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Thread: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

  1. #1
    Moderator The Operator's Avatar
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    At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    I figured I would bring this idea up.

    With the recent emergence of Travis Wood, as well as the performance of Mike Leake, not to mention Volquez returning - there are a lot of young guys to fill out the rotation right now. Cueto seems to have finally figured things out as well.

    With the nightly meltdowns of Francisco Cordero - should The Reds think about making Aroldis Chapman the future closer of the team? He certainly has closer stuff. I know he has command issues, but I have a lot more faith that a young guy like Chapman can work those out. I'm not sure that a 35-year old Cordero is going to suddenly find his command again.

    If The Reds add a veteran starter, next year they'll have a rotation that looks something like this, assuming Travis Wood doesn't leave in said deal:

    Veteran
    Arroyo
    Cueto
    Leake
    Volquez
    Wood, Bailey, Maloney, LeCure, etc.

    Is Chapman going to crack that rotation? The Reds signed him to a big contract and they need him pitching in Cincinnati.

    I realize that as a starter he has the potential to be a Randy Johnson type impact pitcher. But that's not a guarantee. Red Sox fans always saw Papelbon as a starter too. Same thing with The Dodgers and Eric Gagne. Sometimes a guy is just meant to be a closer.

    Now, I know Arroyo may not even be here next year, but I'm thinking he will. Even if he's gone after 2011, The Reds could move Chapman into the rotation then if they wanted to. The Cubs did it with Ryan Dempster.

    Part of me just feels like this is the best way to have him be a contributor at the major league level. He would be filthy as a reliever. And I think The Reds are already thinking this as well. I know they cited moving him to the bullpen as limiting innings and possibly gauging whether he can help relieve this year - which I believe. But I don't think they would have done it if they hadn't started to think that might be a destination for him.

    And as a final question - would you try him in some save situations as soon as, say, this year?

    Just thinking out loud.
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  3. #2
    Resident PED Expert nemesis's Avatar
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    He may not be ready for the majors for at least another year but, that's ok. He eventually could end up a back end bullpen guy. But only if the starter experiment fails. With his "potential" he should be afforded a couple years to make the rotation because he is a TOR arm. Not many kids in the minors, let alone the majors can lay claim to that
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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    There is no reason why he can't be the closer at the end of this year, and then stretched back into a starter for next season. I think that the Reds are actually thinking about this. It will all depend on how well Chapman adjusts to the bullpen in the minors.

    I know that the Red Sox wanted to turn Papelbon back into a starter in 2007, but their lack of another closer forced them to keep him in the closer role. They even were starting him that spring training.

    This could be very similar to 2002 when K-Rod helped the Angels win the World Series.
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    There is no reason why he can't be the closer at the end of this year, and then stretched back into a starter for next season. I think that the Reds are actually thinking about this. It will all depend on how well Chapman adjusts to the bullpen in the minors.

    I know that the Red Sox wanted to turn Papelbon back into a starter in 2007, but their lack of another closer forced them to keep him in the closer role. They even were starting him that spring training.

    This could be very similar to 2002 when K-Rod helped the Angels win the World Series.
    I just don't see any chance Dusty would "disrespect" Cordero like that. Especially when Cordero's making the kind of money he is.

  6. #5
    Mr.Redlegs is my homeboy Eric_the_Red's Avatar
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    I'd rather have him as a starter. He has multiple pitches and, if he learns control, could be a force in the rotation. He seems like too big of an investment with too much potential to make him the closer.

    That said, I wouldn't mind seeing him start in the bullpen in a middle relief role, similar to how the Twins first used Johan Santana.

  7. #6
    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    I cannot stress this enough:

    Right now he doesn't throw enough conistent strikes to count on him getting crucial outs in relief in the 6th, much less the 9th.

    Chapman is a work in progress, and there are no guarantees there.

    He remains the piece I would deal for an anchor in the rotation or a long-range solution at SS. His stuff is beguiling, but there are issues with whether he will ever harness it. He is currently ranked in or around top 10 of prospect lists, and that seems to be driven by "stuff" more than ability to control same.

    The Reds want to target a Haren/Drew package? I would headline it with Chapman. General Managers like shiny things too...
    Last edited by membengal; 07-11-2010 at 10:11 AM.

  8. #7
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    If Cordero has shown us anything, it's that you can't be a great closer while walking a guy an inning.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  9. #8
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    Nope. I don't have a problem with breaking him into the major leagues in the bullpen but his future should be as a starting pitcher, IMO. If/when he learns to repeat his mechanics and subsequently his control, he's got a chance to be an elite starting pitcher. That's just too much talent to waste in the bullpen, IMO.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  10. #9
    Member kbrake's Avatar
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    Re: At this point - should Chapman be groomed as a closer?

    I'd keep Chapman as a starter but I think Bailey in the pen could be interesting.


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