove.

  22. I see a lot of people citing statistics as a reason whether or not to start Chapman. To me, it is as simple as the eyeball test. A good friend of mine has season tickets very close to the field behind home plate and I went to about 30 games with him last year, and in my opinion, anybody who doesn’t think Aroldis should be a starting pitcher after watching him repeatedly from behind the catcher, either doesn’t know baseball or has another agenda. It is not just the incredibly effortless and fluid motion, it is the movement on his ball. Those of you who think he doesn’t have another good pitch must have never seen him in person. His slider is ridiculous. You don’t get to see him throw it very often because his role hasn’t dictated a need. A couple of times that he threw it, everybody sitting around me kinda went “WHOOOOAA!” The Reds are WASTING this incredible asset and it’s pretty depressing.

  23. Oh, and responding to redsfanman, when Bill Lack says “what changed”, he is referring to Jockerty (as George Grande liked to say) being deadset in the offseason on Chapman starting, and then flip-flopping. He isn’t referring to last year or any other time.

    • Oh, and responding to redsfanman, when Bill Lack says “what changed”, he is referring to Jockerty (as George Grande liked to say) being deadset in the offseason on Chapman starting, and then flip-flopping. He isn’t referring to last year or any other time.

      I said all winter (and unfortunately I know it bothered some people here – that was never my intent – but it did and does seem like the truth that people don’t want to admit) that Walt Jocketty wasn’t deadset on Chapman starting. Nobody seemed to believe me. He’s a public figure and I think he said what people wanted to hear while treading water before announcing a final decision, hoping that some unpredictable situation (maybe Bronson Arroyo getting hit in the hand?) might open a spot in the rotation. I don’t think Jocketty flip-flopped, I think he fed fans misinformation (not the first time, remember Joey Votto’s inner ear infection?) to delay making a controversial announcement.

      I think the Reds front office has a recent history of making good decisions, but not of being open, honest, and transparent.

      • @redsfanman: I think the “what changed?” question is very important, even if you had a gut feeling that Chapman was going to the pen.

        The point is that the Reds took actual steps to implement a plan to have Chapman in the rotation, whatever your gut was telling you. Signing Broxton to that contract isn’t a good use of money for the Reds if they were going to keep Chapman in the pen.

        Consider this: what’s the difference between Broxton and Hoover in middle relief? Very little over the course of the season.

        Now what if the Reds had signed BJ Upton for $15mil (instead of Ludwick and Broxton) and put Choo in LF. An outfield of Choo, Upton, Bruce is clearly better than what we’re going to have. And that’s just one way of using the Broxton money.

        So clearly the plan was to have Chapman in the pen, and to abondon that means that the offseason moves don’t make as much sense. So it’s very fair to ask, what changed?

        To me it just seems really strange to think if the Reds were committed to keeping Chapman in the pen, that they would make their biggest free agent acquisition a middle reliever.

    • Oh, and responding to redsfanman, when Bill Lack says “what changed”, he is referring to Jockerty (as George Grande liked to say) being deadset in the offseason on Chapman starting, and then flip-flopping. He isn’t referring to last year or any other time.

      Thank you.

  24. Saying that “Chapman > Leake” and “Broxton ~= Chapman as closer” is an oversimplification in my opinion. If Chapman is effective as a starter then he is certainly worth more in the rotation than in the pen but again, that’s not a given. Chapman may not be as good as Leake. Unlikely but certainly possible. Also his contributions to the bullpen go beyond just being the closer. His presence slides everyone down a notch as far as their roles. We keep looking at the 9th inning here but we need to look deeper. We need to look at the 7th and beyond or even the 6th. Does anyone think Chapman would consistently pitch into the 6th and 7th innings this year? Gah, this topic is wearing me out. Of course I’m one of the “It may be better to have Chapman in the pen this season” voices so I must not know what I’m talking about.

    • @LWBlogger: I don’t get this point of view, about how Chapman improves the whole pen. We’re probably going to lose at least one decent reliever from the whole organization now. It’s not like we had a bad bullpen without him.

      Broxton, Marshall, Lecure, Parra, Hoover, Arredondo, Ondrusek – losing Simon to waivers

      Chapman, Broxton, Marshall, Lecure, Parra, Arredondo, Ondrusek – losing Simon. (May end up losing Parra, Arredondo, or Ondrusek, if Hoover makes it).

      So you gain Chapman, but lose Hoover. Do you really think that makes the whole pen that much better? I think Hoover is a pretty solid asset, and now either he’s going to get squeezed out, or we’re going to lose multiple guys that we’re paying $1mil.

      It just clearly doesn’t make sense to sign Broxton if Chapman was going to stay in the pen. We had a glut of relievers already.

      • @al: I think Broxton may have gotten signed either way although if it were my money, I’d agree with you that I wouldn’t have signed him if I was planning on Chapman in the pen.

  25. I think what changed was Chapman’s attitude. I think his character is questionable. He has shown that the wheels can fall off fast and furious. Remember in 2010 when he suddenly couldn’t find the strike zone with a TomTom? Or last lear when the “shoulder fatigue” set in and we would have preferred ANYONE else in the ninth. Then the weird cartwheels after finally getting a save by the skin of his teeth. Factor in all of the utterly strange off the field incidents and I’m not sure he has the mental capacity to be a MLB starter. You tell him go throw really fast pitches for one inning and he can at least be useful for fan excitement. He was given the opportunity to be a starter and possibly be one of the greatest pitchers of all time. What did he do with it? I think he sabotaged his own chances with his own ridiculous comments. I feel Walt didnt have much of a choice. You would like to show a player who is boss and run him out there every fifth day anyway but not at the sake of a team built to win. Walt probably decided not to rock the boat and risk really making a mess.

    • @RedTitan19: This just doesn’t make sense to me. Chapman said he wanted to be a starter last year, and had off-field issues, and he was still an effective reliever. His wanting to be a starter didn’t seem to hurt him much.

      He was getting guys out pretty effectively this spring, didn’t seem to be much of an issue there. And as far as shoulder fatigue, I think that had more to do with throwing lots of days in a row, more reason to get him on a regular throwing schedule as a starter.

  26. Redsfanman, i’ve heard you say this before. Unless you have some inside information that we’re not privy to, then what you are saying is inaccurate. I’m not aware of Jocketty ever saying anything during the offseason that points to anything other then Chapman being tried as a starter. If there is something, please point me to it. I believe that was just conjecture on your part.

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