- 05/21/2012, 10:12PM ET
Outlaw... said 05/21, 10:12 PM
Joe Simpson and Chip Carray had an interesting discussion on this topic during today's telecast of the Braves-Reds game, and I thought it would make a good TD.
To me, the answer is easy.
I think he has the stuff to be one of the most dominant closers in the game, and I think that's the road the Reds should take with him.
Chapman is a fireballer, he routinely hits triple digits on the radar gun, and this season, he hasn't allowed an earned run out of the pen, and his walk numbers are very low for a guy that throws as hard as he does.
If he's a starter, he's not gonna be able to throw 100 mph through the course of 9 innings. I can't see him lasting more than 5 innings in any game, and if he's turned into a starter, it seems to me like an arm injury waiting to happen.
If he's a closer, he can let it all hang out for one inning, hit 105 with his fastball all inning if he wants to.
Right now he's pretty much a flamethrower that mixes in a slider every once in a while, pretty much what closers are these days.
Plus the Reds currently don't have an official closer, and I think Chapman is perfect for the job.
Argos. said 05/21, 11:56 PM
The bullpen is for failed starters. All relievers at one point or another were failed starters.
You must give a player, especially one so talented, a chance to fail as a starter before considering him as a reliever.
Why? Because you want your best pitcher and the most talented to be pitching upwards of 200 innings instead of 60.
You don't spend $30 million on an international free agent to be a reliever.
You do not know that he will fail as a starter and wont be able to go more than 5 IP. Already this season he has toned his fastball down, only averaging 96.7 mph per fastball this year, to get better control. If Chapman were to slowly get stretched out, that is a very sustainable velocity to be a starter. He is throwing in the same range as guys like Strasburg, Price, and Verlander. Not to mention he has a easy delivery, which should help him pitch 160+ innings.
Arm injuries aren't prevented in the pen either (see Zumya)...
He pitched in Cuba as a starter. His first year pro was as a starter, and he was amazing in Spring Training this year as a starter.
Don't waste this potential ace with amazing talents in the bullpen.
He is a future starter.
Outlaw... said 05/22, 10:12 PM
Failed starters is a bit of a misleading term. Failed means they tried their hand in the Majors and failed at it. In some cases this is true, but a pitcher turned into a reliever in the minors isn't a failed starter, it's coaches putting the player in the best position for the player to succeed and benefit the franchise.
.Craig Kimbrel was brought through the minor leagues as a closer.
Chapman doesn't have the benefit of going through the minor leagues.
If he's forced into a starters role, it will be a disaster.
He might pitch good for a few games, but throwing that hard, his arm will tire after a few innings, and doing it every 5th day would really wear him down. Tommy John or shoulder problems waiting to happen. It is Chapman's arm speed the generates most of the velocity of his fastball.
He should be a closer. His style of pitching fits the role of a closer, not a starter. Chapman is a guy that needs to let it all hang out, and he can't do that as a starter.
Why risk him blowing out his shoulder when he could be one of the best closers in the game?
Argos. said 05/24, 09:36 AM
All relievers are failed starters. Most had the opportunity to fail at the major league level, but all failed at one point. Kimbrel for example failed and was very bad his first season in College as a starter, and was then converted to the bullpen in his second season.
Where has Chapman failed?
He has dominated the international stage, and he was terrific in his few starts in the minors in his first pro season.
Scouts like Keith Law have stated that he has a fluent, repeatable motion. He should have no arm problems, as he does not have a flawed motion like Strasburg or like Mark Prior or Kerry Wood had.
I don't hear you calling for Strasburg going to the 'pen?
Also closers get injured at a very high rate. Closers are often pitched on consecutive days, without notice, and are forced to get up and down in the bullpen throwing often. This is why so many closers have been injured this year.
Being on a strict schedule, knowing when you will start, knowing when you long toss, knowing when to throw on off-days, certainty etc. can be much better for someone who you're concerned about injury.
Doesn't have starter stuff? He has 3 plus pitches!
Outlaw... said 05/24, 10:04 AM
Starting a few games in college doesn't make a player a failed starter. As far as I'm concerned, if they never got the chance to start in the Major Leagues, they aren't fail;ed starters, and even some of them moved to the bull pen because of injury problems, did you call John Smoltz a failed starter during his years as a closer?
Chapman and Kimbrel have a lot of similarities. Both can throw triple digits, and both use the slider as their secondary pitch.
He Chapman becomes a starter, I don't care how fluid his motion is, he doesn't generate the velocity with his legs, it's all arm speed, and that sounds risky to me. Sure he might lay back on his fastballs and throw 95, but why should he?
As a closer, there's less of a chance he blows out his arm, he's free to throw as hard as he wants, and he has proven MAJOR LEAGUE success in the bullpen. If he does start, I doubt he'd ever make it past the 6th inning. He was made for the bullpen.
And by the way, thanks for taking two days to make an argument.
Argos. said 05/24, 11:14 AM
If you suck in college as a starter, you are a failed starter. How do you expect to get a chance to fail in the majors as a starter, if you cannot even get there? Besides, if you failed in college, you aren't gonna succeed against better players in pro ball.
Smoltz was a totally different situation, and we all know it.
Chapman can start, look at his spring training line:
17.0 IP, 2.12 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 18 k, 2 bb, .262 opponent avg
Chapman was the best starter among all Reds starters in spring, by far and away.
Injury concerns for Chapman have no basis. Does anyone have injury concerns and are calling for Verlander and Price to move to the bullpen? Nope. And Chapman would be a similar pitcher to both, throwing a similar velocity.
Chapman can start, and average 95-96 mph on his fastball, still blowing it past hitters like Verlander and Price, and then when needed turn it up to triple digits, like other hard throwers.
How was he made for the bullpen??? He has started at every where he has been, and has been awesome at it.
There is no reason for concern of injury, and you want Chapman in a position to provide you the most value. Starters are more valuable.
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