Re: Bats' pitcher Chapman could be a relief for the Reds
Well, I agree that I'd prefer Chapman be a 180 inning rotation worthy starter next year and for many to come. However, if he's the difference b/w winning the division or falling a few games short, and that means you have to treat him w/ kid gloves next year, getting him slowly up to 130-150 innings next season, so he can be extended to 180 the year after, then so be it. There is no garuntee that the Reds win anything in 2011. They have a chance at the playoffs this year, and I wouldn't be shy to use Chapmann in a role that can help you accomplish that goal and figure out next year when next year comes. If he's going to work out of the pen, he probably needs some time to get used to working multiple days in a row, 3 outof 4 days, short warm up periods, etc... He can still work on offspeed stuff and breaking balls out of the pen. Sure he won't get to face the same competition 2-3 times thru a lineup, but he can throw nothing but breaking stuff and changeups on monday for 2 innings, come back on wednesday and throwing nothing but heat and changeup for 2 innings, then come back again on saturday throwing nothing but fastballs and sliders. Obviously, that only works in the minors, but at some point, Leake is going to need his innings cut back, perhaps Chapman can work in tandem for 2 innings while Leake goes 5, then Chapman can pick up another 2-3 innings next 4 days. There's more than 1 way to get Chapman his innings.
He only burns an option year next year if they hold him back in AAA to develop more as a starter. They'd still control his rights for what, 6 majore league seasons. the first several will be expensive due to his initial contract, the last 2 will be dependent upon his arbitration worth (which hopefully won't be cheap, ie he'll be worth a large arb. price).
I have no idea how ready he is to help out of the pen, however I do know there has been a lot of stuff thrown at the wall this season out of the pen, and a lot of it hasn't worked. Rhodes has been used way more than I'd like, and Cordero has been used just as much. If Chapman, Massett, Rhodes and Cordero can form a nasty-boys esque back of the pullpen from August thru September, you can turn games into a 6 inning affair, much like the 90 reds. I'm tired of "waiting for next year" Next year may have finally arrived, I'd hate for them to sit around another year because the think "next year is really next year" only to find the wheels fall of of several players and we're looking at another 10 years before we have a winner.