Price might use Chapman differently
Just heard from Reds manager Bryan Price and he talked about his new coaching staff. One different topic I brought up on the impromptu conference call was about Aroldis Chapman. Earlier today, GM Walt Jocketty indicated the club was leaning towards keeping Chapman in the closer’s role rather than starting him.
Price wasn’t ready to commit exactly on Chapman’s 2014 role.
“We’ve had some internal dialogue on that,” Price said. “I don’t think it’s something where I feel comfortable with saying ‘this is exactly what we’re going to do.’ I have my opinion on it. I know that his value for us that last couple of years has been as a closer.”
Price did certainly sound like he might be willing to go outside the box/away from the book with how his lefty power pitcher is used next season.
“He found his way into a comfortable position. I do think we can utilize him more in the bullpen instead a guy that may be a single-inning guy now that he’s done this for a few years,” Price said. “I think there are ways we can get more value out of Aroldis, not necessarily by starting him but keeping him in the bullpen. There’s still a bit more dialogue to have organizationally before we put a stamp on what role he’ll have. Right now, I’m very comfortable with where he is.”
Chapman only pitched more than one inning twice in all of 2013 — two innings on Aug. 21 vs. Arizona, and 1 1/3 innings on Sept. 14 at Milwaukee. It will be interesting to see if Price goes to Chapman in high leverage situations before the ninth inning — something many managers in baseball are reluctant to do with their closers.