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.