The Chapman plan? It’s a secret
Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman is slated to speak to media in a session in a little while. It will be the first opportunity in camp for reporters to get him.
But I did speak to Reds pitching coach Bryan Price about the most pressing questions the team is facing this spring — how exactly are the Reds going to transition Chapman from closer to a member of the rotation? How many innings will he get? There is an answer but the club is choosing to keep it on the down low.
“There is a pretty good understanding of what will be necessary to keep his innings at an area that we’re comfortable with, should he be a starter throughout the course of the season,” Prices said on Saturday. “That being said, I think if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned it’s better to keep that stuff to ourselves. You just set the table for a little too much speculation and Q&A that I would not be comfortable going through.”
While throwing 71 2/3 innings last season, Chapman was 5-5 with a 1.51 ERA, 23 walks and 122 strikeouts in 68 relief appearances. He converted 38 saves in 43 chances. A lot of scrutiny has been placed on Reds’ bold move to possibly increase his innings as a starter.
“We want to do what’s responsible, what’s efficient, what’s smart and at the same time, I don’t want to answer questions throughout the year about Chapman,” Price said. “If he’s in our rotation, he’s going to pitch until he doesn’t pitch. What I’m hoping is he’ll pitch for us all the way through the World Series, whatever role he is in. Right now, he’s getting prepared to start.”
The Reds have not formally named Chapman as a member of the rotation for 2013. Manager Dusty Baker has said on a couple of occasions that the club currently has six starters, including Chapman and Mike Leake. This is a scenario the Reds experienced last season when Chapman started in camp before moving to the bullpen out of team neccessity.
Keep on the look out for a Chapman story on MLB.com with more stuff from Price as well as Baker and Chapman.