As I write this, another Dodger just homered against the hapless Mike Leake and another followed with a double. Today's decision naming Leake as the fifth Reds starting pitcher casts dark clouds of futility over a promising team before the 2013 season has even started. When Chapman was being considered as a starter, an unmistakable feeling of hope was in the Spring air, and it was helping erase the bad memories of the Reds' epic playoffs stumble last fall.
The Reds have just two quality starters, and a third who MAY be coming into his own. But they now also have two starters who lose neary 50% of their games. Arroyo is a capable, but aging journeyman who everyone hopes has another year or two in him. But Leake leaves fans with a sense of hopelessness before every pitching appearance, even as opposing batters approach the stadium with a gleam in their eyes.
In a twisted way, keeping Chapman in the bullpen indicates that Manager Dusty Baker doesn't have complete faith in his own starting rotation, and of course, he shouldn't. Chances are that Leake will continue to give up runs in groups early in most of his starts (like today) and force the Reds to come from behind game after game after game. He is a head case on the road to mediocrity and the Reds should have banished him to the minor leagues the day he was caught stealing two years ago.
And what if something happens to Cueto again, or to Latos or Bailey? It will be a hopeless playoffs scenario all over again, that's what, with no prospective ace ready to step forward.
The Reds need four reliable, young starters, not just three. Clearly, Aroldis Chapman could become a dominating ace. You don't win a pennant this way. In Cincinnati, the hopes of spring just died.
Last edited by HDBoy; 03-22-2013 at 05:58 PM.
That's why I'm afraid this could happen again if they're not careful.
Wonder if I can get a refund on the package of tickets I bought a couple weeks back. If I have to suffer through watching Mike Leake pitch, I'll go insane.
Look at last year's era+. The Reds had the best in the majors last year (127) with, basically, the same pitching staff as they have now. The next closest era+ was Tampa with a full seven point drop-off. Whether Chapman is in the rotation or the bullpen, this pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with.
I'm not saying that keeping Chapman as the closer is the right choice. But from what I'm reading, many seem to think that unless Chapman was named a starter, then suddenly this staff becomes weak. That reaction just ignores the stats, and is a complete overreaction.
Duhsty strikes again....
The Reds starting pitchers are skating on thin, late-winter ice with inadequate depth. After a few days of reflection, I still have a very bad feeling about the decision to keep Chapman in the bullpen. This fireballing Cuban is one the most exciting and overpowering pitchers to come along in years, and the Reds are relegating him to the bullpen. This guy has Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan-like stuff. And he's in the bullpen while Mike Leake and Bailey are giving up runs in bunches?
I don't get it. I will never get it.
Last edited by HDBoy; 03-25-2013 at 07:21 PM.
And remember, we still could have won that series even without Cueto, if it weren't for some boneheaded plays on defense, the base paths, and Dusty's head. I think we all know what I'm talking about... Still, I think it's a great sign that we actually managed to win two games in that series even with a game 1 tragedy.
The eventual 2013 champions, whoever they may be (hopefully the Reds), will lose a lot of games this year; 50-60 at least. In those 50-60 losses, some will be blow outs, some will be against horrid teams, and some will be both. After those losses, members of their fan bases will storm their way to their computer screens to vent their rage at their computer screens, because clearly, something is rotten in Denmark. And yet, at the end of the season, when their team is hoisting the trophy, they will again storm their way to their computer screens and say that they were right all along, and that the haters were delusional all this time.
Do you know what none of them will say?
"Man, this World Series was nice and all... But imagine how great this would have felt if we had beaten the Mariners in March!"
It means nothing, man. They're all working out the final kinks in everything. Bailey had something like an 8.00 era last spring as well. Breathe....
Unfortunately, we can't predict the future. However, if one of our starters happens to go down, I think we may be shocked at how capable Cingrani might be as a #5 for a few weeks. Depth is a concern for everyone, but we actually have more options than most.
That said, I agree with you that he has too much talent to be in the bullpen. I just think you and many on this board are being a bit too overly dramatic.
Also overall you can't look at performance in ST for much in my opinon because it is not a true gage of performance level, and lastly how can you compare Chapman to those you listed. He is a 1 pitch pitcher with his 2nd pitch being very questionable. Some day his talent level may be close to those HOF, but right now he isn't even in their talent level in any way.
Chapman has the potential to be the second coming of Randy Johnson. And if so it would have made the Reds truly dominant. Now we will never know what might have been.
Reds have more then 2 quality starters, Latos and Cueto are obviously the best two.
Homer really came on last year and youre being harsh on Arroyo calling him a journeyman. He has been at least a middle of the rotation stater for 10 years.
He has a career WAR of 24.0 that points to more then a journeyman.
A journeyman is a player that bounces around teams whilst never providing a little more then replacement value.
Chapman has one and a half pitches. The best fastball in the game and a sometimes decent slider. That had to play somewhat of a factor. I know he was working on more pitches this spring but hes still mostly a fastball guy. look at all the guys teams have had to make decisions on either being closer or starter(Joba, Sale, CJ Wilson ect,) and a big part of that is that the team and the player have to be 100% on the same page. Chapman commented that hed do whatever the team wanted him to do but that hed rather close. That was the first red flag in him starting. I seem to be in the minority here but I think as of right now in this 2013 season Chapman needs to be anchoring the pen and blowing guys away. On days hes able to pitch each game has the potential to be only an 8 inning game. Other than the Braves and Yankees and maybe the Rays with Rodney no other teams can really say that. I trust Jocketty and Baker(yea I just said that) to make the right decision.
"Losing feels worse than winning feels good." -Vin Scully