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.
Continue reading What changed?