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View Full Version : Time for the Chapman Poll



Benihana
11-01-2012, 03:01 PM
It's very simple: should Aroldis Chapman start?

No strings attached. You're in charge. Do you try to move him to the rotation this year?

Vottomatic
11-01-2012, 03:04 PM
I'm fine either way.

reds1869
11-01-2012, 03:05 PM
I'm ok with either option, which led me to vote to keep him as closer (bird in hand and what not).

dougdirt
11-01-2012, 03:16 PM
I went with starter. Simply because I fully believe that he can be moved back to a closer without much issue if he doesn't quite work as a starter. But you can't really wait any longer to try him as a starter and have him be of value in that role to the Reds, so there really is no "you can try the other option later" if you don't try it now.

Superdude
11-01-2012, 03:34 PM
If Price sees tangible progress and thinks Chapman's at least capable of being a competent starter next year, then yes he should start. If we're looking at a year of struggles and just hoping to hear the proverbial click at some point, then we're just trashing the best closer in baseball for no good reason.

I'm more of a believer now than I was this time last year. Chapman's still prone to uncork a wild one, but he progressed light years this season in terms of command. If his split-finger is a workable offspeed pitch, I'd be even more convinced.

thatcoolguy_22
11-01-2012, 03:36 PM
I said starter. If he fails (I don't think he will be nearly as successful as many here do) then you have a dominant closer again. At the end of a month or so fans can either say I told you so or I told you so. Maximize his potential. If he does succeed (sub 3 era) though, print WS tickets now.

Sidenote- he needs a 3rd pitch. fastball slider combo is nasty, but when hitters see him 3 times a game I imagine it will lose its effectiveness.

_Sir_Charles_
11-01-2012, 03:45 PM
I used to be very much in the "starter" group. I'm fine either way now I think. If we do move him to a starter, I start shopping one of the Leake/Corcino/Cingrani trio. Maybe 2 of them.

As for the closer if the change is made...I'm still fine with Marshall in that role. I thought they pulled the plug on him way too early last season IMO.

PuffyPig
11-01-2012, 03:51 PM
I think I comfortable leaving it in the hands of the people who gave him $30M.

None of us really know how he will respond as a starter. Presumably the Reds management has a better idea of that.

I can't vote with incomplete information.

edabbs44
11-01-2012, 03:52 PM
It's very simple: should Aroldis Chapman start?

No strings attached. You're in charge. Do you try to move him to the rotation this year?

Tough to contemplate "you're in charge". Is Broxton in the budget? Do they anticipate having money to get a replacement? What does the landscape look like?

bucksfan2
11-01-2012, 03:57 PM
I think a great bullpen is very underrated in today's game. Chapman makes the Reds pen great. You also have to factor in the added expense of signing another closer. Are the Reds better with Leake in the rotation, Chapman in the pen, and Ryan Ludwick or Pagan on the team? Or are they better with Chapman in the rotation, Leake gone, and paying $8M for Valverde or Broxton?

That said either way I really don't care.

mace
11-01-2012, 03:59 PM
I'm in the starter camp, but this uncertainty over his role has gotten me thinking in a different direction. At the risk of being hooted down, does anybody think that Chapman might be prime trade material? I say that because 1) as a closer he tended to come and go this year, and as great as he was most of the time you were often never really sure what you'd get, 2) as a starter, there are questions about his control, his repertoire and at least for the short term his endurance, 3) his value ought to be at a very high point, and 4) to me, there are uncertainties about his character/makeup. It's not just the legal stuff, but I sometimes question his focus and enthusiasm. It seems like the Reds have 24 guys who are really into the program, fired-up to do all they can do in the pursuit of a pennant, and then Chapman. If they would indeed get in discussions about the likes of David Wright, I'm not sure that I'd exclude Chapman from those talks. And I'm certainly not sure that the Reds could afford to deal anyone else of that caliber.

Plus Plus
11-01-2012, 04:02 PM
I think a great bullpen is very underrated in today's game. Chapman makes the Reds pen great. You also have to factor in the added expense of signing another closer. Are the Reds better with Leake in the rotation, Chapman in the pen, and Ryan Ludwick or Pagan on the team? Or are they better with Chapman in the rotation, Leake gone, and paying $8M for Valverde or Broxton?

That said either way I really don't care.

I truly agree with the bolded part particularly. And, furthermore, it isn't like the Reds are hurting in the SP department, especially with Corcino and Cingrani in the wings after a year of development.

Superdude
11-01-2012, 04:12 PM
I truly agree with the bolded part particularly. And, furthermore, it isn't like the Reds are hurting in the SP department, especially with Corcino and Cingrani in the wings after a year of development.

This is my biggest problem with the Chapman situation. There is no more valuable piece in baseball, especially in a short series in October, than a guy who can take the ball for seven or eight innings and win a game for you. It really should not matter how the back of the bullpen is shaping up or how much depth you have in the rotation IMO. If management believes Chapman can be that guy, then Bill Bray's groin, or Madson's elbow, or Broxton's contract shouldn't get in the way.

mbgrayson
11-01-2012, 04:15 PM
I voted to let him start. If he fails at this, he can go back to the pen. Of course this assumes that the Reds sign Jon Broxton or Ryan Madsen or someone else to help the back end of the bullpen.

Degenerate39
11-01-2012, 04:42 PM
Voted let him start but I'm fine with either situation. Just prefer to see him start

RichRed
11-01-2012, 04:51 PM
I think it would be a shame if we never found out how capable a starter he could be. Of course, if the Reds won a WS title or two with Chapman at closer, the "what if?" factor would be much less painful to contemplate.

I prefer to see what Chapman can do as a starter, though I feel comfortable leaving it up to Price to decide. He's earned a bit of trust, I think.

camisadelgolf
11-01-2012, 05:00 PM
Yup, give it a shot. If it's not working, put him back. And even if you're trying Chapman out in the rotation, I'm not worried about retaining Broxton or signing another reliever. Between Arredondo, Cingrani, Hoover, Leake, LeCure, Marshall, Masset, Ondrusek, Simon, etc. (plus minor league free agents destined for Louisville), I think we're covered. Use that money to sign an outfielder or two and upgrade the bench.

Tadasimha
11-01-2012, 06:12 PM
If he hadn't developed into such a great closer, I'd say go with giving him a shot as a starter. Since he did turn into such a dominant closer I say there's no way I'd want him to go back to trying to be a starter.

The plans espoused to just try it and then make him a closer if it doesn't work make no sense. We've already seen how his arm can get tired - how much more tired will his arm be later in the season after pitching longer outings through out the first part of the year if they do decide to move him back to a starter? What if the Reds find themselves without a reliable closer and we see multiple blown saves during the first half of the season? I wouldn't want them to fall out of contention early because their best closer is sitting on the bench waiting for his next start.

Chapman closes, period.

RedsManRick
11-01-2012, 07:18 PM
You'll never know if you don't try and given that he was always a starter until the Reds put him in the pen, the supposed risk is overstated.

The fear of the bullpen blowing leads is about emotion more than anything else. A game lost in the 5th inning when your starter implodes counts just as much as a collapse in the 9th. If he stinks at starting, fine, get him back to the bullpen. But to give up on the possibility that he's the next Randy Johnson would be foolish and myopic in my book.

edabbs44
11-01-2012, 08:08 PM
You'll never know if you don't try and given that he was always a starter until the Reds put him in the pen, the supposed risk is overstated.

The fear of the bullpen blowing leads is about emotion more than anything else. A game lost in the 5th inning when your starter implodes counts just as much as a collapse in the 9th. If he stinks at starting, fine, get him back to the bullpen. But to give up on the possibility that he's the next Randy Johnson would be foolish and myopic in my book.

Out of curiosity, how do you construct the bullpen when Aroldis starts the year in the rotation?

Superdude
11-01-2012, 09:06 PM
Out of curiosity, how do you construct the bullpen when Aroldis starts the year in the rotation?

I wouldn't give him a huge leash, but I'd be tempted to give Lecure a shot at closer. If he can do what he did the last few months of the season, I don't care what the radar gun says. Marshall would probably be fine if we gave him another chance, but he seemed a little sharper when he had regular work in the 7th and 8th.

RedsManRick
11-01-2012, 11:45 PM
Out of curiosity, how do you construct the bullpen when Aroldis starts the year in the rotation?

Based on the 40 man roster at it stands today:

CL: Alfredo Simon
SU: Sean Marshall
SU: J.J. Hoover
MR: Sam LeCure
MR: Nick Masset (assuming health)
MR: Bill Bray (assuming health)
LR: Jose Arredondo

No, it doesn't mean I think Simon is our best reliever. It means he's a good reliever but not the guy I want brought in to put out fires necessarily. Knowing how Dusty likes to manage (and how most managers do), the closer gets a lot of clean innings. The biggest thing for a closer, in my book, is simple solid peripherals and not being susceptible to the pressure created by the closer mythos. In terms of the other roles, it's just about leverage and getting out of jams. I could easily flip Masset and Hoover if one has been more effective or even use one as closer, but I don't really believe in dedicated setup men to begin with. I keep LeCure in middle relief because of his ability to go multiple innings in a close game if the pen is generally a bit overworked.

As you probably know, I think Ondrusek is insanely overrated in some parts around here. His reasonable ERAs, particularly over some stretches, are mostly a function of a very good defense and pitching partial innings where somebody else gets hit with the ER. Yes, he has flashes of dominance and can show good stuff. But all relievers do or they wouldn't be in the major leagues at all. He's not special. He doesn't miss bats. He has mediocre-at-best control. He gives up his share of HRs. He is your classic fungible reliever. Keep him in AAA or give him throwaway innings if you must. Let him go somewhere else. I don't care. Guys like him are a dime a dozen.

I've traded Homer or Leake for an OF who can find first base regularly, assuming the Reds don't do something crazy like go get David Wright. Cigrani is the #1 guy in Louisville and the first guy up to the rotation in case of injury. He stays a starter even if a bullpen spot opens up unless its a spot he's going to keep for the rest of the year. I don't want him being jerked around. Redmond and Villarreal on the other hand would also be AAA starters, but I'd be more willing to bring them up to fill a need.

Bottom line, I think we have an awful lot of pitching talent, easily enough to justify giving Chapman a solid opportunity to start. Even if neither Masset nor Bray comes back, I like the younger guys we have available -- even if he means Ondrusek has to be the long man, he's a low leverage guy anyways so that doesn't hurt you very much in terms of real world wins and losses.

Personally, I'd run a bullpen using a combination of new and old school.
- Give me a reliable, cool-headed type to close games out.
- Use my fireballers to pitch high leverage innings, particularly to get out of james.
- Make sure to have at least one guy who is extremely tough on lefties.
- Have one guy be your designated long man to save the rest of the pen when a starter gets knocked out early.

That pretty much takes care of it. Everybody still has a role. A lot is done based on situation and freshness.

RedEye
11-02-2012, 12:19 AM
I can't believe this is even close. Then again, I almost never understand when polls are close these days.

RedsManRick
11-02-2012, 12:28 AM
I can't believe this is even close. Then again, I almost never understand when polls are close these days.

Loss aversion is a powerful thing. Give people a 50/50 chance to win $11 at the cost of $10 and most wouldn't.

mth123
11-02-2012, 05:29 AM
I'm as intrigued as anyone by Chapman to the rotation. I also agree that he could probably move back to the pen if it fails. I'm less concerned about the effects on Chapman as I am on the effects on the team. Moving Chapman weakens the pen a lot. If he fails as a starter, it means we suffer through a significant portion of the season with a hole in the rotation and are left with trying to find some one to fill it if he moves back to the pen.

IMO, the Reds need to sign one reliever capable of closing or being a set-up guy while they give Hoover a shot. Masset looks a lot like burnt toast and so does Bray IMO. Simon is a 32 y/o journeyman who hasn't been good until 60 or so low leverage innings last year and could (and likely will) turn back into a pumpkin at any time. Arredondo is probably more maligned than he should be, but he has real issues with his control, is prone to explosions and probably is destined as a run of the mill middle innings guy (his effectiveness against LH Hitters is a plus). Marshall is very good, but he seemed to "spit the bit" when the game was put in his hands. He's very solid, but not the 9th inning guy IMO. I think Lecure could step up into a bigger role and hope he becomes more of a 7th and 8th inning guy than a long reliever. Ondrusek is an interchangeable 12th man on the staff IMO. I don't think they can take Chapman out of the pen without another late inning guy (and probably a second lefty). I'd be fine giving Hoover a shot to close, but want a guy with closing experience as a fall back who could also be a very solid guy for the 8th inning.

As far as the 5 existing starters, I'd keep them all. The Reds really need an alternative if Chapman fails. Even if Chapman is a success, the chances of all 5 starters making through the season without missing a start again is a long shot. Leake pitched poorly enough late in the year that a move to long relief should not be out of the question for him and I think he'd prove very valuable in that role and getting the likely double digit starts that he'd end up with. I don't see a reason to deal him to "make room" and certanly wouldn't deal Bailey unless overwhelmed by the return. So, keep the starters, bring back Broxton or some one similar and give it a go with Chapman in the rotation, but be ready to switch it up if he's struggling to get out of the 5th inning into June (a very real possibility IMO)

1. Latos
2. Cueto
3. Bailey
4. Arroyo
5. Chapman
6. Leake

Closer - Hoover
LHSU - Marshall
RHSU - Broxton or somebody
MR -Lecure
MR - Lefty to be acquired or Arredondo
Mop-up - Masset or Simon until a kid forces his way in.

Bray and Ondrusek should be non-tendered IMO.

Under those conditions, I'm for Chapman in the rotation.

HokieRed
11-02-2012, 07:59 AM
I wanted to see them make the experiment two years ago and I'd still do it now. May not work, in which case you move him back to closer. But if you really want to upgrade the team, this is the most available way to do it: Chapman into rotation, Leake moved or pitching opening day in Louisville.

mdccclxix
11-02-2012, 09:14 AM
You could consider the fact they have so much depth in the bullpen and rotation prior to even FA, which appears somewhat deep with experience, now is a perfect time to let him take his lumps, etc. Let him get 150 innings as the #5. Move Lecure to closer (the guy doesn't care), and Leake to the bullpen in Arredondo's role. I don't think fear should dictate the decision.

WildcatFan
11-02-2012, 09:18 AM
Out of curiosity, how do you construct the bullpen when Aroldis starts the year in the rotation?

I'd give a couple different guys a shot at it. Marshall, Hoover, LeCure (I was just thinking that, Superdude). I'm even a fan of the dreaded Closer by Committee.

LeCure
Marshall
Arredondo
Hoover
Simon
Massett (if he's ready)
Bray

That's still a really nice pen, and throw Leake in there if he doesn't get traded/moved down.

mdccclxix
11-02-2012, 09:24 AM
Having Leake in 2014 isn't a bad thing either, since Arroyo's contract is up. Then again, they have 4-5 really good arms in the minors that will be coming fast. Shoot, give Leake a 3b glove, I bet he could do better than Valdez!

RFS62
11-02-2012, 09:28 AM
Something I'll bet the front office is considering that I don't see mentioned here is the fact that as a closer, he could be in ANY game.

This is pretty big at the box office. The chance to see this kid is a huge incentive in ticket sales, and once every five days isn't as big a draw as possibly everyday, IMO.

Even when it's just one inning, every time I saw this kid this year it was electric. The stadium was energized. And just the anticipation of his coming into the game made it something special.

Not talking best for the on field team here, just best for the organizations bottom line.

lidspinner
11-02-2012, 09:40 AM
I wanted to start a thread about this the other day but it fits perfect right here....has anyone thought about using Chapman as a closer but expand that role a little? I see no reason why he cant be our closer but pitch a little more than just the 9th inning or last out of the 8th inning then the 9th......I would love to use him more as a 2 inning guy. I understand that he might not be able to pitch as much if you do this but as it stands right now we have a pretty good list of bullpen arms and if we can add 1 more solid pen guy and Masset can come in strong then I see no reason why Chapman and Broxton cannot be dual closers with Chapman getting the majority......I just think it would be so great to not follow the herd of other teams using their closer for the last 3 outs only.

Think of it like this....Basically in a 3 game series like most are during the season....our starters only have to make it to the 6th inning...after that we have the option of using everyone except Broxton or Chapman for the 6th and 7th.....then in the 8th inning you bring your stud in, if he falters then you have a back up stud.....I cannot imagine many teams scoring more than the occasional run in the 8th or 9th inning if Chapman is pitching.....do the same with Broxton when Chapman needs a rest, or even Marshall......

Chapman is to good to just use for 3 outs.....but I am not sure I want him starting either....Joe Torre said last year that one of his regrets with managing was not trying to go against the grain with the closers role....During Rivera's earlier years he would pitch the last 4-6 outs more than most closers.....but Torre said that he wished he would have done that more often and used him as a 6 out pitcher....especially against divisional opponents.....Torre claimed that history stopped him from trying it then he joked about the players union would kill him if he did that.....

imagine the playoffs.....game 3, all Homer or Bronson or Latos has to do is get to the 6th inning and the rest sits in the hands of Marshall against lefties and Broxton against righties for the 6th and 7th with Masset helping out then you bring in the hammer in the 8th inning and all is good in Reds land......

I know it sounds silly but I would love to see it happen and really cannot see a lot of downside to it.

RedFanAlways1966
11-02-2012, 11:47 AM
I do not undervalue the importance of a good closer in the game. However, I do understand that throwing 100 or more innings (aka getting 300 or more outs for your team) is more important than getting the last 3 outs in 40 games (aka 120 outs for your team). I have been questioned on this matter in other Chapman threads saying that those last 3 outs are more important then outs 1-24. I do not agree. Every out is equally important. You do not need a closer if your team is behind all the time b/c the starters cannot get people out. Hence, the reason great starters get more $$$ than great closers (unless a stupid owner decides otherwise).

mdccclxix
11-02-2012, 12:00 PM
Consider he basically made the rotation last spring, then the injuries started piling up. They have to try again.

edabbs44
11-02-2012, 01:02 PM
Based on the 40 man roster at it stands today:

CL: Alfredo Simon
SU: Sean Marshall
SU: J.J. Hoover
MR: Sam LeCure
MR: Nick Masset (assuming health)
MR: Bill Bray (assuming health)
LR: Jose Arredondo


That is a ton of unproven bullpen arms and a couple of large assumptions.

Not sure that this gives me any great comfort in using Chapman in the rotation.

Patrick Bateman
11-02-2012, 01:23 PM
That is a ton of unproven bullpen arms and a couple of large assumptions.

Not sure that this gives me any great comfort in using Chapman in the rotation.

Ya, not sure I'm in love with a bullpen penciling in Masset and Bray at this point.

RedsManRick
11-02-2012, 02:26 PM
That is a ton of unproven bullpen arms and a couple of large assumptions.

Not sure that this gives me any great comfort in using Chapman in the rotation.

It's a question of trade-offs, certainly. No, this group probably won't be best bullpen in baseball, but who thought the Orioles would have a great bullpen. Who thought the Giants would have a mediocre one?

I agree that this bullpen doesn't inspire nearly as much confidence as one anchored by Chapman, but let's get in to the nitty gritty. Aside from the Masset/Bray injury concerns, who worries you and why? And more to the point, what is our benchmark? And of course, this assumes nobody from the outside is brought in. You can add guys like Tim Byrdak and Mark Lowe for next to nothing to those low leverage innings guys.

I think loss aversion pays a big role here. Especially with the starter conversion being no sure thing (though presumably that would mean a return to the bullpen), it's easier for us to feel the "hurt" caused to the bullpen than the benefit to the rotation. And when we just generalities and narratives, it's makes all that much harder to the tradeoff/ROI "math".

mdccclxix
11-02-2012, 02:32 PM
If things went 90% of Chapman's ceiling, the Reds could have the best rotation in baseball 2013,14,15. You have to try.

M2
11-02-2012, 02:57 PM
I voted yes, but I only lean yes. I think the no argument is also fairly compelling.

lidspinner
11-02-2012, 04:51 PM
I am still going for the chapman in the 8th and 9th.....Braxton doing the same role....they feed off each other. It's not pretty but it will win games and it will turn heads and teams will be pissed when its the 7th inning and the know they have 3 more outs before Chapman rolls onto the mound with dominance.