Are the Reds making a mistake by moving Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation?
This year, he'll be in the starting rotation, and Jonathan Broxton will attempt to handle the closing duties.
Are the Reds making a mistake here?
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN cites a few examples of former bullpen pitchers who were moved to the starting rotation and were considerably less effective, notably Daniel Bard and Joba Chamberlain.
Will the same happen to Chapman?
We won't know for sure until this experiment plays out, but it would seem as though Chapman is far better suited for relief pitching, based on his repertoire.
He throws almost exclusively fastballs, throwing the heater nearly 90% of the time. It's by far his best pitch, and he has been known to reach triple digits regularly.
He'll have to ease up a bit with his velocity if he wants to be a starter, and he'll also have to mix up his pitches a bit more.
Can he do that, and still remain effective? Possibly. But why mess with a good thing?
To make matters worse, his manager is notorious arm-destroyer Dusty Baker. Anyone remember Mark Prior?
If Dusty is his usual self, Chapman's career could be over after only a year or two as a starter, as long as Baker has his finger on the button.
Broxton isn't a suitable replacement in the closer's role, and there's really no guarantee that Chapman will even be an above average starter.
I think the Reds are making a mistake here, but only time will tell.