Chapman wants to close

After his start vs the Giants Saturday, Aroldis Chapman gave his most direct answer yet about his job preference between starting and closing:

“I would like to be the closer,” Chapman said via translator Tomas Vera. “But it’s out of my hands.”

Here is the full story on MLB.com.

Quick update: Dusty Baker was pleased to hear that Chapman had voice a preference.

“I was going to talk to him after he pitched today for that purpose,” Baker said after the game. “You hear all kinds of stuff from this camp, people talking and everybody thinks they’re in the know.

“We were going to do what’s best for the organization and for him. But he makes it a lot easier when you get the person’s blessing.”

Baker often tries to use players in spots or positions where they say they are most comfortable.

“Like I’ve said, a man in the middle is a man in constant turmoil. We have to discuss it and then we’ll see,” Baker said.

10 Comments

I think that this is great. Having Chapman at the back end of the bullpen seems like the best choice. Not only do we get one of the best, if not the best, closer in the league, we also get one of the best 5th men in the starting rotation in Mike Leake. Perhaps they were waiting for Chapman to take the lead. Is there anything better than a talented pitcher saying “Give me the ball when the pressure is on”? As the old saying goes, winners want the ball when the game is on the line. Chapman as closer is good for the team and his desire to close is the icing on the cake. Look for a good year from Chapman and the rest of the Reds.

A starter is much more valuable then a reliever. The modern closer is vastly overrated.

yes, its not about value, it comes down to effectiveness and I think that he would be much more effective if he can let it all hang out rather then holding back and throwing 94-97 all game, besides…he sorta lacks a third pitch and when you have a guy who wants to face a lineup 3x over 2 looks ain’t gonna cut it….unless you’re Randy Johnson :)

A few years back, Jonathan Paplebon did the very same thing — said he would like to close while the Red Sox were testing him as a starter in Spring Training. Considering his previous performances, it must have been an easy decision for Terry Francona to say yes. He’s had some hiccups here and there, but has been an effective closer.

The Reds would be wise to let Chapman close. Changing a reliever with electric stuff into a starter can really mess him up. The Yankees did a good job of stifling Joba Chamberlain’s development, and he will never be the same. The Red Sox did the same with Daniel Bard. Unless Chapman can develop a third pitch, I’d be against it. His bread and butter is a triple-digit fastball. He can’t rely on it all the time when he is a starter. Besides, do the Reds have someone as automatic as Chapman to close?

I understand that a good starter is better than a good reliever, but when you have a proven arm at the back end that is as effective as Chapman, why give that up?

They just paid Broxtion $21 million for 3 years. According to baseball reference, Chapman is due to make $2 million this year. That is a lot of money tied up into 2 players that play the same position for and for a small- mid market team. Why pay Broxton if they are not going to move Chapman. Seems like if they keep Chapman as a closer, Broxton just became one expensive middle reliever.

I do try to not post on here anymore since most of the folks that read this post are mindless zombies but… Chapman should never have been considered for a starting position to begin with. Let him play during spring training sure that is all practice anyways and spring training matters even less while the WBC dilutes the existing talent pool.
Chapman will never resign with the Reds. He will absolutely be a Yankee when his contract is up so the Reds better use up his arm as much as they can before that day occurs. Make him pitch every other day.
The Reds dominated when we had 3 potential closers and 2 dominate closes : Charlton, Myers, And Dibble. That worked out pretty well for us didn’t it?
With debate I am sure but our bullpen is probably better now than then, and has the potential to be the best bullpen cast ever assembled. Why tamper with that?

I wonder if other teammates and Dusty’s preference to have Chapman close helped influence Chapman to feel that way too. I hope it really is what Chapman feels and he wasn’t swayed that way by other’s opinions. Before last year … he wanted to be a starter. I understand that he grew to like the closer’s role but he also might have grown to like starting too. He hasn’t done it in the big leagues. I see where this is heading … he’s going to be the closer and that’s not the worst thing but I really feel his best value would be as a starter. An elite starter is worth way more than an elite closer. The thing is we don’t know if he would be an elite starter or not. To be honest … one year of success doesn’t make you an elite closer either. I hoped the Reds would really make him a starter and see what happens but now it will be tough to do with Chapman openly saying he would like to close. Hopefully this all works out whatever happens … we’ll see.

Please……this is clearly Dusty using jedi mind tricks to convince Chapman that he wants to close and not start. I absolutely think this is Baker tinkering…I think Dusty nudged Chapman to come out with this statement at this time to try and force Walt’s hand.
He is borderline insubordinate on going against what management wants.

Seriously….after years of Chapman saying he prefers to start, he has changed his mind. Or he is just saying what the only coach he has ever known keeps saying that he wants? If Sam LeCure wants to be a closer too, doesn’t mean he should be it. I’m pretty sure Mesoraco wants to catch everyday, doesn’t mean he should……yet.

He could be a dominant starter and you have to try and see if he could be one. It i not like Leake was going 7-8 innings of 1-2 runs every other start. The guy could barely go 5-6 innings……and when you have a guy who could be a starter, you have to try. He could end up being CJ Wilson…Pedro Martinez……not just Joba Chamberlin.

Did anyone not read the article in The Enquirer by Doc? IF Weathers could close and his % rate was basically right at or almost at what Chapman wa slast year…….than I am sure either Marshall or Broxton can do this. Chapman did blow 5 games last year, he was not invincible at it. No one is really with the exception of a few pitchers who have not blown 1 save….and that is only a less than a handful.
Yet you have a pitcher who could be a starter and a #1 type if allowed to develop this way.

Starting or closing is not up to Chapman or Baker. The insubbordination level is astounding. Shut up and know your roll.

It is precisely the field manager’s call.

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