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RedEye
07-20-2012, 02:27 AM
Loved this (http://www.redreporter.com/2012/7/19/3170942/aroldis-chapman-facts#storyjump) recent post on Red Reporter, so I thought I'd paste it in here. Mr. Chapman is on track to make history in many, many ways. And even if he doesn't, his stats are going to be the stuff of legend, looks like. Thought it would be nice to have a specific place to discuss these tall tales on RZ.


We all love facts, don't we? Or, anyway, that's what Charles Dickens' Hard Times taught me. I didn't finish it. Actually, come to think of it, facts are a little bit boring. Those "Chuck Norris facts" were funny (for a little while) because they weren't true. It's probably more accurate to say that we prefer fiction - and, sometimes, factions. Facts that have a quality of fictions. Myths.

Aroldis Chapman's performance this season has taken on a tint of myth. The very real facts about his pitching sound like the stuff of fiction. Fan-fiction almost, but with a G-rating.

Here are some of them:

Via Joel Luckhaupt on Twitter: "The catcher has recorded the last 15 putouts with Chapman on the mound." Meaning, pretty much all the contact in play Chapman has allowed since the end of June have been little dribblers or pop-ups in front of the plate.

Nearly half of hitters who have faced Chapman this season have struck out (49.1%). That's not half of outs by strikeout (he's close to 63% there), but half of all hitters who have strolled to the plate have K'd.

60% of plate appearances against Chapman end in either a strike out or ground out.

Also via Joel Luckhaupt on Twitter (chapter 3, verse 14): "22 of Chapman's last 27 outs have been by strikeout." Could Chapman put up the kind of gaudy numbers he has over these twenty-seven outs in a proper start? Well, he would need to be far less reliant on the fastball and his high-90s velocity would be unlikely to sustain itself over 9 innings. I want to say yes, though. So I will.

Chapman has allowed just 8 extra base hits in 166 PAs (4.8%, or .224 slugging). A ball leaves the infield (usually for an out) roughly once every five hitters. Since the All Star Break, that's meant less than once per outing.

Chapman's current strikeout (per nine innings) rate is 17.1. He's pitched 43.2 innings. Kenley Jansen, last season, became the only pitcher since 1901 (let's just say ever) who has even put up a strikeout rate over 16.0 in 40 innings in a season of work. Of course, Chapman has plenty of season left, but he's only 11 short of how many innings Jansen threw last season.

Chapman's walk rate is currently 2.7. No pitcher in history (>40 IP) has recorded a walk rate below 3.0 and a K-rate above 14.0.

Over 1,819 pitches (before today), Chapman's average fastball velocity was 98.1.

No hitter in baseball has faced Chapman more than seven times (Casey McGehee and Prince Fielder). Fielder and McGehee are collectively 0-13, with a walk.

Jose Reyes has had the most success against Chapman to date (5 PAs, 2-4, triple, BB).

Vottomatic
07-20-2012, 07:59 AM
I love him as a closer, but the wonder of what if he was a starter will always be there too.

MikeS21
07-20-2012, 08:28 AM
I love him as a closer, but the wonder of what if he was a starter will always be there too.
I have a feeling we'll never know because of the carnival atmosphere every time he comes in to close. Every time Chapman comes in to pitch, it's like they roll him out as a circus act. It's a farce and gigantic waste of talent. It was extremely tasteless to listen to Thom Breneman and Jeff Brantly in the 9th inning yesterday (actually started in the bottom of the 8th when they were already calling it a "big come from behind win."). I find myself at times hoping that Chapman will fail so this whole closer nonsense will go away.

The guy needs to be a starter. What that will mean is an end to the 100+ mph pitches, and Chapman learning to pitch in the 95-96 mph range. Plus, he will need to add a breaking pitch and an off speed pitch. I know it sounds pedestrian, but Chapman cannot continue to throw at 101 mph. By the time he's 26, he'll be under a surgeon's knife.

I know Chapman fires up the crowd in the 9th. I know its good PR. But every save, every strikeout to end the game, puts one more nail in the coffin of what could have been. Chapman would have made a very good rotation into a great rotation.

Degenerate39
07-20-2012, 09:22 AM
I'd love to see what Chapman would've done in the rotation. I wonder how different things would be if Madson and Masset would've been healthy the whole year.

Dan
07-20-2012, 09:35 AM
The guy needs to be a starter. What that will mean is an end to the 100+ mph pitches, and Chapman learning to pitch in the 95-96 mph range. Plus, he will need to add a breaking pitch and an off speed pitch.

This much, I agree with. He needs to be stretched out after this season, and have his contract extended too.


I know it sounds pedestrian, but Chapman cannot continue to throw at 101 mph. By the time he's 26, he'll be under a surgeon's knife.

This, I disagree with. Chapman's velocity comes from body type + mechanics. I don't really see him over-throwing the ball the way, say, a Dibble or Myers did. I suspect the strain on his arm is on par with most other pitchers.

MikeS21
07-20-2012, 09:41 AM
This, I disagree with. Chapman's velocity comes from body type + mechanics. I don't really see him over-throwing the ball the way, say, a Dibble or Myers did. I suspect the strain on his arm is on par with most other pitchers.
I hope you are right. But all it takes is one elbow twinge, and all of Reds Land will descend in fury at Walt, Dusty, and the other powers that be.

However, experience has taught us that Murphy's Law seems to be the mission statement for the entire Reds organization.

Tony Cloninger
07-20-2012, 09:48 AM
I hope you are right. But all it takes is one elbow twinge, and all of Reds Land will descend in fury at Walt, Dusty, and the other powers that be.

However, experience has taught us that Murphy's Law seems to be the mission statement for the entire Reds organization.

If he get's a bad arm.....it's sure not going to be from being overworked....as he has not been here. The only people who would blame Dusty and Walt...are those who do not like them to begin with.

MikeS21
07-20-2012, 10:40 AM
If he get's a bad arm.....it's sure not going to be from being overworked....as he has not been here. The only people who would blame Dusty and Walt...are those who do not like them to begin with.
:lol: You've just described 90% of RedsZone!

Blitz Dorsey
07-20-2012, 11:13 AM
People seem to forget that there was no spot in the rotation for Chapman coming out of ST. So, he would have started the year at Louisville if he remained a starter. Leake was NOT on the bubble in spring training. He was the Reds' second-best starting pitcher last year and it wasn't even close. The "battle" was between Bailey and Chapman, and even though Chapman out-performed Bailey in ST, Bailey kept his spot in the rotation. And to Bailey's credit he's pitched well thus far this season.

Hey, I wanted Chapman to be a starter too. I was adamant he should be a starter. But that ship has sailed, IMO. He's going to stick as a closer.

Homer Bailey
07-20-2012, 11:19 AM
People seem to forget that there was no spot in the rotation for Chapman coming out of ST. So, he would have started the year at Louisville if he remained a starter. Leake was NOT on the bubble in spring training. He was the Reds' second-best starting pitcher last year and it wasn't even close. The "battle" was between Bailey and Chapman, and even though Chapman out-performed Bailey in ST, Bailey kept his spot in the rotation. And to Bailey's credit he's pitched well thus far this season.

Hey, I wanted Chapman to be a starter too. I was adamant he should be a starter. But that ship has sailed, IMO. He's going to stick as a closer.

He had the 4th best FIP amongst starters last year. So yeah, it was close to say the least.

Bumstead
07-20-2012, 11:36 AM
People seem to forget that there was no spot in the rotation for Chapman coming out of ST. So, he would have started the year at Louisville if he remained a starter. Leake was NOT on the bubble in spring training. He was the Reds' second-best starting pitcher last year and it wasn't even close. The "battle" was between Bailey and Chapman, and even though Chapman out-performed Bailey in ST, Bailey kept his spot in the rotation. And to Bailey's credit he's pitched well thus far this season.

Hey, I wanted Chapman to be a starter too. I was adamant he should be a starter. But that ship has sailed, IMO. He's going to stick as a closer.

Huh...I always thought you went with your 5 best starters, you didn't just say, "well, last year's 5 guys are back, so there's no spot for a better pitcher." Hilarious that Reds fans will accept that it's OK to go with a lesser rotation than what they could have just because all 5 starters from last year returned. Chapman could be special in the rotation; he's a great closer (so was John Smoltz) for now, but if he stays there much longer the Reds are going to have really blown up this kid's ceiling. I'm just glad the powers that be didn't do to Randy Johnson what the Reds are doing to Chapman. It's fun to watch him pitch, and I have even called him the Sandman recently, but it's a shame to pigeon hole him into that role when he has so much more potential.

Bum

MikeS21
07-20-2012, 12:08 PM
Chapman should have been in Louisville stretching his innings out at the first of the year.

Right now the Reds can package a deal of Leake, Heisey, and a couple minor leaguers not named Hamilton, and could probably land a starting LF and a decent OBP bench player.

Blitz Dorsey
07-20-2012, 12:32 PM
Huh...I always thought you went with your 5 best starters, you didn't just say, "well, last year's 5 guys are back, so there's no spot for a better pitcher." Hilarious that Reds fans will accept that it's OK to go with a lesser rotation than what they could have just because all 5 starters from last year returned. Chapman could be special in the rotation; he's a great closer (so was John Smoltz) for now, but if he stays there much longer the Reds are going to have really blown up this kid's ceiling. I'm just glad the powers that be didn't do to Randy Johnson what the Reds are doing to Chapman. It's fun to watch him pitch, and I have even called him the Sandman recently, but it's a shame to pigeon hole him into that role when he has so much more potential.

Bum

Huh? I said I wanted Chapman as a starter. I was explaining the REDS' point of view. Hilarious that (very few) Reds fans have issues with reading comprehension. It was clear the Reds felt they had four starting spots locked up going into spring training. I don't agree with it, but it's a fact.

Also, who said anything about "all five starters from last year returned"? Are you forgetting about the departure of one Edinson Volquez and the arrival of Mat Latos?

RichRed
07-20-2012, 12:42 PM
More fun facts:

Chapman has the same number of strikeouts this season as starters Erik Bedard, Trevor Cahill, and Aaron Harang.

Despite being the Reds' closer, he's third on the team in strikeouts...ahead of Bailey, Leake, and Arroyo.

Blitz Dorsey
07-20-2012, 12:43 PM
He had the 4th best FIP amongst starters last year. So yeah, it was close to say the least.

Cueto had a better year than Leake in 2011. He is the only Reds' starting pitcher that could say that.

Leake had a better 2011 season than Bailey.

Leake: 3.86 ERA, 1.17 WHIP in 167.2 IP.

Bailey: 3.93 ERA, 1.31 WHIP in just 112 IP.

1. Cueto
2. Leake
3. Bailey
4. Arroyo
5. Wood

So, who are these mystery three pitchers that pitched better than Leake last year? Cueto and who else? Who are the other two?

For the record, I think Bailey is better than Leake right now, but we're talking about just the 2011 season.

powersackers
07-20-2012, 01:19 PM
Can we have one AC thread w/o the SP/RP debate? He IS the most dominating closer in baseball. At SP sure he may have been dominate, but there are a lot of variables that could have made him mediocre. Lower velocity, addition of a weaker third pitch. Batters timing in the 2nd and third time through the order. Tons of variables

IS > May have been > Could have

Mario-Rijo
07-20-2012, 01:30 PM
Can we have one AC thread w/o the SP/RP debate? He IS the most dominating closer in baseball. At SP sure he may have been dominate, but there are a lot of variables that could have made him mediocre. Lower velocity, addition of a weaker third pitch. Batters timing in the 2nd and third time through the order. Tons of variables

IS > May have been > Could have

Some might argue Kimbrel is, he is a bit more established. Personally though I like Aroldis.

Homer Bailey
07-20-2012, 01:56 PM
Cueto had a better year than Leake in 2011. He is the only Reds' starting pitcher that could say that.

Leake had a better 2011 season than Bailey.

Leake: 3.86 ERA, 1.17 WHIP in 167.2 IP.

Bailey: 3.93 ERA, 1.31 WHIP in just 112 IP.

1. Cueto
2. Leake
3. Bailey
4. Arroyo
5. Wood

So, who are these mystery three pitchers that pitched better than Leake last year? Cueto and who else? Who are the other two?

For the record, I think Bailey is better than Leake right now, but we're talking about just the 2011 season.

Wood and Bailey both had better FIP's than Leake last year, which is a much better predictor of future success than ERA. xFIP was a different story, but it's not fair to say Leake was 2nd best and that it wasn't even close.

Mario-Rijo
07-20-2012, 01:59 PM
Wood and Bailey both had better FIP's than Leake last year, which is a much better predictor of future success than ERA. xFIP was a different story, but it's not fair to say Leake was 2nd best and that it wasn't even close.

Might be a better predictor of future success but it's a poorer indicator of present production than what his actual #'s were. In which case (and especially if you add in IP) what he said was about right, Leake was the 2nd best starter for them last year.

VR
07-20-2012, 02:52 PM
I love a pitcher that can control BABIP.

Blitz Dorsey
07-20-2012, 09:35 PM
Might be a better predictor of future success but it's a poorer indicator of present production than what his actual #'s were. In which case (and especially if you add in IP) what he said was about right, Leake was the 2nd best starter for them last year.

Thank you. Unless you want to argue with the facts, Mike Leake was clearly the Reds' second-best starting pitcher in 2011.

Also, Aroldis Chapman is fantastic. Like I said, I was adamant that he should be a starter. But now that he's settled in as one of the game's elite closers? I'm good with that. Especially considering the fact that the Reds' starting rotation is one of the best in MLB 1-5.

Mario-Rijo
07-20-2012, 09:41 PM
Hard to argue much with what Aroldis has done on the field I just hope he keeps it together off the field.

Blitz Dorsey
07-20-2012, 10:15 PM
Yeah, I say we just enjoy the ride. The guy isn't just having a "great" year as a closer. He's having one of the best seasons in MLB history. Let that marinate for a minute. (And there's no guarantee we'd be saying the same thing if he was a starter.)

buckeyenut
07-21-2012, 08:20 AM
Couple of other things of note. Chapman allowed runs in 5 out of 7 games in a brief 17 day stretch in June. The rest of the year, he hasn't allowed an earned run and only one unearned run.

Since his "bad" stretch, Chapman has been even more amazing. 9.1 innings, 2 hits, 2 walks, 23 Ks, 7 saves. Before the bad stretch, 29 innings, 7 hits, 9 BB, 52 Ks.

Let me say that again a little more bluntly. As historically amazing as Chapman was before his bad stretch in June, he has been BETTER since, on a pace for 1/3 less walks, fewer hits and ~4K per nine higher than before if I did the math right in my head.

As much as I am still incredibly curious about how well he would do in the rotation, there is NO WAY IN THE WORLD I would move him out of the pen this year. Our starting pitching staff has been incredible this year, the bullpen has been great as well. I want those weapons lined up ready to go in the playoffs.

I really think this team is set up very well to win big in playoffs, which is why I think we will see a big trade over the next month and why we will see Hamilton come up end of August. I think that kid will be on our playoff roster somehow.

buckeyenut
07-21-2012, 08:24 AM
While on this topic, which season is better (assuming for a second Chapman finishes year maintaining current pace), Chapman or Eckersley in 1990. Eck was 4-2, with 0.61 ERA, 48 saves, 73 K, 4 BB in 73.1 innings..

I think that historically, that is the season Chappy is chasing.

Scrap Irony
07-21-2012, 10:38 AM
What's interesting is that, should Chapman continue on this pace, he's got to be considered among the favorites for Cy Young.

An ERA in the low 1.00's with historically high Ks and H/9 numbers in a year with no clear-cut dominator? Perfect storm for the first Red to win ever.

MasonBuzz3
07-21-2012, 11:35 AM
What's interesting is that, should Chapman continue on this pace, he's got to be considered among the favorites for Cy Young.

An ERA in the low 1.00's with historically high Ks and H/9 numbers in a year with no clear-cut dominator? Perfect storm for the first Red to win ever.

that would be awesome, but I am not sure that AC will get the sheer # of saves needed to get the voters approval. But if he keeps getting five saves every six days....

VR
07-21-2012, 12:10 PM
What's interesting is that, should Chapman continue on this pace, he's got to be considered among the favorites for Cy Young.

An ERA in the low 1.00's with historically high Ks and H/9 numbers in a year with no clear-cut dominator? Perfect storm for the first Red to win ever.

If those were the stakes, Kimbrel would win by a landslide this year.

Chappy has to pile on the saves and avoid another drought to have a shot.

Kc61
07-21-2012, 12:31 PM
I would be reluctant to move Chapman from the closer's spot. He should be the closer for the foreseeable future. He is a great closer, and IMO he gets a high level of credit for the Reds good won lost record. I haven't seen much discussion about Mariano Rivera going into the Yankee's rotation.

IMO the Reds overall bullpen seems better than it is because of Chapman's amazing performance. Marshall has allowed 10.5 hits per nine innings. Arredondo and Ondrusek walk a lot of guys, and Logan can be quite hittable. Lecure and Simon are good longer men, but I don't see them as late innings stoppers. Bray is still shaky, but give him credit for that entertaining (and scoreless) adventure the other night.

Masset had a sub-par 2011, I don't know what folks expect from him when he returns. Hoover misses a lot of bats, but is an extreme fly ball pitcher, we'll see how he works out.

Chapman has been amazing. The guy as of today has a WHIP of .69, has 84 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. I know he had that bad stretch, but right now he is as dominant as any closer I have ever seen. He deserves a complimentary thread, like this one.

Bumstead
07-23-2012, 10:35 AM
nt

Bumstead
07-23-2012, 10:36 AM
Huh? I said I wanted Chapman as a starter. I was explaining the REDS' point of view. Hilarious that (very few) Reds fans have issues with reading comprehension. It was clear the Reds felt they had four starting spots locked up going into spring training. I don't agree with it, but it's a fact.

Also, who said anything about "all five starters from last year returned"? Are you forgetting about the departure of one Edinson Volquez and the arrival of Mat Latos?

First, you said there "was no spot in the rotation for Chapman coming out of spring training." So, my guess is that reading comprehension isn't my problem at all. Apparently you have trouble remembering what you wrote. Chapman outpitched everyone except Cueto in spring training. I understand why the Reds have Chapman closing; however, I am under the impression that sometimes you do what's best in the long run instead of thinking only short term. Chapman has the potential to be an elite starting pitcher and time is wasting with him in his current role. Besides, 160 innings of Chapman would certainly be more beneficial than 60 to the team. Closers can come in all shapes and sizes, you don't need to waste Chapman in that role. IMHO

Lastly, I have never found insulting other posters to be the best course of action in forum interaction. We all have opinions and just because one is sure their's is correct does not make it fact. But, if that is how you intend to interact with me, I can certainly return the favor going forward.

Bum

Rojo
07-23-2012, 07:53 PM
I know Chapman fires up the crowd in the 9th. I know its good PR. But every save, every strikeout to end the game, puts one more nail in the coffin of what could have been.

Wow. Life of the party.

westofyou
07-23-2012, 09:09 PM
Wow. Life of the party.

No doubt

What could have been.... Excuse me while I admire and wonder at what is

What could have been still lingers there, but at 15 games above .500 it seems like it might be a lot less impressive than what we are getting

Superdude
07-25-2012, 12:20 AM
Some fun milestones for Chapman after striking out the side again tonight.


His K/9 just eclipsed 17, sitting at a tidy 17.16
Over half the batters that have stepped into the box against Chapman this year have struck out. Sitting at 50.28% K/PA


It ceases to be a baseball game when Chapman takes the mound. The ninth inning is just a comedic victory lap where we get to watch mortals like Matt Downs have a hand against one of the most dominant raw talents ever. I love it.

Homer Bailey
07-25-2012, 12:22 AM
Some fun milestones for Chapman after striking out the side again tonight.


His K/9 just eclipsed 17, sitting at a tidy 17.16
Over half the batters that have stepped into the box against Chapman this year have struck out. Sitting at 50.28% K/PA


It ceases to be a baseball game when Chapman takes the mound. The ninth inning is just a comedic victory lap where we get to watch mortals like Matt Downs have a hand against one of the most dominant raw talents ever. I love it.

My roommate and a friend of mine watched the 9th inning with me, neither of them are big baseball fans. They were laughing. Out loud. Even those that have no perspective as to what a normal pitcher looks like were absolutely amazed by him.

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 07:16 AM
Unless something comes up that the FO cannot ignore (e.g. A great trade opportunity, an injury, etc), I'm not sure that we will ever see this guy start a game for Cincy. And I'm not sure that I care. He and the rest of the pen is the attribute which separates Cincy from other teams. Don't mess with a good thing. He may be able to be a force as a starter. He is dominant as a closer.

buckeyenut
07-25-2012, 07:20 AM
Some fun milestones for Chapman after striking out the side again tonight.


His K/9 just eclipsed 17, sitting at a tidy 17.16
Over half the batters that have stepped into the box against Chapman this year have struck out. Sitting at 50.28% K/PA


It ceases to be a baseball game when Chapman takes the mound. The ninth inning is just a comedic victory lap where we get to watch mortals like Matt Downs have a hand against one of the most dominant raw talents ever. I love it.

As good as the rotation has been, how can you ever consider giving this up? In a critical game, no reason not to run him out there for 2 innings as well. Now, the risk is that he could do this for 6 or 7 innings of a playoff game twice in a series as a starter rather than 1-2 innings 3 or 4 games as a closer.

Moving him to the rotation right now, as many have suggested, would maybe be the biggest and gutsiest move in the history of sports, but the downside would be minimal and the upside would be the potential to have an ace even better than Cueto to take the mound in a playoff Game 1. I wouldn't have the guts to move him, maybe ever.

dougdirt
07-25-2012, 07:21 AM
Unless something comes up that the FO cannot ignore (e.g. A great trade opportunity, an injury, etc), I'm not sure that we will ever see this guy start a game for Cincy. And I'm not sure that I care. He and the rest of the pen is the attribute which separates Cincy from other teams. Don't mess with a good thing. He may be able to be a force as a starter. He is dominant as a closer.

I would rather not wonder if we wasted Justin Verlander so he could be Craig Kimbrel (who might be BETTER than Chapman).

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 07:37 AM
I would rather not wonder if we wasted Justin Verlander so he could be Craig Kimbrel (who might be BETTER than Chapman).

It's tough to screw with something working so well. Especially when there isn't a need to make the move. If the team is winning the way they are, I won't wonder about what could be all that much.

dougdirt
07-25-2012, 07:39 AM
It's tough to screw with something working so well. Especially when there isn't a need to make the move. If the team is winning the way they are, I won't wonder about what could be all that much.

I am not saying do it now. But if you have the potential to add a Justin Verlander type of pitcher to your team, you do it, regardless of how well Mike Leake or Bronson Arroyo are pitching.

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 07:50 AM
I am not saying do it now. But if you have the potential to add a Justin Verlander type of pitcher to your team, you do it, regardless of how well Mike Leake or Bronson Arroyo are pitching.

I know what you are saying, however I don't think it is that easy. It is difficult to trade away a "guaranteed" weapon like Aroldis and a starter for a shot at Verlander. The other thing to think about is how he would handle the transition, especially if he were to fail. How long do you give him? What is the break even point that would be considered? If he gives you a 3.50 ERA, is that good enough? What if the pen starts to struggle?

hebroncougar
07-25-2012, 07:51 AM
Check out the Brewers games from the last two nights. Then tell me Chapman in the pen is a bad idea for this season. I'll worry about next year after we win the world series. Enjoy the success the team is having. We have waited a long time for it. The lost decade is over, ownership really does care, and fans are responding. Go Reds.



Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

sonny
07-25-2012, 07:53 AM
#ChapmanForCyYoung

Hoosier Red
07-25-2012, 08:07 AM
I would rather not wonder if we wasted Justin Verlander so he could be Craig Kimbrel (who might be BETTER than Chapman).

While I definitely understand the idea that starters are more valuable than closers in general, I think that obscures the value that a top end closer brings to a team IMO.
Essentially,
Because it is hard to seperate the fourth best closer from the 15th best closer, the 100th best starting pitcher in the majors is probably worth more than the 4th best closer.

But a top 3 closer, those are worth their weight in gold in my opinion, and I think Chapman is that.

I understand that he could be a top starting pitcher as well, and a top starting pitcher is worth more than a top closer, but bird in hand etc etc etc.

RedsManRick
07-25-2012, 09:09 AM
I know what you are saying, however I don't think it is that easy. It is difficult to trade away a "guaranteed" weapon like Aroldis and a starter for a shot at Verlander. The other thing to think about is how he would handle the transition, especially if he were to fail. How long do you give him? What is the break even point that would be considered? If he gives you a 3.50 ERA, is that good enough? What if the pen starts to struggle?

The thing is, you can undo the "trade" at any time. You don't lose "Aroldis Chapman, dominant closer" unless you gain a more valuable starter in return. Sure, there's some point at which a change back would make sense. But to not take the shot seems unnecessarily conservative.

RedEye
07-25-2012, 09:43 AM
I fail to understand why some would prefer having 70 innings rather than 200 innings of dominance. It makes no sense.

Dan
07-25-2012, 09:48 AM
I fail to understand why some would prefer having 70 innings rather than 200 innings of dominance. It makes no sense.

The devil you know...

WildcatFan
07-25-2012, 09:48 AM
The thing is, you can undo the "trade" at any time. You don't lose "Aroldis Chapman, dominant closer" unless you gain a more valuable starter in return. Sure, there's some point at which a change back would make sense. But to not take the shot seems unnecessarily conservative.

These are my thoughts too. I say keep him as your closer the rest of this year and next year just lay it out there that we are using him as a starter until he shows he isn't valuable as one.

It has been bananas watching him in the ninth inning (is it just me, or does it look like there is genuine worry in the faces of a few of the batters?), but a 17 K/9 speaks for itself. There's a really good chance we have an ace on our hands. And not an is-he-or-isn't-he-Cueto-style ace, a no-doubt, throw-in-the-towel-and-let's-get-em-tomorrow ace. I'd hate to never know for sure.

mdccclxix
07-25-2012, 09:53 AM
I just have to say, Chapman to the rotation means Leake or Bailey to the pen or traded. There are a lot of issues to be worked out before he gets to the rotation. If Cingrani and Corcino appear ready for AAA next year that will help Chapman.

NJReds
07-25-2012, 09:56 AM
I fail to understand why some would prefer having 70 innings rather than 200 innings of dominance. It makes no sense.

If it's a guarantee that he could replicate that dominance over 200 innings, it'd be a no brainer. However, I'm not sure he could do that throwing mostly fastballs and the occasional slider.

If he threw 70 innings this year, would the Reds let him go 200 next year, or would it be a slow build (Verducci effect) ... 120 ... 160 ... etc.?

WildcatFan
07-25-2012, 09:59 AM
I just have to say, Chapman to the rotation means Leake or Bailey to the pen or traded. There are a lot of issues to be worked out before he gets to the rotation. If Cingrani and Corcino appear ready for AAA next year that will help Chapman.

I don't think Leake to the pen for an extended experiment would be such a bad thing. I'd hesitate with Bailey, just because I have a hunch that you want to do as little messing with his head as possible. But I think Magic Mike could handle it. Then if Chapman sticks, you have a solid trading chip with one of them.

hebroncougar
07-25-2012, 10:05 AM
I don't think Leake to the pen for an extended experiment would be such a bad thing. I'd hesitate with Bailey, just because I have a hunch that you want to do as little messing with his head as possible. But I think Magic Mike could handle it. Then if Chapman sticks, you have a solid trading chip with one of them.

Mike Leake as the closer? No thanks. I'll take our 3rd best rotation in the league, and number one ranked bullpen. I'm not messing with success for the rest or this season. Anyone remember Randy Myers the starter from 1991? Try it in the early part of next year if you want. I'll take 57-40.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

WildcatFan
07-25-2012, 10:06 AM
Mike Leake as the closer? No thanks. I'll take our 3rd best rotation in the league, and number one ranked bullpen. I'm not messing with success for the rest or this season. Anyone remember Randy Myers the starter from 1991? Try it in the early part of next year if you want. I'll take 57-40.

No, no. Like I said earlier, I wouldn't touch the staff this season. I'm talking about coming out of spring training next year.

wolfboy
07-25-2012, 10:36 AM
If it's a guarantee that he could replicate that dominance over 200 innings, it'd be a no brainer. However, I'm not sure he could do that throwing mostly fastballs and the occasional slider.

If he threw 70 innings this year, would the Reds let him go 200 next year, or would it be a slow build (Verducci effect) ... 120 ... 160 ... etc.?

I think this hits the nail on the head. Call me skeptical that Chapman can replicate his results as a closer if moved to the rotation. All I've seen from him of late is an amazing fastball and an iffy slider. That amazing fastball gets a little less amazing when opposing batters see it three times in a game instead of ten times in a season.

hebroncougar
07-25-2012, 10:53 AM
No, no. Like I said earlier, I wouldn't touch the staff this season. I'm talking about coming out of spring training next year.

:thumbup:

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

WildcatFan
07-25-2012, 11:04 AM
I think this hits the nail on the head. Call me skeptical that Chapman can replicate his results as a closer if moved to the rotation. All I've seen from him of late is an amazing fastball and an iffy slider. That amazing fastball gets a little less amazing when opposing batters see it three times in a game instead of ten times in a season.

I would disagree that the slider is iffy. He hasn't thrown it much, but he hasn't had to for reasons you stated above. Fangraphs has it at 88 mph with hard movement and a K rate in the 60s. People keep comparing his stuff to Randy Johnson's, and it'd be hard to convince me without seeing it that he wouldn't be extremely effective as a starter with two plus pitches and a developing changeup.

Superdude
07-25-2012, 11:39 AM
I don't think Leake to the pen for an extended experiment would be such a bad thing. I'd hesitate with Bailey, just because I have a hunch that you want to do as little messing with his head as possible. But I think Magic Mike could handle it. Then if Chapman sticks, you have a solid trading chip with one of them.

I just want to begin one season with it written in stone that Chapman will get a chance to start. Doesn't matter if Bill Bray has tender thighs, Leake's having some good outings, or if the whole bullpen pulls up lame. Just one year.

OnBaseMachine
07-25-2012, 11:47 AM
I just want to begin one season with it written in stone that Chapman will get a chance to start. Doesn't matter if Bill Bray has tender thighs, Leake's having some good outings, or if the whole bullpen pulls up lame. Just one year.

I agree. He really needs to be given a chance to start next season.

Always Red
07-25-2012, 11:53 AM
I just want to begin one season with it written in stone that Chapman will get a chance to start. Doesn't matter if Bill Bray has tender thighs, Leake's having some good outings, or if the whole bullpen pulls up lame. Just one year.


I agree. He really needs to be given a chance to start next season.

I'd like him in whatever position will help the Reds win the most games.

He's having a near historic season as a closer.

I'm happy with what he is right now.

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 01:40 PM
The thing is, you can undo the "trade" at any time. You don't lose "Aroldis Chapman, dominant closer" unless you gain a more valuable starter in return. Sure, there's some point at which a change back would make sense. But to not take the shot seems unnecessarily conservative.

With the unknown of how a pitcher may react to change like that, there is no guarantee that we would not lose Aroldis Chapman, Closer Extraordinaire.

Superdude
07-25-2012, 01:47 PM
With the unknown of how a pitcher may react to change like that, there is no guarantee that we would not lose Aroldis Chapman, Closer Extraordinaire.

I feel like preparing as a starter, even if he fails, does nothing but make him better as a closer. He spent all spring working as a starter this year, and is having far and away the best season of his career in the bullpen. It's his time spent in the bullpen that's hurting his chances as a starter; not the other way around IMO.

dougdirt
07-25-2012, 02:36 PM
With the unknown of how a pitcher may react to change like that, there is no guarantee that we would not lose Aroldis Chapman, Closer Extraordinaire.

Chapman is 18 of 22 this year (saves/(saves+blown saves)). That is just 82%. Of the 16 pitchers with at least 12 saves this year, that ranks 11th.

cincrazy
07-25-2012, 02:37 PM
Chapman is 18 of 22 this year (saves/(saves+blown saves)). That is just 82%. Of the 16 pitchers with at least 12 saves this year, that ranks 11th.

Those stats don't indicate how much of a game-changer he is at the back of the bullpen.

RedsManRick
07-25-2012, 02:40 PM
Those stats don't indicate how much of a game-changer he is at the back of the bullpen.

How is he "changing the game" in a way that's not reflected there. Whether he strikes out the side or gives up two hits a walk and run, if the outcome of the game is a win, what's the difference?

Vottomatic
07-25-2012, 02:55 PM
I dunno. Chapman had one rough stretch when he also was dealing with personal stuff off the field. If people are honest, he is the most dominant closer in baseball, other than that short of period of time with the one rough stretch. This is one of those situations where the eyes, not stats, apply.

Rojo
07-25-2012, 03:07 PM
How is he "changing the game" in a way that's not reflected there. Whether he strikes out the side or gives up two hits a walk and run, if the outcome of the game is a win, what's the difference?

The difference is a 1.54 ERA and giving the other guys only eight frames to score.

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 03:16 PM
Chapman is 18 of 22 this year (saves/(saves+blown saves)). That is just 82%. Of the 16 pitchers with at least 12 saves this year, that ranks 11th.

Maybe we should trade him for Joel Hanrahan.

backbencher
07-25-2012, 03:28 PM
Has this thread really gone five pages without mention of Daniel Bard?

Before the season, the Reds and the Red Sox each had new closers supported by high-strikeout, mildly control-challenged flamethrowing setup men who had histories as starters. Before the season, each of the Reds and the Red Sox anticipated converting their high-strikeout setup men to starters. Before the season, each of the Reds and the Red Sox had their expected closers go down for injury. The Reds kept their setup man in the pen, where he thrived. The Red Sox continued the conversion, and their setup man flamed out as a starter in MLB, continued to flame as a start in AAA, and now is trying to regain his relieving groove. Put simply, the Red Sox took an asset and squandered it for the whole year.

There is no reasonable question that Chapman's value would be the highest as a a Randy-Johnson-like starter -- if he can do it. But that is a big if -- as is the re-conversion to reliever if starting doesn't suit.

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems pretty clear that the Reds have handled Chapman in the way that has maximized his value to the club -- and the value of the Reds' other pitching assets -- this year.

2013 is a different story. Let's enjoy this ride while we can.

Brutus
07-25-2012, 03:35 PM
I am not saying do it now. But if you have the potential to add a Justin Verlander type of pitcher to your team, you do it, regardless of how well Mike Leake or Bronson Arroyo are pitching.

I agree, Doug.

Given the choice of having a Justin Verlander pitcher over 200 innings or Craig Kimbrel pitch 85, I go with Verlander for over 200.

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 03:51 PM
I agree, Doug.

Given the choice of having a Justin Verlander pitcher over 200 innings or Craig Kimbrel pitch 85, I go with Verlander for over 200.

Another way to look at it would be, if you have a million bucks in your pocket are you flying to Vegas to throw it on black?

RedsManRick
07-25-2012, 04:10 PM
Another way to look at it would be, if you have a million bucks in your pocket are you flying to Vegas to throw it on black?

In Vegas you have a 49% chance of doubling your money and 51% chance losing it all.

In this situation, the odds are much different. Let's call the upside still 2x value. What are the possibilities?

20% you double up the value
30% you go up 1.5x
30% you hold steady
20% you go down by .5
10% you lose it all

We can play with the math as much as we want. I think the above is generously conservative. The upside is more than 2x and I don't see a 10% chance of complete loss. I think the downside risk is basically getting put back in the bullpen. Short of injury, I can't see why it would harm him otherwise. But even the conservative scenario above, the expected return is a gain of 25%.

If I won a million bucks and was asked if I want to roll the dice -- when rolling the dice produces, on average, a 25% return, I'd do that in a heartbeat.

I think the heart of the matter here is that you see there being a very significant chance Chapman gets ruined in the process. I certainly don't and I doubt Doug does.

Superdude
07-25-2012, 04:11 PM
The difference is a 1.54 ERA and giving the other guys only eight frames to score.

I agree Chapman's been better than his save percentage indicates, but Doug's right in that save percentage is really the only way to retrospectively judge closer's production.

Superdude
07-25-2012, 04:15 PM
Another way to look at it would be, if you have a million bucks in your pocket are you flying to Vegas to throw it on black?

Why do you believe him spending time as a starter takes away what he can do in the bullpen? From my view, it's like throwing a million dollars on black, the ball landing on red, and getting my million dollars back. A bet you take every time right?

backbencher
07-25-2012, 04:17 PM
Why do you believe him spending time as a starter takes away what he can do in the bullpen? From my view, it's like throwing a million dollars on black, the ball landing on red, and getting my million dollars back. A bet you take every time right?

Daniel Bard says otherwise.

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 04:35 PM
Daniel Bard says otherwise.

Neftali Feliz also encountered arm issues this year. No idea if it was related to the move to the rotation, but you never know.

WildcatFan
07-25-2012, 04:42 PM
Daniel Bard says otherwise.

One example does not a proof make. Neftali Feliz would also like to put his two cents in.

wolfboy
07-25-2012, 04:53 PM
I would disagree that the slider is iffy. He hasn't thrown it much, but he hasn't had to for reasons you stated above. Fangraphs has it at 88 mph with hard movement and a K rate in the 60s. People keep comparing his stuff to Randy Johnson's, and it'd be hard to convince me without seeing it that he wouldn't be extremely effective as a starter with two plus pitches and a developing changeup.

Thanks for the info. on the slider. I was just going off of my personal observations, which really don't carry much weight; however, what you've presented relative to Chapman's slider doesn't convince me that he would be this dominant if he was in the rotation. That being said, I think it would be a shame if the Reds never gave it a shot.

BCubb2003
07-25-2012, 04:54 PM
What level of outcome short of Randy Johnson would be acceptable? Roy Oswalt, dominating but short-lived; Johnny Cueto, everybody's favorite non-ace; or Homer Bailey, above-average starter's innings?

_Sir_Charles_
07-25-2012, 05:20 PM
Okay, this blew me away. From FAY of all people.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/07/25/inside-chapmans-numbers/


With the three strikeouts last night, Aroldis Chapman’s strikeout rate per nine innings is at 17.16. That would be the all-time high for a pitcher with more than 50 innings. Chapman has struck out 89 and walked 14 in 46 2/3 innings.

Watching Chapman lately, it seems like anytime he gets ahead in the count, it’s pretty much over. The numbers support that (Source: baseball-reference.com):

He actually used BR and Fangraphs as references. Fay? Anyway, the good stuff is in the link.

edabbs44
07-25-2012, 05:35 PM
In Vegas you have a 49% chance of doubling your money and 51% chance losing it all.

In this situation, the odds are much different. Let's call the upside still 2x value. What are the possibilities?

20% you double up the value
30% you go up 1.5x
30% you hold steady
20% you go down by .5
10% you lose it all

We can play with the math as much as we want. I think the above is generously conservative. The upside is more than 2x and I don't see a 10% chance of complete loss. I think the downside risk is basically getting put back in the bullpen. Short of injury, I can't see why it would harm him otherwise. But even the conservative scenario above, the expected return is a gain of 25%.

If I won a million bucks and was asked if I want to roll the dice -- when rolling the dice produces, on average, a 25% return, I'd do that in a heartbeat.

I think the heart of the matter here is that you see there being a very significant chance Chapman gets ruined in the process. I certainly don't and I doubt Doug does.

I don't think the chance is significant (depending on your definition of significant), however I think the chance is real and do we really need to take the chance?

Rojo
07-25-2012, 05:53 PM
What level of outcome short of Randy Johnson would be acceptable? Roy Oswalt, dominating but short-lived; Johnny Cueto, everybody's favorite non-ace; or Homer Bailey, above-average starter's innings?

Bear in mind that Randy Johnson wasn't Randy Johnson until he was 29. He wasn't dominant until 31.

If this were the same ol' losin' Reds this would be a more interesting discussion.

dougdirt
07-25-2012, 06:00 PM
Daniel Bard says otherwise.

Daniel Bard is a tough example to use. Neither Bard nor Chapman did a whole lot of minor league time, but in Bard's time in the minors as a starter, he was brutal. In 2007, at age 22 in A ball (he split Low and High A that year) he walked 78 batters and struck out 48 in 75 innings as a starter and had an ERA over 7.00. He never started again in the minors until this season.

Chapman on the other hand, at the same age in AAA, as a starter, walked 40 and struck out 76 in 65.2 innings.

The two guys are a very tough comparison because of things like that.

I can come up with relievers who went to starters and have been successful. It just doesn't do much for the situation at hand because there simply aren't many comparables for Chapman because of the whole Cuba thing.

Superdude
07-25-2012, 06:24 PM
I don't think the chance is significant (depending on your definition of significant), however I think the chance is real and do we really need to take the chance?

We don't have to do anything, but I think there's enough potential return to take the chance. I'd give him one year, and if he puts up mid-rotation numbers or below and the coaches don't see improvement, put him back in the pen and let him dominate.

GoReds
07-25-2012, 06:33 PM
Wrong thread

RedsManRick
07-25-2012, 06:52 PM
I don't think the chance is significant (depending on your definition of significant), however I think the chance is real and do we really need to take the chance?

Need is an interesting word. There's no one thing we "need" to do. Rather, success is the accumulation of a lot little steps forward that increase your chances of winning.

I think taking the chance on Chapman as a starter, on net, increases our chances of winning a world series. If we had a 98 win team that looked like it could coast to a ring, that would be one thing. But we have a team in a dog fight with two others for the division and which hasn't won a playoff game in 17 years.

I'm still in "maximize upside" mode. And given that I think it's a chance that carries very little (though admittedly real) downside risk and a whole bunch of upside.

Plus Plus
07-25-2012, 08:41 PM
Here's my $0.02 when it comes to considering a move for Chapman from bullpen to rotation:

First, let's take a look at scarcity. According to this post on LoneStarBall.com (http://www.lonestarball.com/2012/1/31/2756686/mediocre-starter-vs-late-inning-reliever-discussion-thread), "elite" starters (5.5 WAR or higher) are slightly rarer than "elite" relievers (2.0 WAR or higher) over the last 10 years (based on number, not percentage of players). This would imply that a conversion to starter, assuming Chapman remained elite, would be a lateral move in terms of scarcity. Obviously, if Chapman were not elite as a starter, it would be a downgrade in terms of scarcity. However, the article goes on to bring up another good point:


These numbers show the increased use of fastball/slider combination among relievers compared to starters and their use of more diverse secondary pitches. Though I think it's important to note, the difference between a potential starter and reliever is more than just their ability to throw certain pitches. Each pitchers mechanics and body type has an impact on their durability and ability to manage a starter's workload as well.

So, Chapman's two-pitch mix that he has shown for the greater part of being a reliever obviously profiles him as more of a reliever than a starter, and the table illustrates that very clearly. When ESPN ran a sports science explanation of Chapman's mechanics as a pitcher, no red flags were raised about his potential as a starter. Chapman, however, did spend time on the disabled list in 2011 with shoulder inflammation.

Tangotiger posted earlier this season a table of run conversion ratios here (http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/breakeven_point_of_starter_relief_conversion/). A quote from the article specifically applies to Chapman:


Taking Aroldis Chapman, the way to understand this is that if you think that Chapman’s run-prevention value over replacement will be equal no matter what his role (or, perhaps more importantly, if you think that the Reds think this), then his innings in the bullpen must be at least 2.43 times as important as his innings as a starter in order to provide equal value. If you think he can be twice as good in the bullpen, then those innings need only be 1.21 times as important.

If you reverse-calculate using Chapman's pLI, which is 1.57, one would be expecting him to be giving up runs at about a rate of 0.65 compared to what he would as a starter. That would take his "rERA" of 1.54 to a "sERA" of 2.37. Obviously this is very crude, but it gives a little bit of an idea of what to expect. However, Jason (the author of this post) states that he generally uses a conversion rate of 0.8 to calculate a starter's effectiveness as a reliever. Furthermore, he states this:


So, it should be a pretty rare situation that you’d want to make someone a reliever. Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner Papelbon maybe.... guys who are so lights out in relief, that you figure they must have an extra benefit from being a reliever that the others don’t have. And that maybe they would give up runs at 60% of the rate they’d give up as starters (rather than the standard 80%).

I could only find one website that discussed his numbers as a starter in the minors. Seamheads.com (http://seamheads.com/2010/08/31/happy-aroldis-chapman-day/) showed that his numbers as a starter were significantly less thrilling than his numbers as a reliever: FIP- 4.01 vs 1.92, BAA- .244 vs .159, WHIP- 1.46 vs 0.96, and also better numbers in HR/9, GB%, and IFF%. Obviously, this was a very small sample size.

All that being said, even if Chapman isn't at the 80% where his ERA would be an eye-popping 1.93 and is at the 60% of elite relievers which would put him at 2.37, he still carries tremendous value.

It should also be considered that the "worst" Reds starter is either Latos or Bailey, both who have a WAR so far this season of 1.2 (Chapman is more than double that already!!), but both of who also possess huge upside- Latos had a 4.0 WAR season two years ago, and Bailey had 109 IP in 2010 for 1.9 WAR, giving him similar upside. Meanwhile, Sean Marshall is the second most valuable Reds reliever, with 0.9 WAR.

So, subjectivity time. I *think* that there is a larger downgrade from Chapman to Marshall than there is upgrade from Chapman to Bailey. When also combined with potential strain related to innings, both over the course of a game and over the course of a season, I *think* that I would leave Chapman in the closer's role for the foreseeable future, or until an opening arose in the rotation.

I also have a handful of gut-related thoughts here:

1) I *prefer* hard-throwing relievers to soft-tossing relievers. Since Chapman is a fastball-first guy and Marshall seems like a curveball-first guy, I greatly prefer Chapman to Marshall in the bullpen. I don't see the Reds as having an effective hard-tosser besides Chapman in the bullpen, even though their bullpen has been very effective this year.

2) Having a guy who is so elite in a relief role makes me *think* that there is a greater value in being able to shorten the game by three outs at the end of several games in a series than any stat that I can immediately find can show.

3) The atmosphere in GABP when Chapman is in, regardless of situation, is different than any that I have ever been exposed to in my entire life as a Reds fan. I can't remember the atmosphere ever being as electric as it is when "good Chapman" comes in.

So, anyway, that's how I kind of understand the situation. I don't think I gave a real answer, but... I don't think there will be one until, if ever, he is tried as a starter. :)

WildcatFan
07-26-2012, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the info. on the slider. I was just going off of my personal observations, which really don't carry much weight; however, what you've presented relative to Chapman's slider doesn't convince me that he would be this dominant if he was in the rotation. That being said, I think it would be a shame if the Reds never gave it a shot.

That's fair, none of us know for sure. Your last sentence is the only thing I believe without a doubt.

WildcatFan
07-26-2012, 09:57 AM
Does anyone know about Chapman's changeup? Is he developing it? He's thrown it 8 percent of the time, but I can't remember seeing one. I thought there was talk of him asking Soto how to throw it, but maybe that was Cueto.

wolfboy
07-26-2012, 10:00 AM
Great post Plus Plus! :beerme:

mdccclxix
07-26-2012, 10:02 AM
Here's my $0.02 when it comes to considering a move for Chapman from bullpen to rotation:

First, let's take a look at scarcity. According to this post on LoneStarBall.com (http://www.lonestarball.com/2012/1/31/2756686/mediocre-starter-vs-late-inning-reliever-discussion-thread), "elite" starters (5.5 WAR or higher) are slightly rarer than "elite" relievers (2.0 WAR or higher) over the last 10 years (based on number, not percentage of players). This would imply that a conversion to starter, assuming Chapman remained elite, would be a lateral move in terms of scarcity. Obviously, if Chapman were not elite as a starter, it would be a downgrade in terms of scarcity. However, the article goes on to bring up another good point:



So, Chapman's two-pitch mix that he has shown for the greater part of being a reliever obviously profiles him as more of a reliever than a starter, and the table illustrates that very clearly. When ESPN ran a sports science explanation of Chapman's mechanics as a pitcher, no red flags were raised about his potential as a starter. Chapman, however, did spend time on the disabled list in 2011 with shoulder inflammation.

Tangotiger posted earlier this season a table of run conversion ratios here (http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/breakeven_point_of_starter_relief_conversion/). A quote from the article specifically applies to Chapman:



If you reverse-calculate using Chapman's pLI, which is 1.57, one would be expecting him to be giving up runs at about a rate of 0.65 compared to what he would as a starter. That would take his "rERA" of 1.54 to a "sERA" of 2.37. Obviously this is very crude, but it gives a little bit of an idea of what to expect. However, Jason (the author of this post) states that he generally uses a conversion rate of 0.8 to calculate a starter's effectiveness as a reliever. Furthermore, he states this:



I could only find one website that discussed his numbers as a starter in the minors. Seamheads.com (http://seamheads.com/2010/08/31/happy-aroldis-chapman-day/) showed that his numbers as a starter were significantly less thrilling than his numbers as a reliever: FIP- 4.01 vs 1.92, BAA- .244 vs .159, WHIP- 1.46 vs 0.96, and also better numbers in HR/9, GB%, and IFF%. Obviously, this was a very small sample size.

All that being said, even if Chapman isn't at the 80% where his ERA would be an eye-popping 1.93 and is at the 60% of elite relievers which would put him at 2.37, he still carries tremendous value.

It should also be considered that the "worst" Reds starter is either Latos or Bailey, both who have a WAR so far this season of 1.2 (Chapman is more than double that already!!), but both of who also possess huge upside- Latos had a 4.0 WAR season two years ago, and Bailey had 109 IP in 2010 for 1.9 WAR, giving him similar upside. Meanwhile, Sean Marshall is the second most valuable Reds reliever, with 0.9 WAR.

So, subjectivity time. I *think* that there is a larger downgrade from Chapman to Marshall than there is upgrade from Chapman to Bailey. When also combined with potential strain related to innings, both over the course of a game and over the course of a season, I *think* that I would leave Chapman in the closer's role for the foreseeable future, or until an opening arose in the rotation.

I also have a handful of gut-related thoughts here:

1) I *prefer* hard-throwing relievers to soft-tossing relievers. Since Chapman is a fastball-first guy and Marshall seems like a curveball-first guy, I greatly prefer Chapman to Marshall in the bullpen. I don't see the Reds as having an effective hard-tosser besides Chapman in the bullpen, even though their bullpen has been very effective this year.

2) Having a guy who is so elite in a relief role makes me *think* that there is a greater value in being able to shorten the game by three outs at the end of several games in a series than any stat that I can immediately find can show.

3) The atmosphere in GABP when Chapman is in, regardless of situation, is different than any that I have ever been exposed to in my entire life as a Reds fan. I can't remember the atmosphere ever being as electric as it is when "good Chapman" comes in.

So, anyway, that's how I kind of understand the situation. I don't think I gave a real answer, but... I don't think there will be one until, if ever, he is tried as a starter. :)

Dang, nice post. I should print this out and get my highlighter.

edit: I wonder what you could come up with for 10 cents?

Bumstead
07-26-2012, 10:03 AM
Adam Wainwright anyone? Closer to starter...he's done ok for a Cardinal. Of course Chapman's ceiling is higher than Wainwright's, so I am at a loss as to why we would even consider such silliness...:eek: I mean, just think, if he succeeds he could dethrone Cueto as the ace of the staff and give us a true Ace and make the Reds a real threat in the playoffs. If he marginally succeeds he turns into only a #2 or #3 starter and improves our rotation into the best in the NL. If it doesn't work, then he goes back to the circus act of being a closer, which Coco Cordero, Bob Wickman, Antonio Alfonseca, Jeff Brantley and countless other guys with mediocre stuff proved that they could turn into a successful repertoire as a Closer...yeah, just like roulette...:bang:

Bum

Rojo
07-26-2012, 12:29 PM
Here's my $0.02 when it comes to considering a move for Chapman from bullpen to rotation

You sure do have a way with cypherin'.

Steady-eddy starters and a clamp-down bullpen isn't a bad way to go.

Superdude
07-26-2012, 12:40 PM
I could only find one website that discussed his numbers as a starter in the minors. Seamheads.com (http://seamheads.com/2010/08/31/happy-aroldis-chapman-day/) showed that his numbers as a starter were significantly less thrilling than his numbers as a reliever: FIP- 4.01 vs 1.92, BAA- .244 vs .159, WHIP- 1.46 vs 0.96, and also better numbers in HR/9, GB%, and IFF%. Obviously, this was a very small sample size.

That was also when he was 22 years old, straight out of Cuba, and 185lbs. I saw him start a few times in the minors, and I'm pretty confident saying he'd be significantly better now than he was then.

Rojo
07-26-2012, 02:59 PM
I'm pretty confident saying he'd be significantly better now than he was then.

How much better? What kind of upgrade would he be over, say, Leake. And is that worth muddying up the closer picture?

backbencher
07-26-2012, 02:59 PM
Daniel Bard is a tough example to use. Neither Bard nor Chapman did a whole lot of minor league time, but in Bard's time in the minors as a starter, he was brutal. In 2007, at age 22 in A ball (he split Low and High A that year) he walked 78 batters and struck out 48 in 75 innings as a starter and had an ERA over 7.00. He never started again in the minors until this season.

Chapman on the other hand, at the same age in AAA, as a starter, walked 40 and struck out 76 in 65.2 innings.

The two guys are a very tough comparison because of things like that.

Hard to see how any of that is relevant. The proposition is taking hard-throwing relievers with sustained major league success and converting them to starters. The Red Sox took a valuable asset in Bard and flat-out wrecked him, not just as a starter but as a reliever, too. And that is despite Bard having (a) experience and pedigree as a starter in college, (b) a four-pitch pitching arsenal, and (c) better control as a reliever than Chapman had in 2011.

Now, I happen agree that the Reds can and should try to make the conversion in the next offseason, situation permitting. The upside is worth the risk, at least if you are talking about a spring regimen like this year's.

But I find the assertions that the conversion is a no-risk proposition as hollow, if not willfully blind, and the braying about how the Reds have midhandled Chapman's role on the staff borders on the grotesque. It is easy to say when the Reds are riding high, but this is an organization that has made a lot of really, really good decisions -- including some really good decisions involving Chapman, starting with his signing.

Mostly I now just hope that he is not overused.

Superdude
07-26-2012, 03:21 PM
How much better? What kind of upgrade would he be over, say, Leake. And is that worth muddying up the closer picture?

I'm just saying that what he did right out of Cuba as a rail thin 22 year old in AAA might not be the best indication of his ability as a starter. As for whether or not it's worth it, that's an argument we could probably go 'round and 'round on for ages.

wolfboy
07-26-2012, 04:49 PM
Cueto has 103K this season, Chapman has 90. That's pretty cool. Anyway, nice little article on Chapman over at fangraphs: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/aroldis-chapman-doing-crazy-strikeout-things/

dougdirt
07-26-2012, 07:14 PM
Hard to see how any of that is relevant. The proposition is taking hard-throwing relievers with sustained major league success and converting them to starters. The Red Sox took a valuable asset in Bard and flat-out wrecked him, not just as a starter but as a reliever, too. And that is despite Bard having (a) experience and pedigree as a starter in college, (b) a four-pitch pitching arsenal, and (c) better control as a reliever than Chapman had in 2011.

Now, I happen agree that the Reds can and should try to make the conversion in the next offseason, situation permitting. The upside is worth the risk, at least if you are talking about a spring regimen like this year's.

But I find the assertions that the conversion is a no-risk proposition as hollow, if not willfully blind, and the braying about how the Reds have midhandled Chapman's role on the staff borders on the grotesque. It is easy to say when the Reds are riding high, but this is an organization that has made a lot of really, really good decisions -- including some really good decisions involving Chapman, starting with his signing.

Mostly I now just hope that he is not overused.

You don't see how it is relevant that Daniel Bard failed as a starter when the only other time he was used as a starter as a professional he was beyond terrible and that at the same age, fresh out of Cuba and two to three levels higher Chapman performed much, much, much better?

backbencher
07-26-2012, 08:45 PM
You don't see how it is relevant that Daniel Bard failed as a starter when the only other time he was used as a starter as a professional he was beyond terrible and that at the same age, fresh out of Cuba and two to three levels higher Chapman performed much, much, much better?

Not when the question is whether a reliever conversion is a heads-I-win, tails-we-play-again scenario. The point I was using Bard for was not Bard's specific success or failure as a starter, but rather the impact the conversion attempt had on his value as a reliever. In short, the Red Sox took a high-leverage arm and turned it into nothing. A similar result with Chapman would have a great impact on the Reds organization.

As for the likelihood of success of a conversion, though, that's worth further thought. This thread, and recent history, have Bard and Feliz identified as failures (so far) in converting power relievers into starters. I'll put Norm Charlton in the "success" column. Who are the other successes?

RedFanAlways1966
07-26-2012, 09:02 PM
Do not know if it has been mentioned... Chapman's stats this year against only NL teams:

* 42.1 IP, 1 ER, 82 K, 13 BB, 13 H, 0.21 ERA, 0.61 WHIP.
>> 64.5% of outs via the K.
>> 52.9% of batters faced K.
>> 32 games w/ 1 IP, 28 of them at least 2 Ks.

Are you kidding me? Can this be the most dominating 4 months EVER against NL hitters?

AtomicDumpling
07-26-2012, 09:42 PM
Not when the question is whether a reliever conversion is a heads-I-win, tails-we-play-again scenario. The point I was using Bard for was not Bard's specific success or failure as a starter, but rather the impact the conversion attempt had on his value as a reliever. In short, the Red Sox took a high-leverage arm and turned it into nothing. A similar result with Chapman would have a great impact on the Reds organization.

As for the likelihood of success of a conversion, though, that's worth further thought. This thread, and recent history, have Bard and Feliz identified as failures (so far) in converting power relievers into starters. I'll put Norm Charlton in the "success" column. Who are the other successes?

Its an interesting question. Off the top of my head I would say Chris Sale this year, Adam Wainwright, CJ Wilson, Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano. I am sure there are hundreds of good relievers that went on to become good starters. It used to be common for young pitchers to begin their careers in the bullpen until they earned the right to start games, of course back then relievers used to throw more than one inning per game.

Some relievers are bad candidates to be starters. If they have a max-effort delivery, poor stamina, or a funky delivery like Sergio Romo, Mike Adams or Kenley Jansen or if they throw mostly hard sliders like Carlos Marmol or if they have strong platoon splits they should stay as relievers. If you have a guy with a smooth delivery and plenty of athletic ability you could be missing out on an extra hundred innings of top-notch run prevention every year if you don't try him as a starter.

Like most relief pitchers, Mariano Rivera was a failed starting pitcher. He really only throws one pitch, the cut fastball that he throws about 85% of the time. That one pitch is awesome though.

I believe Aroldis Chapman has plenty of size, athletic ability, stamina and a smooth pitching motion that should allow him to throw 100+ pitches per game without undo strain. He already has two devastating pitches and just needs to refine his change-up. I also think pitching every 5th day will be better for the long term health of his arm compared to pitching in 80 games per year and warming up another 20 times. When you have stuff as wicked as the Missile it is less important to have a wide variety of pitches. He can thrive as a starter with the arsenal he has right now. If he expands his offerings he will only get better. I don't worry about players hitting Aroldis Chapman. I only worry that he could self-destruct with wildness. His success or failure depends on him alone, not the hitters. If he stays healthy and throws strikes he will be awesome in whatever role he plays.

If he does get moved into the rotation next year or whenever, it will be Bronson Arroyo's spot he will take -- not Leake's or Bailey's. Arroyo is already the worst pitcher the Reds have and he is not getting any better at his age, and he will be gone after next season regardless.

backbencher
07-26-2012, 10:09 PM
Its an interesting question. Off the top of my head I would say Chris Sale this year, Adam Wainwright, CJ Wilson, Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano. I am sure there are hundreds of good relievers that went on to become good starters. It used to be common for young pitchers to begin their careers in the bullpen until they earned the right to start games, of course back then relievers used to throw more than one inning per game.

Sale's a really good example. Wainwright too. Wilson, Santana and Liriano were all long relievers, perhaps Wilson less than the others, which is a different conversion in my mind. Interesting that most of your examples, plus mine (Charlton) are lefties.

I'm not sure that it would be very illuminating to look at Nolan Ryan or other conversions from the era before the modern, specialized bullpen.

hebroncougar
07-26-2012, 10:35 PM
Its an interesting question. Off the top of my head I would say Chris Sale this year, Adam Wainwright, CJ Wilson, Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano. I am sure there are hundreds of good relievers that went on to become good starters. It used to be common for young pitchers to begin their careers in the bullpen until they earned the right to start games, of course back then relievers used to throw more than one inning per game.

Some relievers are bad candidates to be starters. If they have a max-effort delivery, poor stamina, or a funky delivery like Sergio Romo, Mike Adams or Kenley Jansen or if they throw mostly hard sliders like Carlos Marmol or if they have strong platoon splits they should stay as relievers. If you have a guy with a smooth delivery and plenty of athletic ability you could be missing out on an extra hundred innings of top-notch run prevention every year if you don't try him as a starter.

Like most relief pitchers, Mariano Rivera was a failed starting pitcher. He really only throws one pitch, the cut fastball that he throws about 85% of the time. That one pitch is awesome though.

I believe Aroldis Chapman has plenty of size, athletic ability, stamina and a smooth pitching motion that should allow him to throw 100+ pitches per game without undo strain. He already has two devastating pitches and just needs to refine his change-up. I also think pitching every 5th day will be better for the long term health of his arm compared to pitching in 80 games per year and warming up another 20 times. When you have stuff as wicked as the Missile it is less important to have a wide variety of pitches. He can thrive as a starter with the arsenal he has right now. If he expands his offerings he will only get better. I don't worry about players hitting Aroldis Chapman. I only worry that he could self-destruct with wildness. His success or failure depends on him alone, not the hitters. If he stays healthy and throws strikes he will be awesome in whatever role he plays.

If he does get moved into the rotation next year or whenever, it will be Bronson Arroyo's spot he will take -- not Leake's or Bailey's. Arroyo is already the worst pitcher the Reds have and he is not getting any better at his age, and he will be gone after next season regardless.

You do know that all of those pitchers you listed, with the exception of Sale had long histories of being starters in the minor leagues, right?

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

Brutus
08-11-2012, 08:08 PM
Since June 26 (last 21 appearances)

20 2/3 IP
0 runs
8 hits
3 walks
44 strikeouts (15:1 strikeout/walk ratio)
.114 BAA
.173 OBP
.143 SLG
.316 OPS

He's only surrendered an earned run in one out of five months pitched to this point. If my math is correct, he's struck out 44 of his last 72 batters faced. This guy is just surreal. If he ever finds a legitimate third pitch -- hopefully a changeup -- good morning, good afternoon and good night.

paulrichjr
08-11-2012, 10:33 PM
If this keeps up could a case be made that he is the MVP of the Reds? The NL?

fearofpopvol1
08-11-2012, 10:38 PM
My favorite stat, still, is he has given up 1ER to the national league (the league in which he regularly pitches to) all season and we're in the middle of August. It's u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e.

Brutus
08-11-2012, 11:17 PM
My favorite stat, still, is he has given up 1ER to the national league (the league in which he regularly pitches to) all season and we're in the middle of August. It's u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e.

That is indeed amazing.

Here are his numbers against the NL only:

51.2 IP
17 H
2 R
1 ER (0.18 ERA)
12 BB (2.1 per 9)
99 K (17.2 per 9)
8.3:1 K-BB
0.06 FIP

0.06 FIP against the NL. Are you kidding?

cincinnati chili
08-12-2012, 02:13 AM
Like most relief pitchers, Mariano Rivera was a failed starting pitcher.

I don't agree with this premise. Mariano had 10 major league starts and netted a 5.94 ERA. That is bad, but it's only 10 starts. That ERA is roughly equivalent to Greg Maddux's ERA through his first 27 starts, and Maddux didn't have to face the DH.

I'm not questioning the decision to make Rivera a reliever as it's kinda worked out, but who's to say he wouldn't have added a third pitch and become a hall-of-fame starter? If he were on any team other than the Yankees - who had ample starting pitching but needed a reliable bullpen in the mid 90s - they would have tried to convert him to a starter and grabbed a closer in free agency after Wetteleand left.

Same thing with Papelbon. By no means did he fail as a starter. He was simply inserted into the closer role at a time of need and did so well at it that the organization didn't dare move him back to the rotation.

I'm always of the opinion that it's easier to find dominant bullpen arms than very good starting pitchers, but Chapman is so far to the extreme end of dominant that I'd be afraid to mess with that next spring. I've done a 180 on this issue because this is such a historic season, like Eckersley and/or Dibble in 1990. Gagne in 2003. I'd think twice before putting him back into the rotation, especially if he's going to pitch more than 1 inning here and there, like he did in Chicago on Friday.

CrackerJack
08-12-2012, 03:42 AM
I really see no point in Chapman being anything but a closer for the rest of his career, he is one of the few who makes that sometimes overrated role what it is - like Dibble or Rivera as mentioned. His % is amazing and he's the best at it in baseball right now, no reason to change that, ever.

I don't understand why anyone would still want him to be a starter, when he can close out and win games 3-4 times a week, instead of one every 5 days.

cincinnati chili
08-12-2012, 04:08 AM
If this keeps up could a case be made that he is the MVP of the Reds? The NL?

I'd call him MVP of the Reds or at least best story.

Dickey is the NL Cy Young unless he implodes, but I think Chapman is on track to be #2. Dude is tied for 32nd in strikeouts in the league despite throwing less than half the innings of almost every pitcher ahead of him. He doesn't walk that many guys, he doesn't give up homers, and everyone he faces craps his pants.

puca
08-12-2012, 05:35 AM
I really see no point in Chapman being anything but a closer for the rest of his career, he is one of the few who makes that sometimes overrated role what it is - like Dibble or Rivera as mentioned. His % is amazing and he's the best at it in baseball right now, no reason to change that, ever.

I don't understand why anyone would still want him to be a starter, when he can close out and win games 3-4 times a week, instead of one every 5 days.

Look at the 2010 playoffs and maybe you will understand why. The Reds closer never pitched in the series.

NJReds
08-12-2012, 09:20 AM
Ever since the summersault fiasco, he's been darn near untouchable and he doesn't really show much emotion after a save. I don't have the pitch-by-pitch stats but it appears that he's mixing in more sliders ... for strikes, and seems very focused on the mound.

hebroncougar
08-12-2012, 09:52 AM
I could have swore the first pitch he threw last night was an 89 mph change up.

Chip R
08-12-2012, 12:38 PM
I really see no point in Chapman being anything but a closer for the rest of his career, he is one of the few who makes that sometimes overrated role what it is - like Dibble or Rivera as mentioned. His % is amazing and he's the best at it in baseball right now, no reason to change that, ever.

I don't understand why anyone would still want him to be a starter, when he can close out and win games 3-4 times a week, instead of one every 5 days.

I understand why people want him as a starter. But I see teams like StL and MIL have problems with the back end of their bullpens and you have to believe it's nice to have a sledgehammer in the back end of the bullpen like Chapman.

RFS62
08-12-2012, 12:51 PM
He's a spectacle to behold. So much fun to watch him work now. The crowd reaction is amazing and electric, everyone knows they're seeing something special.

That's delivering big for your entertainment dollar. I think the Reds will sell a lot more tickets with him as the hammer-closer who gets on sportscenter night after night. People will come to the park to see this guy throw one inning several nights a week instead of just once every five days.

Aside from the purely baseball reasons in the closer vs. starter debate, the marketing potential is pretty obvious.

Brutus
08-12-2012, 03:49 PM
By the way, I was looking at the WAR leaderboard for relievers in a single-season, and I see that Chapman is actually on pace for tying or breaking Eric Gagne's 4.5 WAR set in 2003.

Amazingly, he's already at 3.1 WAR which is 0.8 ahead of Craig Kimbrel. Technically speaking, Mark Eichorn had 5.3 WAR in 1986, although he had to pitch 157 innings to do it.

RedsManRick
08-12-2012, 04:00 PM
I really see no point in Chapman being anything but a closer for the rest of his career, he is one of the few who makes that sometimes overrated role what it is - like Dibble or Rivera as mentioned. His % is amazing and he's the best at it in baseball right now, no reason to change that, ever.

I don't understand why anyone would still want him to be a starter, when he can close out and win games 3-4 times a week, instead of one every 5 days.

Because if he's the next Randy Johnson, no amount of awesomeness at closer could come close to the value he'd provide in the rotation. That is a very good reason to change it -- especially when you consider he can go back to closing if starting doesn't work out. The argument against trying him as a starter is either that you think he has no chance being an ace or that you think it significantly risks his health or ability to pitch moving forward.

mth123
08-12-2012, 04:36 PM
Because if he's the next Randy Johnson, no amount of awesomeness at closer could come close to the value he'd provide in the rotation. That is a very good reason to change it -- especially when you consider he can go back to closing if starting doesn't work out. The argument against trying him as a starter is either that you think he has no chance being an ace or that you think it significantly risks his health or ability to pitch moving forward.

What about the impact on the team if it doesn't work out? Right now, I know he's a lights out closer and the team has reasonably good starters in place and a good chance to win. The only way to find out is to weaken the pen, jettison one of those starters and see what happens for at least half a season. If he crashes and burns, you probably kill the team's chances for that season and won't have the starter to put back in the rotation when you move him back to the pen. In effect you'd be punting a season to find out and be left with a rotation hole to fill to boot.

Sure, from Chapman's point of view, he could move back to the pen, but the team would much worse off by trying it and it failing than they would by not trying it at all. Lets not pretend there aren't consequences. These moves are a lot easier with a 75 win team.

LegallyMinded
08-12-2012, 05:49 PM
That is a very good reason to change it -- especially when you consider he can go back to closing if starting doesn't work out. The argument against trying him as a starter is either that you think he has no chance being an ace or that you think it significantly risks his health or ability to pitch moving forward.

Just out of curiosity, can you think of any other dominant relievers who have tried starting, struggled with it, and then returned to a high level of performance as a reliever? Off the top of my head, the only reliever-failed starter-reliever conversions I can think of are Danny Graves (-.1 WAR as a reliever in the season after his attempt at starting) and Daniel Bard (currently with a 7.16ERA in triple A as he tries to convert back to a reliever), neither of which are encouraging. I'm sure there are other examples out there, though, and I'm not really opposed to trying Chapman as a starter-- it would just be nice to know that struggling as a starter doesn't always spell doom for the reliever's career.

traderumor
08-12-2012, 06:15 PM
Just out of curiosity, can you think of any other dominant relievers who have tried starting, struggled with it, and then returned to a high level of performance as a reliever? Off the top of my head, the only reliever-failed starter-reliever conversions I can think of are Danny Graves (-.1 WAR as a reliever in the season after his attempt at starting) and Daniel Bard (currently with a 7.16ERA in triple A as he tries to convert back to a reliever), neither of which are encouraging. I'm sure there are other examples out there, though, and I'm not really opposed to trying Chapman as a starter-- it would just be nice to know that struggling as a starter doesn't always spell doom for the reliever's career.Chapman is a unique situation in that he has not been used as a reliever because he failed as a starter. Most relievers are so because they flamed out as starters at some point at some level. Chapman has been used as a reliever, in two different circumstances, out of necessity moreso than design.

John Smoltz would be a good answer to your question though. He was an elite starter, got hurt, became a very good closer, then started again and had some success back in the rotation. Elite relievers are valuable enough that the experiment doesn't make sense in the first place. The Reds were so clueless back then in the pitching department that anything they did has to be considered assinine, as a given ;) And understand I'm not saying Graves was an elite reliever. He was a barely average pitcher in an era of chuckers for the Reds.

MrCinatit
08-12-2012, 07:18 PM
He's a spectacle to behold. So much fun to watch him work now. The crowd reaction is amazing and electric, everyone knows they're seeing something special.

That's delivering big for your entertainment dollar. I think the Reds will sell a lot more tickets with him as the hammer-closer who gets on sportscenter night after night. People will come to the park to see this guy throw one inning several nights a week instead of just once every five days.

Aside from the purely baseball reasons in the closer vs. starter debate, the marketing potential is pretty obvious.



And watching it live is so different from seeing it on TV. I've watched quite a few games on TV, and obviously there is a lot of excitement when he comes on the mound.
But that did not prepare me for watching him live. It is a whole different ball game when he comes in. To be honest, I have never seen anything like the electricity that goes through the ballpark when he takes the mound, and this comes from a guy who saw The Nasty Boys a few times live.

Kc61
08-12-2012, 07:35 PM
With Cueto and Latos still young, excellent starters, I look for Chapman to remain in the closer spot indefinitely.

Doesn't mean things can't change, there are always unexpected changes in baseball, but IMO Chapman has been the MVP of this ballclub as closer. He is the rare closer who is lights out virtually every time.

At this point, I'd be surprised to see them move him to the rotation next year.

It's a question of "if it's ain't broken, don't fix it." Aroldis is a great closer, so Reds probably won't play around with him.

Tony Cloninger
08-12-2012, 07:38 PM
Look... ESPN has already stated it is Kimbrel who is the front runner for CY Young.... Olney could barely say Chapman as well, but he already is ready to vote for Kimbrel.

Kc61
08-12-2012, 07:45 PM
Chapman has pitched in 46 winning games for the Reds this year. He has allowed one earned run in all those games combined.

RedsManRick
08-12-2012, 07:48 PM
Just out of curiosity, can you think of any other dominant relievers who have tried starting, struggled with it, and then returned to a high level of performance as a reliever? Off the top of my head, the only reliever-failed starter-reliever conversions I can think of are Danny Graves (-.1 WAR as a reliever in the season after his attempt at starting) and Daniel Bard (currently with a 7.16ERA in triple A as he tries to convert back to a reliever), neither of which are encouraging. I'm sure there are other examples out there, though, and I'm not really opposed to trying Chapman as a starter-- it would just be nice to know that struggling as a starter doesn't always spell doom for the reliever's career.

Off the top my head, it's hard to come up with many comps. But that's partly because historically speaking, we don't have very many Aroldis Chapmans. He's having the greatest relief seasons in MLB history right now, particularly if you don't count the old school relievers who threw 120+ innings. So to compare him to anybody is somewhat unfair.

But the broader question should be, what happens when dominant relievers get moved to starting? Who succeeded? Who failed? Why?

Let's also look at guys who started their major league career as relievers and simple became very good starters -- it used to be somewhat common practice. A few that come to mind include Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana, CJ Wilson, Brandon Morrow, Adam Wainwright and more recently Jeff Samardzija and Chris Sale. Obviously there have been cases like Bard's and Feliz that haven't worked out.

Bottom line, I don't think you can find a sample of comparable cases large enough make any kind of blanket statement. But we do know that thinking a guy can go from dominant reliever to dominant starter isn't exactly some crazy longshot.

kaldaniels
08-12-2012, 09:31 PM
Chapman/Kimbrel getting Cy Young talk on Sunday Night Baseball.

buckeyenut
08-12-2012, 11:00 PM
He's having the greatest relief seasons in MLB history right now, particularly if you don't count the old school relievers who threw 120+ innings. So to compare him to anybody is somewhat unfair.

In my opinion, there is only one relief season in history Chapman is chasing at this point and that is Eck in 1990. 0.61 ERA with 48 saves. 4 BB in 70+ innings and an 0.614 WHIP (amazingly, not his personal best).
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/eckerde01.shtml

Kimbrel has been great this year, but his numbers are not quite as mind blowing as chapman's overall. The amazing thing is how it looks when you take out interleague play.

Nathan
08-12-2012, 11:52 PM
What about the impact on the team if it doesn't work out? Right now, I know he's a lights out closer and the team has reasonably good starters in place and a good chance to win. The only way to find out is to weaken the pen, jettison one of those starters and see what happens for at least half a season. If he crashes and burns, you probably kill the team's chances for that season and won't have the starter to put back in the rotation when you move him back to the pen. In effect you'd be punting a season to find out and be left with a rotation hole to fill to boot.

Sure, from Chapman's point of view, he could move back to the pen, but the team would much worse off by trying it and it failing than they would by not trying it at all. Lets not pretend there aren't consequences. These moves are a lot easier with a 75 win team.

I'm going to disagree. The Reds already have a solid bullpen, with Chapman, it becomes borderline dominant. They could pick up another solid reliever to replace him and just run with it, and the end result could possibly be minimal difference.

With him in the rotation, best case scenario, he translates his Cy Young stats into the rotation. Let's be pessimistic, and say, he fails. How many losses would that translate into? At most, the one spot in the rotation (assuming he only lasts 1/2 the season), would only be punting approximately 35 games. You'd still have 127 games to work with.

Another angle: I'm sure whoever you traded from the rotation would bring back some value. (Arroyo, the least valuable also happens to be the least tradeable.)

mth123
08-13-2012, 01:53 AM
I'm going to disagree. The Reds already have a solid bullpen, with Chapman, it becomes borderline dominant. They could pick up another solid reliever to replace him and just run with it, and the end result could possibly be minimal difference.

With him in the rotation, best case scenario, he translates his Cy Young stats into the rotation. Let's be pessimistic, and say, he fails. How many losses would that translate into? At most, the one spot in the rotation (assuming he only lasts 1/2 the season), would only be punting approximately 35 games. You'd still have 127 games to work with.

Another angle: I'm sure whoever you traded from the rotation would bring back some value. (Arroyo, the least valuable also happens to be the least tradeable.)

No matter who you get for the pen, its still going to be a downgrade. That weakens the roster for all 162 games. If the 5th starter spot goes from solid to poor, it will impact more than a half a season of starts. You'll be using up the pen more and guys will be pushed farther on other days to offset the short outings a poor starter in the rotation would provide. If you move Chapman back to the pen, who makes those starts from the spot he'd be vacating? This seems like a lot of experimenting with a formula that has provided the basis for a .600 winning percentage. This team isn't winning because of its offense. I get the potential rewards, but its a big risk to take in a season where the team is poised to win with the 5 starters we have and the pen the way it is. If this was a team with a .450 winning percentage, I'd say that this move should have happened already, but I wouldn't weaken the pen and convert a rotation spot from solid to question mark on a team that is an obvious contender.

cincinnati chili
08-13-2012, 02:22 AM
In my opinion, there is only one relief season in history Chapman is chasing at this point and that is Eck in 1990. 0.61 ERA with 48 saves. 4 BB in 70+ innings and an 0.614 WHIP (amazingly, not his personal best).
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/eckerde01.shtml

Kimbrel has been great this year, but his numbers are not quite as mind blowing as chapman's overall. The amazing thing is how it looks when you take out interleague play.

I find Gagne's 2003 every bit, and probably more, impressive than Eckersley's 1990. Gagne only gave up 3 more runs than Eck (I count unearned runs as runs because all runs are runs), Gagne pitched more innings, Gagne struck guys out at a much greater clip, and Gagne faced a league with a .749 OPS while Eckersley faced a league with a .715 OPS.

Yes, he was probably on steroids, but I'm just talking about results here.. Besides, Eckersley's hair and mustache were on steroids and still are.

cincinnati chili
08-13-2012, 02:26 AM
On the main topic, I think if you could guarantee me that Chapman would have Randy Johnson type numbers if you put him in the rotation, then the Reds would obviously be morons not to put him there next year. The problem is that we can't guarantee that. If Chapman starts next year in the rotation and then goes the way of Joba Chamberlain and Neftali Feliz, heads will roll.

LegallyMinded
08-13-2012, 02:20 PM
Chapman/Kimbrel getting Cy Young talk on Sunday Night Baseball.

Fangraphs chimed in on the topic of relievers and the Cy Young award today (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/are-chapman-and-kimbrel-cy-young-contenders/). I thought the WPA discussion was pretty enlightening, and made a strong case for considering Chapman or Kimbrel for the award.

As an aside, the most surprising part of the article might have been that Kyle Loshe is leading the majors in pitching WPA. Is that really the same pitcher who put up a nice 4.5+ ERA for the Reds back in 06-07?

puca
08-13-2012, 03:10 PM
On the main topic, I think if you could guarantee me that Chapman would have Randy Johnson type numbers if you put him in the rotation, then the Reds would obviously be morons not to put him there next year. The problem is that we can't guarantee that. If Chapman starts next year in the rotation and then goes the way of Joba Chamberlain and Neftali Feliz, heads will roll.

If you are looking for guarantees, you aren't going to find them.

Can you could guarantee me that Cueto will remain healthy and continue to pitch like a TOR starter in 2013? Can you guarantee me that one of Latos, Bailey or Leake will become a second TOR starter (or close to it) next year? Can you guarantee that Chapman won't go all Mark Wohlers or Rob Dibble?

Can you even guarantee me that Chapman, as the closer, will pitch in the postseason should the Reds make it this year?

I will ask again, will there be any regrets if the Reds get eliminated from the playoffs this year and a healthy Chapman doesn't pitch?

RedsManRick
08-13-2012, 03:20 PM
Fangraphs chimed in on the topic of relievers and the Cy Young award today (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/are-chapman-and-kimbrel-cy-young-contenders/). I thought the WPA discussion was pretty enlightening, and made a strong case for considering Chapman or Kimbrel for the award.

As an aside, the most surprising part of the article might have been that Kyle Loshe is leading the majors in pitching WPA. Is that really the same pitcher who put up a nice 4.5+ ERA for the Reds back in 06-07?

Put me on the side that says players shouldn't given extra credit for WPA in award voting.

Chapman isn't twice as productive, twice as good for getting 3 outs with a 1 run lead instead of getting them with a 3 run lead. Does that situation require more of him somehow? Is it really harder -- and if so, it difficulty in propitiation to the WPA?

It also gives the pitcher credit for the entire event. If his defenders make awesome plays, is there defensive production scaled by the WPA of the situation? If a hitter hits a comeback homer, does he get credit using WPA?

I think WPA is an awesome story stat to get a feel for the swings of emotion in a game. But players' performance should not be scaled by sequence. A guy who hits a 3 run homer in the 3rd to put his team up 3-1 should not get less credit than the exact same even had it happened in the bottom of the 9th instead. All 27 outs are equally important.

RedsManRick
08-13-2012, 03:22 PM
On the main topic, I think if you could guarantee me that Chapman would have Randy Johnson type numbers if you put him in the rotation, then the Reds would obviously be morons not to put him there next year. The problem is that we can't guarantee that. If Chapman starts next year in the rotation and then goes the way of Joba Chamberlain and Neftali Feliz, heads will roll.

If we want to use that logic, we shouldn't treat the "null" alternative as leaving him in the closer role as a guarantee that he keeps pitching this well. Simply pitching at all carries with it significant risks that a guy gets injured or loses effectiveness. I'm all for doing the cost-benefit analysis on what we think the likelihood of various outcomes are. But we have to do it for both options.

When it comes to pitching, there are no guarantees. Of course, if there way of knowing that he could have been the next Randy Johnson but was never given the chance, heads would roll as well. And of course it's completely possible that had he remained a closer he could have gone the way of Ryan Wagner (or Ryan Madson if you prefer). But because we can't know what would have happened, playing it safe is the way to go if you're worried about your head.

Puffy
08-13-2012, 03:46 PM
If you are looking for guarantees, you aren't going to find them.



Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time

Chip R
08-13-2012, 04:08 PM
If you are looking for guarantees, you aren't going to find them.

Can you could guarantee me that Cueto will remain healthy and continue to pitch like a TOR starter in 2013? Can you guarantee me that one of Latos, Bailey or Leake will become a second TOR starter (or close to it) next year? Can you guarantee that Chapman won't go all Mark Wohlers or Rob Dibble?

Can you even guarantee me that Chapman, as the closer, will pitch in the postseason should the Reds make it this year?

I will ask again, will there be any regrets if the Reds get eliminated from the playoffs this year and a healthy Chapman doesn't pitch?

Let's say the Reds make the playoffs and Chapman started Game 1. The offense doesn't hit for him even though he pitches well and they lose 1-0. Then let's say that the Reds are eliminated before his spot in the rotation comes up again. So even with Chapman in the rotation, the Reds still lost.

But I can sure see the side of the argument where he should be a starter. I fear Dusty's going to blow his arm out as often as he uses him. Maybe he would last as long as a closer as Rivera or maybe injury will rear it's ugly head and he'll end up like Dibble or Gagne or other closers that burned bright for a short time then faded away or wound up in middle relief. It's just so tempting to use him to get those last 3 - or 4 as we saw on Friday - outs.

I'm not sure if there's a right answer here.

OnBaseMachine
08-13-2012, 04:33 PM
Jayson Stark: Hear ye! Aroldis Chapman for Cy Young

http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson

RedFanAlways1966
08-13-2012, 05:15 PM
Jayson Stark: Hear ye! Aroldis Chapman for Cy Young

http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson

Hard to name a single pitcher who has been more dominating in either league... EVER! I said EVER and I meant it.

Hey, I'd take Kimbrel on my team. But he is not as dominating or as feared as Chapman. If not for that damn interleague play... the discussion of "Chapman vs Kimbrel" would be nil.

LegallyMinded
08-13-2012, 05:50 PM
Put me on the side that says players shouldn't given extra credit for WPA in award voting.

Chapman isn't twice as productive, twice as good for getting 3 outs with a 1 run lead instead of getting them with a 3 run lead. Does that situation require more of him somehow? Is it really harder -- and if so, it difficulty in propitiation to the WPA?

It also gives the pitcher credit for the entire event. If his defenders make awesome plays, is there defensive production scaled by the WPA of the situation? If a hitter hits a comeback homer, does he get credit using WPA?

I think WPA is an awesome story stat to get a feel for the swings of emotion in a game. But players' performance should not be scaled by sequence. A guy who hits a 3 run homer in the 3rd to put his team up 3-1 should not get less credit than the exact same even had it happened in the bottom of the 9th instead. All 27 outs are equally important.

I think whether to use WPA in awarding the Cy Young, MVP and so on comes down to what you think the award is really about. If you think the award is based on which player is simply the most skilled or most dominant, then we should consider players' performance in a vacuum and ignore WPA, much like you said. On the other hand, if you feel the award is more about which player had the biggest impact on the course of the season or most contributed to his team's success, then evaluation of the player has to take the context of performance into account, and WPA is almost a mandatory consideration.

With that in mind, I can definitely see why you'd prefer to ignore WPA for Cy Young awards. As opposed to the League MVPs, Cy Young isn't tied to a term like "most valuable" that suggests some kind of accounting for the player's actual impact on his team's wins and losses. Instead, it seems like you can decide the Cy Young vote purely on which player is most skilled, regardless of how his skill influenced the course of individual games.

Nathan
08-13-2012, 10:56 PM
No matter who you get for the pen, its still going to be a downgrade. That weakens the roster for all 162 games. If the 5th starter spot goes from solid to poor, it will impact more than a half a season of starts. You'll be using up the pen more and guys will be pushed farther on other days to offset the short outings a poor starter in the rotation would provide. If you move Chapman back to the pen, who makes those starts from the spot he'd be vacating? This seems like a lot of experimenting with a formula that has provided the basis for a .600 winning percentage. This team isn't winning because of its offense. I get the potential rewards, but its a big risk to take in a season where the team is poised to win with the 5 starters we have and the pen the way it is. If this was a team with a .450 winning percentage, I'd say that this move should have happened already, but I wouldn't weaken the pen and convert a rotation spot from solid to question mark on a team that is an obvious contender.

I was under the understanding that we were talking about next year. This year, no way. I agree that whoever you get for the bullpen will, in all likelihood, will be a downgrade from Chapman. The question is, how much of a downgrade? From a bullpen perspective, I'd say it's almost a non-issue. They already have a solid pen with or with out Chapman.

Where it gets hairy, is what will the rotation look like with a move of Chapman into it, and it goes south. Is that a risk you are willing take next year? Do you think that the chances of failure is greater than the chances of success? The reward is just too tempting not to even try.

cincinnati chili
08-14-2012, 02:27 AM
I'm continuously impressed by the conversational tone in Stark's writing. I still think Dickey should win it if the season were to end today (this goes back to the whole Tom Seaver v. Nolan Ryan debate ---> the latter was more intimidating but the former was more valuable), but Stark makes the case for Chapman in a great way.

mth123
08-14-2012, 04:04 AM
I was under the understanding that we were talking about next year. This year, no way. I agree that whoever you get for the bullpen will, in all likelihood, will be a downgrade from Chapman. The question is, how much of a downgrade? From a bullpen perspective, I'd say it's almost a non-issue. They already have a solid pen with or with out Chapman.

Where it gets hairy, is what will the rotation look like with a move of Chapman into it, and it goes south. Is that a risk you are willing take next year? Do you think that the chances of failure is greater than the chances of success? The reward is just too tempting not to even try.


I think its possible that Chapman becomes an elite starter, but its also possible that he crashes and burns. He won't be throwing 100 MPH for 7 innings, his secondary stuff is mostly untested, he's never thrown more than 125 innings in a season (even in Cuba) and he hasn't had to work through major league line-ups multiple times per game where hitters have a chance to get multiple looks at him. Does any of that guarantee failure? Of course not. But success is far from automatic. This team is supposed to be a World Series contender for the next several years. IMO, its just too big of a risk on a team that's expected to win. If it fails, its punting the season IMO. They can win with the starters they have and him in the pen. If it fails, the elite pen becomes just OK and the rotation has a big hole in it. Not to mention the effect on Chapman himself. How many innings can he go? Will he need to be shut down before the post-season? I think Chapman has reached an age where the 30 innng per season increae thing isn't such a concern, but how many can he increase? 50? 60? Can he go 200 innings? Will he have anything left by October?

I think changes should focus on improving weak areas (hitting vs RHP, lead-off, maybe CF). Weakening a strength to gamble on improving an area that is already strong seems like a bigger gamble than most people are making it out to be. I'm not completely against it. I'd like to see what Chapman could do as a starter as much as anyone. I just would like to see how the Reds would address the pen and what the contingency plan would be for the rotation if it fails. That stuff isn't important on a 75 win team. It could be a season killer for a team that is supposed to win.

puca
08-14-2012, 06:13 AM
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time

Hey, whatever makes you happy. Go for it. But I'm not sure what you enjoy doing in your spare time adds to this discussion.

RedFanAlways1966
08-14-2012, 07:16 AM
I'm continuously impressed by the conversational tone in Stark's writing. I still think Dickey should win it if the season were to end today (this goes back to the whole Tom Seaver v. Nolan Ryan debate ---> the latter was more intimidating but the former was more valuable), but Stark makes the case for Chapman in a great way.

I guess I think of the old argument "how valuable are you on a sub .500 team"? I'd say Gio Gonzalez is more valuable to the best-record-MLB Nats than Dickey is to the losing Mets. Which leads to another "unknown"... the definition of VALUABLE in this case. Of course Dickey gets "bonus points" b/c he is old and throws the whacky knucleball. Not to take away from an incredible season that he has had and obviously is deserving (just referring to the "valuable" thing).

puca
08-14-2012, 07:45 AM
I think its possible that Chapman becomes an elite starter, but its also possible that he crashes and burns. He won't be throwing 100 MPH for 7 innings, his secondary stuff is mostly untested, he's never thrown more than 125 innings in a season (even in Cuba) and he hasn't had to work through major league line-ups multiple times per game where hitters have a chance to get multiple looks at him. Does any of that guarantee failure? Of course not. But success is far from automatic. This team is supposed to be a World Series contender for the next several years. IMO, its just too big of a risk on a team that's expected to win. If it fails, its punting the season IMO. They can win with the starters they have and him in the pen. If it fails, the elite pen becomes just OK and the rotation has a big hole in it. Not to mention the effect on Chapman himself. How many innings can he go? Will he need to be shut down before the post-season? I think Chapman has reached an age where the 30 innng per season increae thing isn't such a concern, but how many can he increase? 50? 60? Can he go 200 innings? Will he have anything left by October?

I think changes should focus on improving weak areas (hitting vs RHP, lead-off, maybe CF). Weakening a strength to gamble on improving an area that is already strong seems like a bigger gamble than most people are making it out to be. I'm not completely against it. I'd like to see what Chapman could do as a starter as much as anyone. I just would like to see how the Reds would address the pen and what the contingency plan would be for the rotation if it fails. That stuff isn't important on a 75 win team. It could be a season killer for a team that is supposed to win.

Do you believe Cueto + 4 MOR starters are strong enough to carry the Reds through the postseason - especially with this offense? I don't. And I don't see how that changes in 2013 whether they tweak their offense or not - because lets face it, it is very unlikely the Reds can add a impact bat. I don't think they will be able to bring in a TOR starter from outside the organization and, in my opinion, there are only two in house candidates that could possibly fill that role in 2013 - Latos and Chapman. Which is the bigger risk, banking that Cueto stays healthy and Latos becomes a TOR starter or seeing if Chapman can translate some of his awsomeness to 6-7 innings at a time.

Dan
08-14-2012, 08:33 AM
Hard to name a single pitcher who has been more dominating in either league... EVER! I said EVER and I meant it.

Hey, I'd take Kimbrel on my team. But he is not as dominating or as feared as Chapman. If not for that damn interleague play... the discussion of "Chapman vs Kimbrel" would be nil.

It really wasn't interleague play, I don't think. I think that time just coincided with Chapman falling in love with his fastball and not using his slider. I still remember the Joe Mauer at bat, listening as he fouled off pitch after pitch, screaming at the radio that Chapman throw something other than his fastball because Mauer was timing it. Alas. Lesson learned, though, I think.

Puffy
08-14-2012, 10:20 AM
Hey, whatever makes you happy. Go for it. But I'm not sure what you enjoy doing in your spare time adds to this discussion.

Dude, its a joke from a movie.

Tommy Boy. Chris Farley. David Spade. Awesomeness.

redsfandan
08-14-2012, 11:01 AM
Dude, its a joke from a movie.

Tommy Boy. Chris Farley. David Spade. Awesomeness.

Hmmm, I guess you could have indicated in your post that it was a quote from a movie. I don't know, maybe that's too easy.

redsfandan
08-14-2012, 11:14 AM
No matter who you get for the pen, its still going to be a downgrade. That weakens the roster for all 162 games. If the 5th starter spot goes from solid to poor, it will impact more than a half a season of starts. You'll be using up the pen more and guys will be pushed farther on other days to offset the short outings a poor starter in the rotation would provide. If you move Chapman back to the pen, who makes those starts from the spot he'd be vacating? This seems like a lot of experimenting with a formula that has provided the basis for a .600 winning percentage. This team isn't winning because of its offense. I get the potential rewards, but its a big risk to take in a season where the team is poised to win with the 5 starters we have and the pen the way it is. If this was a team with a .450 winning percentage, I'd say that this move should have happened already, but I wouldn't weaken the pen and convert a rotation spot from solid to question mark on a team that is an obvious contender.
If one reliever saves 34 of 35 games and another reliever saves 34 of 35 games what's the difference?

The guy can be flashy or dominating or make things interesting or whatever but the bottom line for a closer is simply to save the win. It doesn't matter if it's Chapman or Broxton or Madson or whoever. The goal is the same. And the goal isn't to see how many flashbulbs go off when he pitches. The only goal for a closer is to save the win.

Replace a closer with a 97% save percentage with another closer also with a 97% save percentage and you lose part of your argument.

medford
08-14-2012, 11:46 AM
If one reliever saves 34 of 35 games and another reliever saves 34 of 35 games what's the difference?

The guy can be flashy or dominating or make things interesting or whatever but the bottom line for a closer is simply to save the win. It doesn't matter if it's Chapman or Broxton or Madson or whoever. The goal is the same. And the goal isn't to see how many flashbulbs go off when he pitches. The only goal for a closer is to save the win.

Replace a closer with a 97% save percentage with another closer also with a 97% save percentage and you lose part of your argument.

Not neccessarily.

I'll throw a 97% save percentage out the window, b/c frankly any pitcher saving 97% of their games is not going to be getting by allowing a runner or two every other appearance.

Coco was pretty solid during his Reds tenure. he saved something in the neighborhood of 88% of his chances for the Reds. he was at 83% then 86% in his last 2 seasons. It would drive many fans nuts the amount of times he'd walk a guy or give up a hit, or even give up a run when coming into the game w/ a 2 or 3 run lead before closing it out. I can't help but imagine that the starting pitchers felt the same uneasiness, carried the thought with them that they needed to last as long as possible to ensure that they'll get the win.

Meanwhile, Aroldis has saved 88% of his chances this season. You don't think it sits in the back of Cueto's mind when he took the mound in the 8th against the cubbies w/ a 3 run lead the other night that all he needed to do was get the next 3 outs. He could use everything he had left, b/c he knew the 9th was safe.

Perhaps I'm giving that mentality too much credit, but I would think it would have to make a worlds of difference knowing you've got an absolutely guy w/ absolutely filthy stuff like Chapman vs a guy you felt was "just getting by" like Coco often appeared to do.

bucksfan2
08-14-2012, 12:24 PM
Not neccessarily.

I'll throw a 97% save percentage out the window, b/c frankly any pitcher saving 97% of their games is not going to be getting by allowing a runner or two every other appearance.

Coco was pretty solid during his Reds tenure. he saved something in the neighborhood of 88% of his chances for the Reds. he was at 83% then 86% in his last 2 seasons. It would drive many fans nuts the amount of times he'd walk a guy or give up a hit, or even give up a run when coming into the game w/ a 2 or 3 run lead before closing it out. I can't help but imagine that the starting pitchers felt the same uneasiness, carried the thought with them that they needed to last as long as possible to ensure that they'll get the win.

Meanwhile, Aroldis has saved 88% of his chances this season. You don't think it sits in the back of Cueto's mind when he took the mound in the 8th against the cubbies w/ a 3 run lead the other night that all he needed to do was get the next 3 outs. He could use everything he had left, b/c he knew the 9th was safe.

Perhaps I'm giving that mentality too much credit, but I would think it would have to make a worlds of difference knowing you've got an absolutely guy w/ absolutely filthy stuff like Chapman vs a guy you felt was "just getting by" like Coco often appeared to do.

Not only the starting pitchers mentality but what about the opposing team's mentality? Knowing that Chapman is coming in the game in the 9th may cause them to press in the later innings as well as take more chances. It also may cause some pressure on the opposing pitchers knowing that if the Reds have the lead late in the game they can't afford to make any misakes.

Crumbley
08-14-2012, 01:20 PM
Not only the starting pitchers mentality but what about the opposing team's mentality? Knowing that Chapman is coming in the game in the 9th may cause them to press in the later innings as well as take more chances. It also may cause some pressure on the opposing pitchers knowing that if the Reds have the lead late in the game they can't afford to make any misakes.
That's a great point, never thought of it like that.

puca
08-14-2012, 01:42 PM
Not only the starting pitchers mentality but what about the opposing team's mentality? Knowing that Chapman is coming in the game in the 9th may cause them to press in the later innings as well as take more chances. It also may cause some pressure on the opposing pitchers knowing that if the Reds have the lead late in the game they can't afford to make any misakes.

Admittedly there may be some psychological affect in having closer like Chapman, but what about the psychological affect of knowing you will be up against an (in their prime) Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez 3 times in a 7 game series? How much pressure is there to shut down the opponent and scratch for runs when they are on the mound, and how much pressure is there to with the games they are not?

Bottom line is that a closer does not do anything tangible in the first 8 innings to put their team in a position to win a game. Their role is to secure a victory if the rest of their team plays well enough up to that point.

WildcatFan
08-14-2012, 04:17 PM
Their role is to secure a victory if the rest of their team plays well enough up to that point.

Like saving LeBron for a game-winning 3-pointer.

Hoosier Red
08-14-2012, 04:27 PM
Admittedly there may be some psychological affect in having closer like Chapman, but what about the psychological affect of knowing you will be up against an (in their prime) Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez 3 times in a 7 game series? How much pressure is there to shut down the opponent and scratch for runs when they are on the mound, and how much pressure is there to with the games they are not?

Bottom line is that a closer does not do anything tangible in the first 8 innings to put their team in a position to win a game. Their role is to secure a victory if the rest of their team plays well enough up to that point.

Puca, you've put into words my exact question. I think everyone recognizes that no matter how good the closer, he's not as valuable as the equivalently excellent starting pitcher.

But what if as a starter, Chapman wouldn't be Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez, he's more like a Homer Bailey or Mike Leake. Someone who is probably above average, but perhaps not quite all-star level.

In order to answer that you need to answer two questions: 1) WHo's going to replace the starter if not Aroldis, and 2) Who's going to replace Aroldis if he becomes a starter.

Without knowing the answer to those questions, it's hard to pin down exactly what they should do with him other than prepare him to do both very well.

redsfandan
08-14-2012, 05:00 PM
Not neccessarily.

I'll throw a 97% save percentage out the window, b/c frankly any pitcher saving 97% of their games is not going to be getting by allowing a runner or two every other appearance.

Coco was pretty solid during his Reds tenure. he saved something in the neighborhood of 88% of his chances for the Reds. he was at 83% then 86% in his last 2 seasons. It would drive many fans nuts the amount of times he'd walk a guy or give up a hit, or even give up a run when coming into the game w/ a 2 or 3 run lead before closing it out. I can't help but imagine that the starting pitchers felt the same uneasiness, carried the thought with them that they needed to last as long as possible to ensure that they'll get the win.

Meanwhile, Aroldis has saved 88% of his chances this season. You don't think it sits in the back of Cueto's mind when he took the mound in the 8th against the cubbies w/ a 3 run lead the other night that all he needed to do was get the next 3 outs. He could use everything he had left, b/c he knew the 9th was safe.

Perhaps I'm giving that mentality too much credit, but I would think it would have to make a worlds of difference knowing you've got an absolutely guy w/ absolutely filthy stuff like Chapman vs a guy you felt was "just getting by" like Coco often appeared to do.

I'm not saying that stuff doesn't matter. I'm saying I'm not sure that matters enough to pass on seeing if he could be an ace starter.

puca
08-14-2012, 06:42 PM
Puca, you've put into words my exact question. I think everyone recognizes that no matter how good the closer, he's not as valuable as the equivalently excellent starting pitcher.

But what if as a starter, Chapman wouldn't be Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez, he's more like a Homer Bailey or Mike Leake. Someone who is probably above average, but perhaps not quite all-star level.

In order to answer that you need to answer two questions: 1) WHo's going to replace the starter if not Aroldis, and 2) Who's going to replace Aroldis if he becomes a starter.

Without knowing the answer to those questions, it's hard to pin down exactly what they should do with him other than prepare him to do both very well.


But it impossible to know the answer before doing the experiment. Just as it was impossible for the Expos and Mariners to know that Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson would be TOR pitchers when they were moved. If you want to win big sometimes you have to roll the dice.

I personally don't think the Reds have a strong playoff starting staff. I see one possible TOR starter and 4 MOR staters. That is why I am looking for an upgrade for 2013. And the only upgrade I see being affordable is Chapman.

mth123
08-14-2012, 08:49 PM
If one reliever saves 34 of 35 games and another reliever saves 34 of 35 games what's the difference?

The guy can be flashy or dominating or make things interesting or whatever but the bottom line for a closer is simply to save the win. It doesn't matter if it's Chapman or Broxton or Madson or whoever. The goal is the same. And the goal isn't to see how many flashbulbs go off when he pitches. The only goal for a closer is to save the win.

Replace a closer with a 97% save percentage with another closer also with a 97% save percentage and you lose part of your argument.

Got a name? Who is this 97% guy who is so readily available? Cordero is probably gonna be out there.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 08:58 PM
Got a name? Who is this 97% guy who is so readily available? Cordero is probably gonna be out there.

Well, a guy that the Reds have the ability to keep under contract for next season, Ryan Madson, saved 32 of 34 games for the Phillies last season.

mth123
08-14-2012, 08:59 PM
But it impossible to know the answer before doing the experiment. Just as it was impossible for the Expos and Mariners to know that Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson would be TOR pitchers when they were moved. If you want to win big sometimes you have to roll the dice.

I personally don't think the Reds have a strong playoff starting staff. I see one possible TOR starter and 4 MOR staters. That is why I am looking for an upgrade for 2013. And the only upgrade I see being affordable is Chapman.

This is where I disagree. I think Cueto and Latos are tough matches for anyone. I think they have a better chance using the tactic the Rangers and Cardinals used last year. Starter goes 4 or 5 and then a fresh arm over and over. The looks keep changing and the team shuts the opponent down. I'm pretty sure with the guys coming back plus Chapman they'll have that option. OTOH, if Chapman moves to the rotation he may be another of the MOR starters that you speak of (or worse) and suddenly the wave after wave of relievers to shorten the game looks much less imposing. A bird in the hand....

I just think Chapman has as much chance of being ho hum or worse as a starter as he has of being the next Randy Johnson. He's already Goose Gossage (but probably better). No question mark attached.

mth123
08-14-2012, 09:01 PM
Well, a guy that the Reds have the ability to keep under contract for next season, Ryan Madson, saved 32 of 34 games for the Phillies last season.

Gonna pay him $11 Million? If you don't invoke the option he'll hit the market IMO. Who is his agent again? Oh yeah.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 09:05 PM
Gonna pay him $11 Million? If you don't invoke the option he'll hit the market IMO. Who is his agent again? Oh yeah.

OK so he hits the market. He's already said he'd like to re-sign with the Reds. So maybe they sign him to a $7 million deal. I'd do it. It's not like he's going to get $50 million on the open market anyhow.

Worst-case scenario, maybe Chapman as a starter strikes out 10-12 guys per nine innings instead of 17. He'd still be better than anyone the Reds have, with all due respect to Cueto and Latos.

Even assuming he won't be *quite* as dominant as a starter as a reliever, I'd rather he strike out 10-12 guys per nine innings over the course of 180-200 than 17 per 80. And that's assuming he takes that big of a drop as a starter. He might not do that.

mth123
08-14-2012, 09:24 PM
OK so he hits the market. He's already said he'd like to re-sign with the Reds. So maybe they sign him to a $7 million deal. I'd do it. It's not like he's going to get $50 million on the open market anyhow.

Worst-case scenario, maybe Chapman as a starter strikes out 10-12 guys per nine innings instead of 17. He'd still be better than anyone the Reds have, with all due respect to Cueto and Latos.

Even assuming he won't be *quite* as dominant as a starter as a reliever, I'd rather he strike out 10-12 guys per nine innings over the course of 180-200 than 17 per 80. And that's assuming he takes that big of a drop as a starter. He might not do that.

Where we disagree is in the worst case scenario. IMO, the worst case scenario is that Chapman doesn't have the secondary stuff to get hitters out more than once per game, his velocity doesn't hold up past 40 pitches and he routinely gets blown off the mound in the middle innings. I think your worst case is making a huge, huge, huge, (I can't emphasize how huge) assumption. Facing a line-up multiple times in a game is an entirely different thing than throwing it by everyone for 20 pitches or so. We have no idea whatsoever how he'd fare as a starter.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 09:30 PM
Where we disagree is in the worst case scenario. IMO, the worst case scenario is that Chapman doesn't have the secondary stuff to get hitters out more than once per game, his velocity doesn't hold up past 40 pitches and he routinely gets blown off the mound in the middle innings. I think your worst case is making a huge, huge, huge, (I can't emphasize how huge) assumption. Facing a line-up multiple times in a game is an entirely different thing than throwing it by everyone for 20 pitches or so.

Under normal circumstances when it's a matter of figuring a guy out, that might be true. But Aroldis isn't fooling anyone. He's not been successful based on guys not figuring him out. He's not doing anything special whatsoever. Like Hanigan said the other day, 90% of the time, hitters know exactly what's coming. They simply can't hit it. This guy's fastball is truly special because of the release point and the way it pops out of his hand from a shorter distance. I don't care if guys face it once a night or four times a night... they're not going to hit it very often.

Also, while we're talking about assumptions, I don't know how you can possibly say his velocity doesn't hold up past 40 pitches. There is not even remotely enough of a sample size to suggest that. He's not started a single game at this level, and only has a couple dozen starts in the minors.

I don't see how anyone could reasonably expect his K-rate to dip into single digits as a starter for any extended period of time. You don't go from striking out 17 guys to less than half that, even taking into account a small difference as a starter.

And to be perfectly honest, Aroldis' velocity as a reliever seems to do better after he's gotten warmed up and sometimes when he's pitching a second or third straight day. I'd be surprised if his velocity dips as much as you're suggesting.

hebroncougar
08-14-2012, 09:37 PM
OK so he hits the market. He's already said he'd like to re-sign with the Reds. So maybe they sign him to a $7 million deal. I'd do it. It's not like he's going to get $50 million on the open market anyhow.

Worst-case scenario, maybe Chapman as a starter strikes out 10-12 guys per nine innings instead of 17. He'd still be better than anyone the Reds have, with all due respect to Cueto and Latos.

Even assuming he won't be *quite* as dominant as a starter as a reliever, I'd rather he strike out 10-12 guys per nine innings over the course of 180-200 than 17 per 80. And that's assuming he takes that big of a drop as a starter. He might not do that.

You'd give Madsen $7 million in a year he's coming off if Tommy John? That year coming off of that surgery is pretty rough. I'd use Joe Nathan as a comparative fwiw.

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Brutus
08-14-2012, 09:40 PM
You'd give Madsen $7 million in a year he's coming off if Tommy John?

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Yea I probably would. But your reaction kind of serves my point... even if he hits the market, he's not going to get a large contract. There's no reason the Reds can't get him re-signed at a decent rate -- whatever that rate may be.

mth123
08-14-2012, 09:46 PM
Under normal circumstances when it's a matter of figuring a guy out, that might be true. But Aroldis isn't fooling anyone. He's not been successful based on guys not figuring him out. He's not doing anything special whatsoever. Like Hanigan said the other day, 90% of the time, hitters know exactly what's coming. They simply can't hit it. This guy's fastball is truly special because of the release point and the way it pops out of his hand from a shorter distance. I don't care if guys face it once a night or four times a night... they're not going to hit it very often.

Also, while we're talking about assumptions, I don't know how you can possibly say his velocity doesn't hold up past 40 pitches. There is not even remotely enough of a sample size to suggest that. He's not started a single game at this level, and only has a couple dozen starts in the minors.
I don't see how anyone could reasonably expect his K-rate to dip into single digits as a starter for any extended period of time. You don't go from striking out 17 guys to less than half that, even taking into account a small difference as a starter.

And to be perfectly honest, Aroldis' velocity as a reliever seems to do better after he's gotten warmed up and sometimes when he's pitching a second or third straight day. I'd be surprised if his velocity dips as much as you're suggesting.

Precisely my point. I didn't say I know that his velocity will drop after 40 pitches. I said that in the worst case scenario it could be what we find. We certainly don't know that it wouldn't drop off quite a bit. That's where the assumption comes in. You said it yourself. He's not fooling anyone, he's blowing it by them. And if he can't blow it by them in the 4th inning? Then would he go to his secondary stuff? Can he get it over the plate? Will it fool anyone? Honestly, we don't know any of that. I'm not in favor of converting both the pen and one rotation spot from solid (rotation) or great (bullpen) into a pair of question marks. Teams trying to win try to eliminate question marks not create them.

Too many people are assuming that he could be as dominant for 7 or 8 innings as he is for 3 hitters. Why didn't Gossage start? Why didn't Dibble? Lee Smith? Todd Jones? Tom Henke? Billy Wagner? Troy Percival? K-Rod? Brian Wilson? etc. etc. etc. They all blew it by people for an inning or two. Its not automatic they could do it for 7.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 09:49 PM
Precisely my point. I didn't say I know that his velocity will drop after 40 pitches. I said that in the worst case scenario it could be what we find. We certainly don't know that it wouldn't drop off quite a bit. That's where the assumption comes in. You said it yourself. He's not fooling anyone, he's blowing it by them. And if he can't blow it by them in the 4th inning? Then would he go to his secondary stuff? Can he get it over the plate? Will it fool anyone? Honestly, we don't know any of that. I'm not in favor of converting both the pen and one rotation spot from solid (rotation) or great (bullpen) into a pair of question marks. Teams trying to win try to eliminate question marks not create them.

Too many people are assuming that he could be as dominant for 7 or 8 innings as he is for 3 hitters. Why didn't Gossage start? Why didn't Dibble? Lee Smith? Todd Jones? Tom Henke? Billy Wagner? Troy Percival? K-Rod? Brian Wilson? etc. etc. etc. They all blew it by people for an inning or two. Its not automatic they could do it for 7.

There's no evidence to suggest his velocity will drop off after 40 pitches, though. And certainly not enough to think it will be more than a couple MPH.

Remember this guy has been a starter all his life. It's not like starting is uncharted territory for him. Unlike the guys you mentioned, Chapman is in the bullpen because the Reds needed him there, not because he couldn't hack it as a starter. He was a starter in spring training and pitched really well as a starter.

mth123
08-14-2012, 10:04 PM
There's no evidence to suggest his velocity will drop off after 40 pitches, though. And certainly not enough to think it will be more than a couple MPH.

Remember this guy has been a starter all his life. It's not like starting is uncharted territory for him. Unlike the guys you mentioned, Chapman is in the bullpen because the Reds needed him there, not because he couldn't hack it as a starter. He was a starter in spring training and pitched really well as a starter.

His inning high is 125. He never started against big league hitters. As a starter in AAA, he really wasn't all that hot. As for spring training, he went 2 innings twice, 3 innings a couple of times, went 5 really good innings once. Of course those were line-ups sprikled with AA players and even when he went through a line-up a second time, it wasn't always the same hiitters he faced the first time.

He's completely untested as a starter against any type of competition that remotely approaches major league caliber. We know no more about Chapman's chances at success as a starter than we do Daniel Corcino's or Kyle Lotzkar's. We certainly don't know that "worst case scenario maybe Chapman as a starter strikes out 10-12 guys per nine innings instead of 17. He'd still be better than anyone the Reds have, with all due respect to Cueto and Latos." It may prove true, but we certainly have very little idea right now. Worst case is far worse than that.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 10:11 PM
His inning high is 125. He never started against big league hitters. As a starter in AAA, he really wasn't all that hot. As for spring training, he went 2 innings twice, 3 innings a couple of times, went 5 really good inings once. Of course those were line-ups filled with AA players and even when he went through a line-up a second time, it wasn't always the same hiitters he faced the first time.

He's completely untested as a starter against any type of competition that remotely approaches major league caliber. We know no more about Chapman's chances at success as a starter than we do Daniel Corcino's or Kyle Lotzkar's. We certainly don't know that "worst case scenario maybe Chapman as a starter strikes out 10-12 guys per nine innings instead of 17. He'd still be better than anyone the Reds have, with all due respect to Cueto and Latos." It may prove true, but we certainly have very little idea right now. Worst case is far worse than that.

Guys with his talent that have been starters all their lives don't fall of the face of the earth with their production. This isn't a guy that projected as only a reliever. I understand a small bit of skepticism. But only a healthy dose. The doomsday thinking if he were to be converted full-time seems to be unfounded.

He started 13 games in AAA in 2010, and struck out about 12 batters per nine innings. He did struggle with his control, but that wasn't just a starting issue but rather an issue he'd been struggling with in Cincinnati as a reliever as well. Those issues seem like they're behind him.

If a guy can strike out 12/9 in Louisville in his first season as a pro, that seems like a great indication he'll do fine as a starter.

mth123
08-14-2012, 10:19 PM
Guys with his talent that have been starters all their lives don't fall of the face of the earth with their production. This isn't a guy that projected as only a reliever. I understand a small bit of skepticism. But only a healthy dose. The doomsday thinking if he were to be converted full-time seems to be unfounded.

He started 13 games in AAA in 2010, and struck out about 12 batters per nine innings. He did struggle with his control, but that wasn't just a starting issue but rather an issue he'd been struggling with in Cincinnati as a reliever as well. Those issues seem like they're behind him.

If a guy can strike out 12/9 in Louisville in his first season as a pro, that seems like a great indication he'll do fine as a starter.

Its not doomsday thinking. I'm not saying he's certain to fail. I'm saying its not automatic that he'll be any good. I'm saying he's a question mark as a starter not some one who is a certainty to have 12 K per 9 and be the best starter we have. He'd be a question mark next year in a spot where we don't have a question mark now. It would also turn the job he's doing now from Cy Young candidate into a question mark. The Reds are trying to win. The idea of creating more question marks on purpose seems nutty to me.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 10:20 PM
Its not doomsday thinking. I'm not saying he's certain to fail. I'm saying its not automatic that he'll be any good. I'm saying he's a question mark as a starter not some one who is a certainty to have 12 K per 9 and be the best starter we have. He'd be a question mark next year in a spot where we don't have a question mark now. It would also turn the job he's doing now from Cy Young candidate into a question mark. The Reds are trying to win. The idea of creating more question marks on purpose seems nutty to me.

With his talent, I think it's a near-automatic he'll be good. It remains to be seen if he'll be great. But someone with his talent... there's just very little chance he wouldn't be a plus starter.

mth123
08-14-2012, 10:22 PM
With his talent, I think it's a near-automatic he'll be good. It remains to be seen if he'll be great. But someone with his talent... there's just very little chance he wouldn't be a plus starter.

Nothing's automatic.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 10:23 PM
Nothing's automatic.

Which is why I said "near"

I really don't understand the issue. If he doesn't work out or if the Reds' bullpen truly suffers (which I seriously doubt both), they can move him back rather easily. It's not a hard transition to move him back to the pen if necessary.

So really, I don't understand what the harm is in trying.

mth123
08-14-2012, 10:30 PM
Which is why I said "near"

I really don't understand the issue. If he doesn't work out or if the Reds' bullpen truly suffers (which I seriously doubt both), they can move him back rather easily. It's not a hard transition to move him back to the pen if necessary.

So really, I don't understand what the harm is in trying.

So, in the try it and if he sucks move him back to the pen scenario, you make a rotation spot for him by dealing off Leake or Bailey. You dig a hole for the team by suffering through half a season to see how it goes and when you decide to move him back to the pen you have a hole in the rotation and no one to fill it. Yeah. No harm in that at all. If you think "trying it" is a risk free move, you're deluding yourself.

757690
08-14-2012, 10:33 PM
Its not doomsday thinking. I'm not saying he's certain to fail. I'm saying its not automatic that he'll be any good. I'm saying he's a question mark as a starter not some one who is a certainty to have 12 K per 9 and be the best starter we have. He'd be a question mark next year in a spot where we don't have a question mark now. It would also turn the job he's doing now from Cy Young candidate into a question mark. The Reds are trying to win. The idea of creating more question marks on purpose seems nutty to me.

He's not a complete question mark. Everyone knows his skill level right now, and it's elite. We know he has the stamina to pitch deep into games, we just don't know how effective he will be. Will he maintain the same control? Will he be able to work in off speed pitches more? It's not like he will turn into Jimmy Anderson if he becomes a starter.

The worst pitcher I can remember who threw close to as hard as Chapman is Bobby Witt. He could hit triple digits, but had no control. I think that's Chapman's floor. And while Witt was a disappointment, he was roughly a league average starter for most of his career.

757690
08-14-2012, 10:35 PM
So, in the try it and if he sucks move him back to the pen scenario, you make a rotation spot for him by dealing off Leake or Bailey. You dig a hole for the team by suffering through half a season to see how it goes and when you decide to move him back to the pen you have a hole in the rotation and no one to fill it. Yeah. No harm in that at all. If you think "trying it" is a risk free move, you're deluding yourself.

Absolutely no need to trade any starter if they move Chapman to the rotation. Who wouldn't want to go into spring training with six options for the rotation?

mth123
08-14-2012, 10:36 PM
He's not a complete question mark. Everyone knows his skill level right now, and it's elite. We know he has the stamina to pitch deep into games, we just don't know how effective he will be. Will he maintain the same control? Will he be able to work in off speed pitches more? It's not like he will turn into Jimmy Anderson if he becomes a starter.

The worst pitcher I can remember who threw close to as hard as Chapman is Bobby Witt. He could hit triple digits, but had no control. I think that's Chapman's floor. And while Witt was a disappointment, he was roughly a league average starter for most of his career.

I'm glad you're so confident. I don't think we have any idea how he'd do against big league hitters beyond 3 innings or so.

mth123
08-14-2012, 10:41 PM
Absolutely no need to trade any starter if they move Chapman to the rotation. Who wouldn't want to go into spring training with six options for the rotation?

They aren't going to arb with Bailey or Leake for them to be long relievers. They may keep them going into spring. I can't see them keeping one in the pen during the season.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 10:43 PM
So, in the try it and if he sucks move him back to the pen scenario, you make a rotation spot for him by dealing off Leake or Bailey. You dig a hole for the team by suffering through half a season to see how it goes and when you decide to move him back to the pen you have a hole in the rotation and no one to fill it. Yeah. No harm in that at all. If you think "trying it" is a risk free move, you're deluding yourself.

I can honestly say there's no delusion in saying a guy with his talent isn't going to "suck" as a starter.

He might or might not be Randy Johnson, but a guy that is nearly unhittable at times, who has already had brief success in striking guys out at AAA, isn't going to fall flat on his face. The guy is putting down 17 guys per nine innings. If anyone thinks he's suddenly going to find problems getting guys out as a starter on any worrisome basis... I think that's the real delusion.

I concede he might not be RJ. But there's not a lot of risk. And again, I didn't say "no risk," just not much. Certainly not enough to not to give it a shot.

As Teddy Roosevelt said... at least if they fail, they fail greatly so their place shall not be with the cold, dead souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

mth123
08-14-2012, 10:48 PM
I can honestly say there's no delusion in saying a guy with his talent isn't going to "suck" as a starter.

He might or might not be Randy Johnson, but a guy that is nearly unhittable at times, who has already had brief success in striking guys out at AAA, isn't going to fall flat on his face. The guy is putting down 17 guys per nine innings. If anyone thinks he's suddenly going to find problems getting guys out as a starter on any worrisome basis... I think that's the real delusion.

I concede he might not be RJ. But there's not a lot of risk. And again, I didn't say "no risk," just not much. Certainly not enough to not to give it a shot.

As Teddy Roosevelt said... at least if they fail, they fail greatly so their place shall not be with the cold, dead souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

I root for the Reds. Let some other team's souls be cold and dead.

I'm in my 50's. This little run of really good teams may last five years or so, but history shows it may be the last period like this in my lifetime once we wait another 20 years for good teams to come back around to Cincy. I don't want them to squander a season by "trying it."

Kc61
08-14-2012, 10:50 PM
Can't believe we are still debating this but it is an important decision.

I think Chapman will continue to close games for the indefinite future - unless the Reds somehow stumble upon another top closer.

This ballclub under this management will not just stick some guy in the closer spot. They view closer as critical.

Unless someone very good comes along, Chapman will close. Particularly with Cueto and Latos leading the rotation so well.

As long as he is on the team pitching often, I'm happy. Some wanted him in the minors this year.

Chip R
08-14-2012, 10:57 PM
Some wanted him in the minors this year.

To be fair, the "some" wanted him in the minors to stretch him out to be a starter. I don't know anyone who wanted him down there because he wasn't good enough to make the club.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 10:58 PM
Can't believe we are still debating this but it is an important decision.

I think Chapman will continue to close games for the indefinite future - unless the Reds somehow stumble upon another top closer.

This ballclub under this management will not just stick some guy in the closer spot. They view closer as critical.

Unless someone very good comes along, Chapman will close. Particularly with Cueto and Latos leading the rotation so well.

As long as he is on the team pitching often, I'm happy. Some wanted him in the minors this year.

The only reason he was the closer this year is because Ryan Madson got hurt. That's it. Otherwise, he'd have been a starter. That doesn't mean it's a guarantee they'll move him back, but they've given every indication it's still in the plans.

Kc61
08-14-2012, 11:19 PM
The only reason he was the closer this year is because Ryan Madson got hurt. That's it. Otherwise, he'd have been a starter. That doesn't mean it's a guarantee they'll move him back, but they've given every indication it's still in the plans.

However Chapman became a closer, and whatever the Reds said earlier in the season, things have changed.

He has become the most dominant closer in baseball. That's an important new piece of information.

I don't know what they will do, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Brutus
08-14-2012, 11:27 PM
However Chapman became a closer, and whatever the Reds said earlier in the season, things have changed.

He has become the most dominant closer in baseball. That's an important new piece of information.

I don't know what they will do, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

They've said probably a half a dozen times throughout the season the plan is still to have him start long-term. So it's not really new information.

They're certainly not going to make a change during the year, but after the year, all bets are off.

Kc61
08-14-2012, 11:35 PM
They've said probably a half a dozen times throughout the season the plan is still to have him start long-term. So it's not really new information.

They're certainly not going to make a change during the year, but after the year, all bets are off.

I heard and read the Reds statements. They did say they intend him to start. They said it several times. But they said it earlier in the season to my knowledge. Haven't heard it lately.

The guy is now the most dominant closer in baseball. That is new information. It could change their view.

The Reds probably don't know themselves at this point how they will handle him next year. If you think it is in granite that he will start, I disagree. If I were to guess, he'll probably close again unless another top closer is acquired. Just a guess.

AtomicDumpling
08-15-2012, 04:28 AM
I imagine if you asked the opposing hitters if they would rather bat off Chapman for one inning or seven innings they would say one.

I don't think Chapman will lose much velocity at all by moving into the rotation. His mechanics are sound and he does not exert that much effort to reach triple digits. He shouldn't need to throw a ton of pitches to go deep into a game. He doesn't need to nibble at the corners or trick hitters into swinging at balls. He can live in the strike zone and dare the hitters to hit it. If he were a max-effort hurler who wears out after a few pitches he should stay in the bullpen, but Aroldis doesn't see any drop in velocity during long innings. In fact he seems to throw harder to each successive hitter.

I also think being in the rotation would lessen the risks of arm injury for Chapman. Getting four or five solid days of rest between starts will be much better for him than pitching several times a week.

Aroldis Chapman has a rare special arm that is going to be fantastic in any role, so the Reds should maximize the return on their investment by getting 200 innings out of him rather than 75.

redsfandan
08-15-2012, 07:08 AM
I hadn't read all the pages of posts so I don't know who else is against the idea. I know Kc61 would like nothing to change. But, he's always placed ALOT of value on the bullpen. And that's fine. But, mth your opinion has surprised me. It's almost like you're afraid of the Reds just taking a chance to see if Chapman can make the switch. You don't want them to chance it cuz you're afraid of 'dire consequences'. And when you say that the Reds only have 5 years to compete and you don't think they'll get another chance to compete (after those 5 years) in your lifetime so you don't them to squander a season by trying it .... well I sure hope your health is better than that. Your posts the last few pages scream pessimism to me. I didn't think you had that in ya. I hope everything is ok with you but I really don't see a reason to be so down on things.

I think you're really REALLY overstating the risks by letting Chapman try to make the switch. Is there any good reason why he can't pitch as a starter in the minors for most of the year before a final decision is made regarding the Reds rotation? I know one reason why a few wouldn't want that. Cuz he's such a weapon in the bullpen and how the heck could we ever find another closer that's even just 'good'. Find another guy that can do the job? No, that could never happen. But, it could. And Chapman could pitch in the minors without affecting the Reds rotation. (Why he would go straight into the Reds rotation is beyond me.)

And thinking that the Reds only have a few seasons to compete makes me think that the last few decades of the Reds have made ya really jaded. Kinda sad considering that the way the Reds present and future looks you can't just sit back and enjoy things. You're too nervous that it will all fall apart.

You don't have to be so afraid Chicken Little. There IS a chance that Chapman can make the switch. There's also a chance that it actually WON'T be the end of the world if he doesn't. And, yes, there's also a chance that the Reds CAN be successful for more than a few more years.

I think it would be interesting if the switch never happens while he's with the Reds. I could see him leaving here, become a good starter somewhere else, and then some RedsZoners say 'Yes, he's made it but the Reds still made the right move by not converting him'. All people are saying is 'let's give him a chance' with the response being primarily paranoia. Oh well, hopefully the Reds make the right decision.

Hoosier Red
08-15-2012, 08:26 AM
Can't speak for mth, but my only concern with moving him to the rotation next year is due to the lack of depth in arms in the upper levels of the minors.

Because moving him to the rotation would necessitate sending off Leake or Bailey, the fall back plan in case Chapman is not as good as expected is a little bit more tenuous.

The one thing I agree with Brutus on though is that I don't forsee a lot of scenarios in which Chapman comes in and is actually worse than the Mike Leake is right now.

So worst case scenario imo is that the starting pitching is no different but the bullpen is substantially worse. I think they can work to fill whatever holes pop up in the bullpen to offset the chance that Chapman is in fact a top of the rotation starter.

redsfandan
08-15-2012, 05:55 PM
Can't speak for mth, but my only concern with moving him to the rotation next year is due to the lack of depth in arms in the upper levels of the minors.

Because moving him to the rotation would necessitate sending off Leake or Bailey, the fall back plan in case Chapman is not as good as expected is a little bit more tenuous.


Except that doesn't need to be a concern. Chapman could spend most of 2013 in the minors as a starter but would also be available as a 6th starter for the Reds. If Chapman does make the transition to being a starter he's going to need some more starts in the minors first. And he probably wouldn't be any worse than who we have as a 6th starter now.

IF, at the end of 2013, the Reds feel comfortable moving him into the 2014 rotation that's when they make the decision whose spot he'd take. So, not only would the Reds be able to give Chapman a real shot at becoming a major league starter but the Reds starting pitching depth would be improved since Chapman would be an option as the 6th starter. In 2014 some of the minor league starting pitchers will be alot closer to helping the Reds. So, the depth would be improved in both 2013 and 2014.

To me, the only real question is who would be the closer. I know some wouldn't be happy cuz anyone else would be a 'downgrade'. But, a playoff team doesn't need a Chapman type as a closer.

cincrazy
08-15-2012, 06:09 PM
I lean towards wanting Chapman to stay in the pen. Because the pen is such an incredible strength. But then I think "Cueto, Latos, Chapman. My God." Best top 3 in baseball?

mth123
08-15-2012, 08:49 PM
I hadn't read all the pages of posts so I don't know who else is against the idea. I know Kc61 would like nothing to change. But, he's always placed ALOT of value on the bullpen. And that's fine. But, mth your opinion has surprised me. It's almost like you're afraid of the Reds just taking a chance to see if Chapman can make the switch. You don't want them to chance it cuz you're afraid of 'dire consequences'. And when you say that the Reds only have 5 years to compete and you don't think they'll get another chance to compete (after those 5 years) in your lifetime so you don't them to squander a season by trying it .... well I sure hope your health is better than that. Your posts the last few pages scream pessimism to me. I didn't think you had that in ya. I hope everything is ok with you but I really don't see a reason to be so down on things.

I think you're really REALLY overstating the risks by letting Chapman try to make the switch. Is there any good reason why he can't pitch as a starter in the minors for most of the year before a final decision is made regarding the Reds rotation? I know one reason why a few wouldn't want that. Cuz he's such a weapon in the bullpen and how the heck could we ever find another closer that's even just 'good'. Find another guy that can do the job? No, that could never happen. But, it could. And Chapman could pitch in the minors without affecting the Reds rotation. (Why he would go straight into the Reds rotation is beyond me.)

And thinking that the Reds only have a few seasons to compete makes me think that the last few decades of the Reds have made ya really jaded. Kinda sad considering that the way the Reds present and future looks you can't just sit back and enjoy things. You're too nervous that it will all fall apart.

You don't have to be so afraid Chicken Little. There IS a chance that Chapman can make the switch. There's also a chance that it actually WON'T be the end of the world if he doesn't. And, yes, there's also a chance that the Reds CAN be successful for more than a few more years.

I think it would be interesting if the switch never happens while he's with the Reds. I could see him leaving here, become a good starter somewhere else, and then some RedsZoners say 'Yes, he's made it but the Reds still made the right move by not converting him'. All people are saying is 'let's give him a chance' with the response being primarily paranoia. Oh well, hopefully the Reds make the right decision.

Lets see. The Reds won the WS in 1919. They didn't make it again for 20 years and it was 21 before they won. 21 years later they made it to the series and lost. It was 9 more years before appearing again and they didn't win until 1975, a full 35 years since they won in 1940. That was the BRM era, so they did play in the series in 70, 72, 75 and 76, but it was another 14 years before winning again. Now we're on 22 years and counting. We're now in the Votto/Phillips/Cueto/Bruce era and have a pretty good chance to win for a few years. But history shows that when this team is mostly broken up by 2017, it could be a lot of lean years before winning comes around again. By then I (and many others on here) will be in my late 50s or older. If we go another 20+ years that age group will be hovering around 80 or so. I think its fairly safe to say that these are probably the best Reds teams we'll (meaning that age group) see for the rest of our lives. Savor these seasons and don't punt any of them by experimenting.

Wonderful Monds
08-15-2012, 08:58 PM
Except that doesn't need to be a concern. Chapman could spend most of 2013 in the minors as a starter but would also be available as a 6th starter for the Reds. If Chapman does make the transition to being a starter he's going to need some more starts in the minors first. And he probably wouldn't be any worse than who we have as a 6th starter now.

IF, at the end of 2013, the Reds feel comfortable moving him into the 2014 rotation that's when they make the decision whose spot he'd take. So, not only would the Reds be able to give Chapman a real shot at becoming a major league starter but the Reds starting pitching depth would be improved since Chapman would be an option as the 6th starter. In 2014 some of the minor league starting pitchers will be alot closer to helping the Reds. So, the depth would be improved in both 2013 and 2014.

To me, the only real question is who would be the closer. I know some wouldn't be happy cuz anyone else would be a 'downgrade'. But, a playoff team doesn't need a Chapman type as a closer.

There isn't even the remote chance that Aroldis Chapman spends time in the minors next year.

WebScorpion
08-16-2012, 05:46 AM
I would trade the best closer in the game for the best starter in the game. But would I trade the best closer in the game for a CHANCE at the best starter in the game. That's the real question. Let's just say I'd take the gamble if I had Ryan Madson as my backup closer. ;)

redsfandan
08-16-2012, 06:15 AM
There isn't even the remote chance that Aroldis Chapman spends time in the minors next year.

Well, I would be surprised if Chapman started the transition without making anymore starts in the minors. So, if some minor league starts were part of the transition would you vote against it? I wouldn't.

mth123
08-16-2012, 06:29 AM
Well, I would be surprised if Chapman started the transition without making anymore starts in the minors. So, if some minor league starts were part of the transition would you vote against it? I wouldn't.

You wouldn't, but the Reds won't ask the guy who is a potetial Cy Young this year to spend time in the minors other than on a rehab assignment. Frankly, if I was Chapman, and the Reds came to me and said "we want you to go to AAA for a couple months (delaying Arb and maybe Free agency by a season and whittling service time toward the pension away) to convert to starting," after the historic season in 2012, I'd tell them to stick it and that I'd rather stay in the closer's role. If they want to convert him, it will be in the big league rotation IMO. It will be an experiment in a live environment of major league games that will have a direct impact on the team's record not "back in the the lab" at AAA.

redsfandan
08-16-2012, 06:50 AM
You wouldn't, but the Reds won't ask the guy who is a potetial Cy Young this year to spend time in the minors other than on a rehab assignment. Frankly, if I was Chapman, and the Reds came to me and said "we want you to go to AAA for a couple months (delaying Arb and maybe Free agency by a season and whittling service time toward the pension away) to convert to starting," after the historic season in 2012, I'd tell them to stick it and that I'd rather stay in the closer's role. If they want to convert him, it will be in the big league rotation IMO. It will be an experiment in a live environment of major league games that will have a direct impact on the team's record not "back in the the lab" at AAA.

I don't believe that's a sure thing. Gotta remember, while his agent might not want him to go down to the minors, if his agent is smart he'll realize how much more money Chapman can make if he's a starter. Giving him some minor league starts would just be a safer way to do it.

Kc61
08-16-2012, 09:52 AM
[QUOTE=redsfandan;2703805]I hadn't read all the pages of posts so I don't know who else is against the idea. I know Kc61 would like nothing to change. But, he's always placed ALOT of value on the bullpen. And that's fine. QUOTE]

Correct, I do feel that bullpens are critical and I wouldn't mind Aroldis closing. However, before this season, I favored Aroldis starting over relieving. But in the major leagues. The one thing I strongly opposed was Chapman in the minors this year.

We may be forgetting that the Reds are more focused on the team than on maximizing an individual's personal achievements. Often they are the same. Sometimes not.

I think the Reds will look at the ballclub this winter, its opportunities to acquire guys, the whole picture, the Madson situation, and will see where Chappy fits in best. If Madson had stayed healthy Aroldis would have started this year. Without Madson he closed.

The objective was the team, not Chapman as an individual.

IMO Chapman is the MVP of the ballclub. Making him closer was the key to this season. IMO the Reds bullpen is nothing special without Chapman. One high end guy, Marshall. Zero top tier late inning righties. Masset had a 1.5 plus WHIP last year, he is no closer and was iffy in the late innings sometimes in 2010 and throughout 2011.

I read a quote from Dusty in the new Baseball America saying we'll decide about next year when next year comes. I do believe that is the answer. They'll see the team needs, consider Aroldis' views to some extent, and decide.

Meanwhile, Aroldis is rested and ready for the next game.

RedFanAlways1966
08-16-2012, 10:33 AM
I would trade the best closer in the game for the best starter in the game.

Me... I'd trade the best closer in the game for the 15th best starter in the game! 18 to 27 outs every 5 games are more important to me than 3 to 9 outs every 5 games.

Spin it any way ya want folks, but each out is as important as the other. 1st out and 27th out. Sure out #27 wins the game, but that opportunity may not be there if out #1 comes after the other team bats around. That seems easy to understand. It is a luxury to have a guy who can drive that last nail in the coffin 95% or more of the time. But 19 out of 20 saves is 95% and does not mean crap if that is over 162 games (20 opportunities in 162 games for those who will not get it).

There are 135 outs in 5 games if those games go a full 9 innings. 18 outs (low end for a starter) is 9.2% of all outs. 12 outs (extreme high end for a closer) is 6.1%. No way to spin that. An out is an out. Each and every one of them important. Hence, most closers seem to default to that role. Like Chapman for peculiar circumstances... injury by Madson took him to the BP and fail by Marshall to the closer role. Most are not trained and developed for that role. Lets not go LaRussa here and try to re-invent the game.

Kc61
08-16-2012, 11:51 AM
Me... I'd trade the best closer in the game for the 15th best starter in the game! 18 to 27 outs every 5 games are more important to me than 3 to 9 outs every 5 games.

Spin it any way ya want folks, but each out is as important as the other. 1st out and 27th out. Sure out #27 wins the game, but that opportunity may not be there if out #1 comes after the other team bats around. That seems easy to understand. It is a luxury to have a guy who can drive that last nail in the coffin 95% or more of the time. But 19 out of 20 saves is 95% and does not mean crap if that is over 162 games (20 opportunities in 162 games for those who will not get it).

There are 135 outs in 5 games if those games go a full 9 innings. 18 outs (low end for a starter) is 9.2% of all outs. 12 outs (extreme high end for a closer) is 6.1%. No way to spin that. An out is an out. Each and every one of them important. Hence, most closers seem to default to that role. Like Chapman for peculiar circumstances... injury by Madson took him to the BP and fail by Marshall to the closer role. Most are not trained and developed for that role. Lets not go LaRussa here and try to re-invent the game.

This post signifies why they make different flavors of ice cream. Some like chocolate, some like vanilla.

Well said, excellent expression of your point of view.

I disagree with virtually every word, LOL.

medford
08-16-2012, 12:29 PM
I don't think anyone is arguing that they wouldn't trade Chapman of today for Randy Johnson in his prime. That's a no brainer for everyone. What people are essentially arguing is the risk that Chapman as a closer becomes Kyle Lohse as a starter. Brillant at times, knucklehead at other times.

RedsManRick
08-16-2012, 12:47 PM
I don't think anyone is arguing that they wouldn't trade Chapman of today for Randy Johnson in his prime. That's a no brainer for everyone. What people are essentially arguing is the risk that Chapman as a closer becomes Kyle Lohse as a starter. Brillant at times, knucklehead at other times.

They aren't only arguing that; I think everybody recognizes that possibility. The crux of the disagreement is around two things: the risk that he'd never be able to return to his level of performance as a closer and the value of the closer position itself.

Though I think people sometimes forget that Chapman was a starter his whole life up until the Reds moved him to the pen and that the Reds were committed to using him as a starter this year until Madson got hurt. When he was blowing people away in Cuba, it was as a starter. That obviously doesn't imply he'll necessarily be a great MLB starter. But it does suggest that:

1. He can maintain effective stuff as a starter
2. If he needs to transition back to the bullpen, it's something he can do

PuffyPig
08-16-2012, 12:48 PM
I'm not sure where a pitcher like Latos ranks in todays game, but I would trade present day Chapman for a present day Latos.

I also think that starters are way more valuable then closers, and I think there is enough risk that Chapman cannot become a better starter than Latos (who I think is a great starter) that I would chose Latos.

RedFanAlways1966
08-16-2012, 02:07 PM
This post signifies why they make different flavors of ice cream. Some like chocolate, some like vanilla.

Well said, excellent expression of your point of view.

I disagree with virtually every word, LOL.

Thx, Kc. Nothing wrong with disagreement... esp. w/ tact. We can all learn from that. A lot never do. But "they" like us are the same as us... keyboard GMs/managers.

Nathan
08-17-2012, 11:04 PM
Well, I would be surprised if Chapman started the transition without making anymore starts in the minors. So, if some minor league starts were part of the transition would you vote against it? I wouldn't.

Not necessarily-Spring Training.

oregonred
08-18-2012, 12:25 AM
7 pitch effortless 9th for Chapman. Three easy ground balls and no K's tonight. What a bum...

cincinnati chili
08-18-2012, 01:56 AM
I guess I think of the old argument "how valuable are you on a sub .500 team"? I'd say Gio Gonzalez is more valuable to the best-record-MLB Nats than Dickey is to the losing Mets. Which leads to another "unknown"... the definition of VALUABLE in this case. Of course Dickey gets "bonus points" b/c he is old and throws the whacky knucleball. Not to take away from an incredible season that he has had and obviously is deserving (just referring to the "valuable" thing).

If you subscribe to the theory - which I do - that the best payers of the 21st century have only contributed 11 wins above replacement in a single season, then I don't understand why a team's record should have any effect on the calculation of a player's value.

A player has control over whether or not he is valuable. His teammates, manager, and front office determine whether or not his value makes any difference.

redsfandan
08-18-2012, 02:22 AM
Not necessarily-Spring Training.

And that's it? Just give him spring training to get acclimated to being a major league starting pitcher and then put him in the rotation?

Nathan
08-18-2012, 03:52 AM
And that's it? Just give him spring training to get acclimated to being a major league starting pitcher and then put him in the rotation?

If we're going the route of making him a starter, sure. It seems they were pretty much set on doing that at the beginning of this year anyhow. What difference does it make whether he's "stretching out" into a starter in AAA or MLB? The only effect it will probably have is potentially on the number of bullpen innings early on in the season.

redsfandan
08-18-2012, 10:57 AM
If we're going the route of making him a starter, sure. It seems they were pretty much set on doing that at the beginning of this year anyhow. What difference does it make whether he's "stretching out" into a starter in AAA or MLB? The only effect it will probably have is potentially on the number of bullpen innings early on in the season.

Maybe it's just me but it seems that if he's going to be a starter it might be a good idea for him to work on his secondary pitches. Giving him some minor league starts would be the best way to do that.

BCubb2003
08-18-2012, 11:11 AM
If Chapman was ready to be a starter after spring training this year, he ought to be ready after another spring training. His growth from a blazingly hard thrower with control issues to a historically dominating closer shouldn't be a setback as a starter. He's obviously matured as a pitcher.

redsfandan
08-18-2012, 11:15 AM
If Chapman was ready to be a starter after spring training this year, he ought to be ready after another spring training. His growth from a blazingly hard thrower with control issues to a historically dominating closer shouldn't be a setback as a starter. He's obviously matured as a pitcher.

How would that be a setback?

BCubb2003
08-18-2012, 11:43 AM
How would that be a setback?

I agree, but there seems to be an undercurrent that the better he gets as a closer, the worse he'll be as a starter. I think he's a much more mature pitcher in general now, and that can only help him as a starter.

redsfandan
08-18-2012, 11:56 AM
I agree, but there seems to be an undercurrent that the better he gets as a closer, the worse he'll be as a starter. I think he's a much more mature pitcher in general now, and that can only help him as a starter.

Might be now that he's not just a good reliever or a good closer but an elite closer that the fall would be steeper if he doesn't succeed as a starter.

The guy has improved alot as a pitcher and that should help but the secondary pitches are what I'm most concerned about. They matter alot more when you're starting games.

powersackers
08-18-2012, 12:01 PM
Chapman will not spend another day in the minor leagues unless on rehab.

wally post
08-18-2012, 12:18 PM
I think the biggest factor in this may be Chapman himself. If he continues this banner year, he may well tell the Reds he wants to remain a closer. Maybe he enjoys being the best and fastest gunslinger in baseball. If he tells them emphatically that he wants to start then I think the Reds will have to seriously consider that.
Personally, I think it either role is fine so long as he excels in it. My only concern is arm trouble, which could happen in either role really, but switching to starting might put more straqin on his arm as he develops more pitches. ??

cincrazy
08-18-2012, 12:41 PM
I think Chapman's two pitches are so good that he might not NEED secondary pitches to be dominant. See, Johnson, Randy.

camisadelgolf
08-28-2012, 02:44 AM
Chapman set a franchise record by converting 24 consecutive save opportunities. For the 4th time out of 59 outings this season, he didn't record a strikeout. 3 of those outings have been since August 17th.

CTA513
08-28-2012, 03:42 AM
Chapman set a franchise record by converting 24 consecutive save opportunities. For the 4th time out of 59 outings this season, he didn't record a strikeout. 3 of those outings have been since August 17th.

Hes been reading up on this pitching to contact stuff.

;)

RedFanAlways1966
08-28-2012, 08:06 AM
For the 4th time out of 59 outings this season, he didn't record a strikeout. 3 of those outings have been since August 17th.

Funny thing related to this... I feeled bummed out when this happens. Even when he ONLY records one K in an inning it makes me feel a bit down.

Am I a spoiled fan? Why do I feel that he is less than stellar when this happens? Yea, yea... REDS win b/c he got 3 men out. But he did not strikeout anyone or only struck out 1 guy. Bad game for Champan (lol). And I do not feel as "good" about the win as I do when he fans 2 or 3 guys.

This pitcher has caused me to have what I perceive to be a WWE/WWF mentality. I do not want the standard pin to end the match. I want my man to bring in a chair, table, the opposing manager's body, a height-challeneged person and the whole 9 yards before that final blow puts the nail into the coffin.

I guess there are bigger problems to have (Graves/Cordero/Marshall/etc). :)

traderumor
08-28-2012, 09:46 AM
The strikeouts turn into extended at-bats, so I like the easy outs on weak contact every once in awhile.

mdccclxix
09-05-2012, 10:05 AM
http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/28582/why-i-cant-vote-aroldis-chapman-for-cy#comments

This guy doesn't think he's CY worthy, which makes some sense since he's not on pace to break the K rate anymore. I think that's the requisite that gets him consideration. Pick it up Chapman ya slacker!

paulrichjr
09-11-2012, 08:45 AM
Don't look now but given the track record the Reds have with NOT being concerned about an injury, what happens when they are concerned?

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/09/11/chapman-has-the-reds-concerned/#comments


“(There’s concern) because he velocity is down,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He has no pain. The doctor analyzed him. He might have some shoulder fatigue. We’ve got to take care of it.”

lollipopcurve
09-11-2012, 08:59 AM
Folks, Chapman Crossroads straight ahead.

Lights out closer, but it may be a mistake to keep him in that role past this year. For all we know, he may be fried for the rest of 2012.

Some good arms in the back of the pen -- no excuse not to mix and match the back end for a couple weeks while they assess what's going on with Aroldis. They should assume he's done for the year -- and then if he bounces back, it's gravy. But this is not an arm you sacrifice on the altar of the 2012 postseason.

LoganBuck
09-11-2012, 09:35 AM
His delivery looks different. Hard to describe but it doesn't look like he is driving towards the plate in the same manner. He is more upright.

lollipopcurve
09-11-2012, 09:39 AM
His delivery looks different. Hard to describe but it doesn't look like he is driving towards the plate in the same manner. He is more upright.

Yes -- he looks a tad tentative. Not a good sign. No more "running him back out there" as if it's just normal fatigue.

cumberlandreds
09-11-2012, 09:40 AM
His delivery looks different. Hard to describe but it doesn't look like he is driving towards the plate in the same manner. He is more upright.

I was listening to the game before I drifted off to sleep last night. Brantley was saying the same thing. He thinks its more mechanics than anything. After Price visited the mound his velocity went up to 96 or 97. That sorta tells me it is a mechanics issue. I hope so anyway.

Sea Ray
09-11-2012, 09:45 AM
If it is shoulder fatigue then they ought to shut him down for two weeks. Throwing as hard as he does is going to tend to fatigue a few things so this isn't totally unexpected.

bucksfan2
09-11-2012, 09:53 AM
Chapman looks tired. But this may be a blessing in disguise. He is having to use other pitches to get batters out. He isn't able to blow hitters away so he is forced to throw his slider/curve a little more. He is hittable but when it gets fixed that breaking pitch may just be better.

Jefferson24
09-11-2012, 09:55 AM
Sounds like dead arm. Have him rest a few weeks, bring him back the last week of the season to get back into a groove. Problem solved.

lollipopcurve
09-11-2012, 10:10 AM
Have him rest a few weeks, bring him back the last week of the season to get back into a groove. Problem solved.

Don't skip the MRI.

klw
09-11-2012, 10:18 AM
Francisco Cordero was just released. The Reds could snap him up and put him back in the closer's role. No Redszone members heads would explode. ;)

Jefferson24
09-11-2012, 10:27 AM
Don't skip the MRI.

good idea, what can it hurt?

RedEye
09-17-2012, 12:59 PM
Despite the "dead arm" issue, it's clear that Aroldis has put up one of the strongest season's in the history of his position. Here (http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=1992&ind=1&team=0&rost=0&age=14,58&filter=&players=0) is Fangraphs' breakdown of the best RP seasons ever. Chapman and Kimbrel are both up there, especially when you look at their Kd9.

wolfboy
09-17-2012, 01:04 PM
Despite the "dead arm" issue, it's clear that Aroldis has put up one of the strongest season's in the history of his position. Here (http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=1992&ind=1&team=0&rost=0&age=14,58&filter=&players=0) is Fangraphs' breakdown of the best RP seasons ever. Chapman and Kimbrel are both up there, especially when you look at their Kd9.

Kimbrel. 2012. Wow.

cincinnati chili
09-19-2012, 12:45 AM
The fact that 1995 Curtis Leskanic made this list proves that WAR (which I like) has its imperfections.

camisadelgolf
09-19-2012, 03:26 AM
The fact that 1995 Curtis Leskanic made this list proves that WAR (which I like) has its imperfections.
To be fair, he had a great year in Coors Field during the steroid area. To put that in context, Vinny Castilla had an OPS of .911 (113 OPS+). This year, Troy Tulowitzki has an OPS+ of 111, and that's with an OPS of .846. Also, Leskanic led the league in appearances--many of which were for more than one inning at a time. I'm not saying WAR is the most accurate way of measuring his production that year, but I wouldn't be so quick to discredit it either.

IslandRed
09-19-2012, 02:48 PM
Saw this one on Grantland today:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8396450/aroldis-chapman-florida-marlins

More of a feature story than anything, but a good read.