Re: Fast forward 1 year: Who will be the Reds closer in 2012?
honestly, any of the pitchers mentioned could end up as the Reds closer. Sometimes a guy just falls into the role, has success & stays there.
However, my crystal ball would say Chapman is the Reds closer after Cordero.
1) since i doubt the Reds are going outside the system to pay for an expensive closer I am guessing Cordero's successor is already here
2) Chapman can get some closing experience this year without ruffling Cordero's feathers. Dusty can use Chapman to close against a 9th inning lineup full of lefties. Masset can't do that. I suspect Dusty would hesitate using Masset to close a game unless Cordero had literally pitched the prior 3 days.
3) The Reds are going to pay Chapman a fair amount of money the next few years no matter what. There will be a lot of temptation to let him close in 2012 if he is successful in the pen in 2011. The 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mentality could make the team keep him in the pen rather than converting him into a starter. Then if he is in the pen he should close. Massett is a lot cheaper to pay as an 8th inning guy than as a 9th inning guy.
I personally would like the team to keep an open mind on Chapman. How well does he adjust to life in America? Adjust to the bigs? How does his 3rd pitch look? If he doesn't really develop a 3rd pitch & feels comfortable in the pen then I'd keep him there. If he adjusts well, the team thinks he can handle the transition to starter and he develops that 3rd pitch then he should start in 2012. Its too soon to get too worked up one way or the other.