If all your left with Mike Leake as your 5th starter its okay but if you have better options you should at least test it out.
Keeping Chapman in the pen is like putting all your money under your mattress. While safe and cozy, neither is maximizing their potential.
"....the two players I liked watching the most were Barry Larkin and Eric Davis. I was suitably entertained by their effortless skill that I didn't need them crashing into walls like a squirrel on a coke binge." - dsmith421
When a team can get 180 innings of 1.5 WAR pitching out of its fifth-best guy, as the Reds did with Leake, it's not at a competitive disadvantage. Far from it, as long as we're not paying too much money for it. And that's without getting into the whole measuring-a-pitcher-by-his-ERA thing, which I'll set aside for now except to say that he comes off a little better (but only a little) with the advanced stats.
But nonetheless, I'm not arguing the point that he's the guy to bump out of the rotation if Chapman's going in.
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"Comparing apples to apples, very few #5 starters will show up on that "eligible for the ERA title" list because the typical #5 guy doesn't pitch well enough to hold the job. Most teams don't have four rotation-worthy horses, much less five. "
Yup... 80 Starting spots in the NL last year, Leake finished 43rd in ERA.
3 year average: 9-7, 4.23 ERA, 160 IP, 1.3 WAR - along with a good bat, his average year would make him the Reds #1 through the early 2000's. Doing that pitching at GABP. My big desire for AC as a starter is playoff time.
As far as pitching WAR goes, hey, Bud Norris is a freaking 1.5 WAR pitcher with less innings than Leake. I think pitching WAR is broken and even bad pitchers can get a decent WAR with enough innings.
The simple fact is almost every team in the league would have at least tried someone else besides Leake in the 5 spot, but the Reds had so few options they were stuck with him there despite performance that would dictate being replaced.
edit: You also have to take into account many other staffs had injuries forcing poor pitchers into duty while the Reds had none. If every other staff was healthy like the Reds it would be worse for Leake. For a #5 on a staff with no injuries, his numbers were simply poor. If Leake was a part time #5 like many others or forced into the #5 role due to injury I would say his numbers are fine. Yet that is not the case.
Last edited by scott91575; 03-13-2013 at 12:54 AM.
If you aren't starting him, you might as well trade him for value, because you aren't getting equivalent value with him in the bullpen.
People worry about injury risk if he starts. What about the injury risk of him closing? Relievers that throw very hard tend to burn out quickly, with a few exceptions, Wagner being the first guy I thought of. Most of the guys who were successful in that role long term weren't blazing fastball pitchers.
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I was just pointing to how silly it would look to have a setup man earning closer money, or have a talent like Chapman pitching middle relief. Either way, Chapman is being wasted in the bullpen IMO - but at least as a closer there's *some* saving grace to it, albeit not much.
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