Originally Posted by BLEEDS
This couldn't be more backwards, IMO.
Chapman - purely by contract considerations alone, will not be up before June.
I'm saying Leake can WIN the #5 starter this Spring. Heck, I thought he could have joined the rotation last August, but his arm was a bit tired so they shut him down.
Nobody is RUSHING Leake. He's major league ready stuff-wise, and his control is top-notch. Many many people said he was the most polished pitcher in last years draft.
Maloney still needs work IMO, and didn't look good at all in his last outing. He's more of a fly ball guy whereas Leake is more of a groundball guy. Tell me which one plays better in GABP?
I think Maloney would play better in a bigger fly-ball friendly AL club personally.
My point is more that of the two pitchers, Chapman stands the better chance of breaking camp with the team. I'm not saying he will, though.
I think taking a college pitcher and putting him practically straight in the majors is rushing him. Virtually no one makes that big of a step, and the Reds really don't need to when they have other serviceable pitchers for the fifth spot. After all, most, if not all, fans will not cry foul if Leake doesn't start in the majors. Some will, though, if Chapman starts in AA or AAA. Plus, why give Leake the job and start his clock now, when the Reds don't even know how he'll do against MLB talent? I, and likely the Reds too, would at least like to see how Leake's stuff translates against professional talent, and spring training is not the place to make that judgment. Baseball America even said that he has little margin for error when pitching. Because of Chapman's potential 100 mph fastball and the rest of his repertoire, he has more room for error at the MLB level.
Of course, the lack of experience against professional hitting is the same problem with Chapman. Also, putting him straight in the majors can be seen as rushing him, too. However, like I said, the Reds know he has the electric stuff needed to get MLB hitters out. Granted, he isn't as polished as Leake when it comes to command. Thus, Chapman may not be ready, and he may not start in the majors, either. That being said, the Reds certainly feel more pressure from fans/media/potential ticket sales to justify Chapman (and his contract) than to justify Leake, which could accelerate the former's path to the majors. I'm not saying it's fair, but I just think that's how the Reds will handle Chapman. Of the two, I just see Chapman making the majors first. I agree, though, that it's a mistake to start Chapman in the majors if the report from Jeff Passan about Chapman's contract is correct.
Maloney pitched well enough down the stretch last season that the Reds are going to give him a very hard look in spring training. He's a serviceable 5th starter who has proven he can get MLB hitters out. Alluding to Dusty's comments earlier in the spring, it seems like the Reds value experience over young talent when making roster decisions. Moreover, Maloney also seems to have enough "stuff" to get by in the majors. Although his style may not be conducive to GABP, I don't think that's going to stop the Reds from using him. Both Bill James and CHONE project Maloney to have around a 4.50 ERA next season, a number that I'll take any day of the week from a fifth starter. These projections are fallible, to be sure, but Maloney is decent enough to at least begin the season as the team's fifth starter.