In a vacuum, starting pitchers are more valuable than relievers. Your garden variety mid-rotation workhorse is more valuable than even the most dominant closer simply because of the volume of innings. Seventy innings will never be more valuable than 180+ innings, doesn't matter what the score is or anything like that. Starters bad enough to be less valuable than a reliever usually don't remain in a rotation very long.
Of course, nothing happens in a vacuum. Context changes everything. The Reds aren't just legitimate World Series contenders, they're legitimate World Series contenders with five starters other than Chapman. He would be bumping someone (presumably Mike Leake) from the starting staff should he make the rotation. Cincinnati could be fixing a rotation that isn't broken, so to speak.
If the Reds decide to keep Chapman in the pen, it was probably a referendum on how they currently view his command of the other stuff he has to throw as a starter (and might serve as an earlier predictor of whether we should expect his BB/9 to regress this season though we probably should anyway).
This isn't a trivial thing to brush off when lamenting a potential decision to not make him a starter right now.
"This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner
One can't assume that with Chapman removed from the pen, those same relievers would put up the same numbers. Their roles would be different, they would be pitching not just more innings, and facing more batters, they would be pitching different innings, facing different batters, in different situations.
We have no idea how they would pitch if Chapman wasn't their as the closer.
This point just kills me. Evidently everything can be easily classified into "broke" or "ain't broke". Third base "ain't broke" either, but it doesn't mean having Ryan Zimmerman wouldn't be an improvement.Of course, nothing happens in a vacuum. Context changes everything. The Reds aren't just legitimate World Series contenders, they're legitimate World Series contenders with five starters other than Chapman. He would be bumping someone (presumably Mike Leake) from the starting staff should he make the rotation. Cincinnati could be fixing a rotation that isn't broken, so to speak.
I'm with Team Jocketty on this one...
but I'd bet Team Dustman wins out, at least this year.
Fwiw, compare the Reds handling of Chapman with the Nats handling of Strasburg. Strasburg has already been through tommy john surgery and is STILL farther along in his development as a pitcher.
I realize it is not apples to apples, but it is close enough to get the point. The Reds have done all they can to Bungle their prized arm, and do not seem to be getting better at dealing with him.....
If Chapman isn't the closer, then Marshall is. Marshall is facing difference hitters in different situations than he did last season. That means Arredondo is probably in Marshall's role, also facing different hitters in different situations. LeCure is probably now in Arredondo's role, and Ondrusek in LeCure's and Simon's in Ondrusek's, etc.
They aren't facing the same hitters in the same situation, so we don't know how they will do. I'm not saying they will do worse, or better, just that we can't assume that they will produce the same numbers in their new roles.
Ondrusek, Chapman, LeCure and Simon.... looks like they all face roughly the same number of guys throughout the lineup to me.Code:% of lineup spot faced in 2012 LO AC SL AS Split % % % % Batting 1st 9.5% 9.1% 11.9% 10.1% Batting 2nd 9.9% 9.4% 10.2% 11.3% Batting 3rd 11.5% 12.3% 10.6% 12.2% Batting 4th 13.6% 14.1% 9.8% 12.6% Batting 5th 14.0% 13.8% 10.6% 12.2% Batting 6th 12.8% 13.0% 11.5% 10.9% Batting 7th 11.9% 11.2% 10.6% 10.9% Batting 8th 9.5% 8.7% 12.8% 10.1% Batting 9th 7.4% 8.3% 11.9% 9.7%
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