Originally Posted by RedsManRick
Or we just disagree strongly with your notion of "adequate closer". I don't think you need a 1.50 ERA and 15 K/9 to convert 90%+ of your save chances. In fact, Chapman's 38/43 (88%) placed him 15th in MLB behind the likes of dominant closers Brett Myer, Chris Perez and Frank Francisco. Dominant as he was, how many more games would we have won or lost with Chris Perez or Tom Wilhelmson? Who thought Fernando Rodney and Jim Johnson would have two of the great closer seasons of all time?
Point being, as awesome as Chapman was last year, and has awesome, throwing 70 great innings is nowhere close to as hard nor as valuable as 2-3 times that. And the downgrade from from 70 great innings to 70 just pretty good ones, especially when you consider how many of them are not really high leverage, simply isn't all that big in terms of wins and losses.
Or put differently, if Chapman threw even 150 innings of 3.50 ERA baseball, nobody would be clamoring to put him in the closer role. And when you consider that he's got as good a chance of throwing 200 innings of 2.50 ERA as virtually anybody who hasn't done it yet, it strikes me as as a no-brainer unless you have inside knowledge of injury risk or inability to be effective for more than 2 innings at a time.
Just misses the point entirely. Classic straw man argument.
I didn't say that a closer has to have a great strikeout ratio, or a great ERA, or great velocity, or any particular makeup.
I did say, and I do maintain, that a closer has to be consistently effective in the ninth inning.
We've seen what happens with weak bullpens. It is demoralizing to a team. Blowing leads can tear a ballclub apart. And I believe, strongly, that having a consistently effective closer is very, very, very important.
I have no inside knowledge of Chapman's makeup, but neither do you. I do know that his velocity in single inning appearances does not necessarily translate into an effective seven inning pitcher.
Still, I'm willing to try Chapman as a starter, I've never opposed it, and I don't deny his potential. But the propensity of some posters to assume that a good bullpen will materialize out of the blue is deeply flawed thinking.
I agree that a top notch starter is worth more than a top notch closer. But an experiment at starter with no proven closer is a recipe for disaster.
The Reds have two viable choices. One, to keep Chapman as closer. Two, to put him in the rotation but replace him with an effective, proven, and healthy closer.
The choice of making Chapman a starter and ignoring the bullpen, or assuming the pen will take care of itself, is not viable. It is a losing proposition.
This is a team, it has to cover the early innings AND the late ones. Whatever the benefits of Chapman as a starter, it will ultimately be meaningless if you can't close out the games.