Chapman and Leake reactions
There were two pleased Reds pitchers in the visitor’s clubhouse after their outings on Friday vs. the Dodgers. Both Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman will be in the roles they want.
Leake is the fifth starter and Chapman is the closer. Both were given the news on Friday morning. I will have more details in the main MLB.com story, but here are some quotes:
“I feel really, really happy to be the closer of the team,” said Chapman via translator Tomas Vera.
“They didn’t officially tell me until today. They kind of made gradual hints,” Leake said. “But I didn’t really want to believe it until they announced it.
“I’m glad the decision is finally made and I can just go out there and work on what I need to work on to get ready.”
Leake, when asked if his track record with the team helped him get back into the rotation:
“I didn’t feel like I necessarily deserved it but I think I feel I have somewhat earned it. Especially last year, we had five guys that went the whole season. I’m just glad that they’re giving it a chance again and allowing us to fail before they make a decision.”
The Reds did not shut the door on one day trying again with Chapman as a starter. Chapman didn’t close the door either.
“I think I’m still young and there are still a lot of years ahead in my career where I can be a starter again,” Chapman said. “I’m happy to be a closer now. I’m here in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is the team that I want and I will do what they want. If they want me to be a closer, I’m happy to be a closer. I will continue to do what they want me to do.”
Finally, Leake has a goal of joining the other four members of the rotation as a 200-innings pitcher.
“I won’t be upset but I would be disappointed if I don’t get to the 200-inning mark this year,” Leake said. “I expect that out of myself. It’s something you want to do for yourself and for others. I’m not going to put the pressure on myself but I’m going to go out there and give it the attitude and focus that is going to point me in the right direction of doing that.”