I think we've learned that it takes "plus" arms to make a run in the postseason. And no pitcher on the Reds staff is more likely than Aroldis Chapman to be that ace in 2011. However, the Reds do have to protect Chapman's arm and take into consideration that he threw around 110 innings in 2009. If you are a believer in the Verducci effect or at least somewhat agree with the concept, then the Reds probably shouldn't allow Chapman to start the entire season, especially when he is a likely starter if the Reds make the playoffs. But at the same time, you don't want to have to shut him down like Leake was forced to do this season. You definitely want Aroldis starting in the second half of the season and in the playoffs.
So my proposal may be a little out-of-the box, but I'd like to see the Reds handle Chapman similarly to the way they did in '10... except in reverse order in '11. I would start him in the pen as my set-up man for the first two months of the season. Then I would send him to Louisville during June to build his arm back up in order to start the rest of the season. Then bring him back up after the All-Star break. My plan should keep his total innings under 150, even if the Reds make a nice playoff run. It would also give the Reds time to sort out the logjam of starters and position themselves to have the best five guys in the rotation for the second half of the season.
What would you do with Chapman in '11?