2011 Reds / Dusty Was Misconstrued / The Phenom

Oh, Dusty

Guess what Dusty Baker said yesterday, regarding Aroldis Chapman’s role with the organization next year?

“Well, I mean, that’s one thing we’re wrestling with kind of, Steve. We’re not really sure if we’re going to start him again – which we are already strong there – or do we need him in the bullpen? You know, the bullpen was new to him last year. That’s why we kind of [inaudible] so to speak in that role, tried not to overpitch him, not too many innings. But I see him personally probably being somewhere in the back end of the bullpen. Because it’s hard to find a guy that can get righties and lefties out equally and that gas he has and you haven’t even seen his breaking ball and his changeup yet so his potential is unbelievable. So probably somewhere in the back end of the bullpen.”

I praised the decision to put him in the bullpen this year, but if Aroldis Chapman isn’t starting next year, it will be a crime. If you have a kid with that much talent, you put him in the position to make the biggest impact. Chapman will be much more valuable to the Reds as a starter. Period.

Fortunately, it is probably not necessary to get worked up about this. According to John Fay (in the post linked above), GM Walt Jocketty has said that Aroldis will “definitely” be a starter next year.

Oh, Dusty….

19 thoughts on “Oh, Dusty

  1. I think/hope Dusty will be getting overruled here. $30mn is way too much for a set-up man. On a side note, has anyone noticed at the reds.com shop that they are now selling “In Dusty We Trusty” t-shirts? Wearing that would be like asking to get punched in the face.

  2. Getting punched in the face would be a blessing considering where you should punch someone wearing that shirt.

  3. I feel somewhat better knowing that Dusty will probably get trumped on this one (or “set straight” or whatever) but the obvious bigger issue, which I’ve seen many people already state here, is that we just signed him for 2 more years.

    I understand the idea that the Reds basically HAD to do it (though I’m tempted to say WHO CARES what the Reds supposedly “had” to do and just do what’s best for the team). I understand that it’s easy for me to sit here and say that when I don’t see the effects in real life and the way real relationships are damaged, but right now you can’t convince me that having Dusty Baker as manager won’t always be an achillies heal for this team.

  4. Anybody else worried about what Dusty with (relative) job security looks like again compared to the Dusty trying to make the case for a job was willing to do last year? I’m convinced lineup changes such as Phillips at leadoff, or taking Stubbs out of the leadoff wouldn’t have happened if Dusty wasn’t more motivated last year.

  5. @Matt WI: A Dusty who’s pleased with himself and feels vindicated could be scary.

    I posted a comment about Dusty’s statement yesterday, which simply asked: “Don’t Walt and Dusty talk with each other ?”

    Dusty will get trumped in this one, as stated above. In spring training Chapman will be in the mix for a slot in the starting rotation. If he doesn’t get it, it means he needs to work on things, and he’ll work on them as a starter at AAA.

    I know some of us get criticized for being too negative about Dusty, but I like him. I’m just not comfortable with his decisions, I haven’t developed any confidence in him, even when the Reds win.

    I do appreciate certain things about him, such as that his patience with a number of players last year – notably Bruce, Masset, Stubbs, and even Cairo – paid off. But things like his last minute insertion of an injured Cabrera into the lineup in game 3 of the divisional series just drive me crazy.

    I have several friends who are diehard Giant fans, and for every Dusty issue I mention, they already knew all about it, just saying that he hasn’t changed at all, and he’s an albatross for the Reds. BTW they boo him just as loudly in SF as in Chicago.

    Wherever he’s been, the players love him and the fans don’t, or at least eventually don’t. In terms of the bottom line, wins and losses, I have no idea of what that means.

  6. I think what pinson343 just said defines the relationship teams have with Dusty. He is a great person, a great believer in his players and a great personality. He just isn’t much of a manager outside of those characteristics. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Dusty belongs as an agent.

  7. Couldn’t help but think of Dusty and the Red’s several big 8th and 9th inning meltdowns this year last night when Bochy started the 9th with a 7 run lead but Affeldt already warming in the pen as the inning started and Wilson up and throwing even before he put in Affeldt

  8. I’ve been critical of some of Dusty’s moves, but I think you guys might be a bit hard on Dusty on this particular statement. It’s his opinion, but I don’t think it is an automatic that Chapman is going to turn into a big league starter. I think as is he can be an effective reliever, but I’m not sure he is ready to do that for 6-7 innings every fifth day.

    Even if they use Chapman as a reliever next year, there is nothing that says he can’t start the year after. Six million a year is high for a set up man, but it is also pretty expensive for a struggling starter at Louisville too.

    One or two of those young starters is going to move to the bullpen on the Reds next year and to be honest, I’d rather see that happen than selling short trading one away. It could end up being Bailey or even Leake going to the pen. I don’t know which ones it will be, but if you put Chapman along side Rhodes, Masset and what the Reds have, that is going to shorten games up another inning, which gets the Reds to that 6 inning wall that some of the young starters seem to really struggle upon.

    I think it has to be considered an option, but it all depends on how it goes down in spring training and the off season.

  9. I actually don’t think making Chapman the closer is a bad idea. I’d feel safer with him in there than with Coco. Well, I’d feel safer with the closer for the Stanford Cardinals softball team than with Coco. Pitching, that is. 🙄

    Arroyo, Wood, Bailey, Cueto, Volquez – why do we need another starter? The *only* reason I can think of is that a stud shutdown #1 helps in the playoffs.

  10. Can somebody tell me how to add an avatar, please? That white silhouette needs to go. Sorry for being off-topic here.

  11. The long term plan is still to make Chapman a starter. He should be given that chance, as Brien says above. That would be better served by his starting in 2011, even if at AAA to start the season, than by his relieving.

    I wasn’t really upset by Dusty’s quote, mainly amused by his and WJ making directly opposite statements on almost the same day.

  12. I will go on record right now and say…DO NOT START HIM! I like him as a closer. If you start him his career will be short and he wont last 6 innings ever! That said, I can’t stand Cordero.

    • If you start him his career will be short and he wont last 6 innings ever!

      Opinion is opinion, but I don’t think there is any possible way to make that prediction. You have to try him out and see what happens. It’s not as though he has to gas it every inning all the time. I’d like to think as a starter they will continue to work with making him a true “pitcher,” throwing situationally and conserving himself as needed. A process nearly all young pitchers must grow through.

  13. There is no doubt that he will get his chance to see the starting rotation. I was merely going on record to say that I believe this to be a bad idea. Would you have paid 30 million to Rivera if you could have seen what his closing career would have looked like? I would have. I get the whole “Randy Johnson” argument, but Johnson and Eckersley were a very rare breed. To be able to throw that speed for that long is like being one of the top 5 home run hitters of all time! I hope this is the case, but I just see a longer career and lack of injury with the safer option.

    Oh…and I have no clue about the avatar Bill, sorry.

  14. I think it all depends on Chapman’s spring, I do think it is entirely possible he pitches his way into the rotation. If he does that someone is not going to be in the rotation between probably Bailey, Leake or Wood. Homer being a power pitcher could possibly be effective in the pen, if he doesn’t win a starting role, but there was talk that he was slow to warm up. Leake might be a decent reliever as they said he has a bit of a rubber arm and warms up quick. He would be more of a get a ground ball type reliever. I think unless Wood really bombs in the spring, the Reds are going to want him in the rotation to have a lefty. The other three guys have much more of a resume as a starting pitcher and other than Volquez arm injury questions, I have to think they are more written in pen in the rotation than the others.

    Chapman looked good in the pen and pick whatever inning you want to use him in, I think a back end of Ondrusek, Rhodes, Masset and Chapman could pull a whole lot of games from the 6th to the end. Coco will be granted the closer spot again, but maybe with a future contract on the line being the last year of his deal, he works out like a beast during the off seasons, gets some of that fastball zip back and reverts to earlier form so that someone else can give him some more money next year. Funny how that contract year will bring out some improvement, but it does happen and as a Reds fan, it is something that would be nice to see from Cordero. I could see though this group if on their game being a pretty formidible bullpen. They were pretty good most of the year after getting over the April slow start with some certain meltdowns excepted.

    Just with that heater, Chapman already kind of reminds me of Billy Wagner. I’d would be great if he does turn into The Big Unit or maybe Vida Blue. I’d take any of those options. :mrgreen:

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