Posted March 17, 2013

Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman wants the closer’s role

MLB
Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman says he wants to be the team's closer. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman says he wants to be the team’s closer. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds have a little more than two weeks to decide their pitcher rotation. For fireballer Aroldis Chapman, he knows what role he wants to play this season.

“I would like to be a closer, but that’s not in my hands,” Chapman said, via CBSSports.com. “At the beginning, when I started closing, I didn’t know. Then I started getting into the late part of the game, and I liked it. The adrenaline goes up.”

Chapman went 5-5 with a 1.51 ERA, 38 saves and 122 strikeouts in 71.2 innings last season. He is known for hitting 100 mph on the radar gun with regular frequency.

General manager Walt Jocketty and pitching coach Bryan Price have favored making Chapman a starter, while Baker has been considered the strongest advocate of leaving him in the bullpen.

Reds manager Dusty Baker said he plans to talk to Chapman and get the pitcher’s opinion on his role.

“We’re going to do what’s best for the organization, for the team and for him,” Baker said. “But it makes it a lot easier if you get the person’s blessing. I’m happy he finally expressed something.”


6 comments
metalhead65
metalhead65

 they tried him as a starter in the minors and he struggled with his control before they brought him up and put him in the pen. he has control issues if pitches 2 innings and can't go more than 3 days in row without needing a couple days off and you want to put more stress on his arm? he will be lucky if he is not on the DL by the all star game with the way the reds are messing with him. money should not dictate what he does,it should be his performance and he has shown that he is best at being a closer so leave him there!

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

Does he have a quality breaking ball to go with the heat? I think that's the key. You can't get through a major league lineup three or four times with just one pitch, no matter how good it is. They'll kill you.

jwsavell
jwsavell

Why the hell would they move someone who is a damn good closer to starter? I am not sure I understand their logic there. 

howboutthis?
howboutthis?

 @jwsavell A good starter is a lot more valuable than a good reliever even a fairly dominant closer type. If he isn't a good starter then, of course, he's better out of the 'pen, but the Reds are paying him like a starter. They want to get the most out of their considerable investment.

metalhead65
metalhead65

 @howboutthis?  @jwsavell what good does it do due the reds to make him a starter just because he was one cuba? they had him start in the minors when they first signed him and he had all kinds of control problems due to high pitch counts rarely made it past 5 innings at most. the guy is a beast at what he does so why force into something else? besides the Reds better enjoy him why they have him because if he stays a dominant closer or by some miracle becomes a ace pitcher people dream about he will be pitching for the Yankees or Red Sox as soon as he is eligible to be a free agent.