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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Doc Daugherty: Aroldis Chapman not necessary for Reds

Hell, even Doc Sportello is right once in a while (Fabian Fazzo).

Not that I dislike Aroldis Chapman. I like a good strikeout as much as the next guy. I think it’s great every time he throws a pitch 100 mph, every broadcaster has to tell us about it. It’s cool when he runs in from the bullpen and the GASP crowd cheers. His role in feeding pizza to the masses cannot not be underestimated.

But the fact is, Chapman is useful here, not necessary.

Should we list the reasons again, kids?

Let’s start with the fact that 14 pitchers in MLB have more saves than his 29. Including Addison Reed (Diamondbacks, 57-80) and Glen Perkins (Minnesota, 60-77). Yep, I know Chappy started the year on the DL. But the larger point remains, a great closer on a mediocre-at-best team is like a diamond ring on a chimp’s finger.

Again: Closers are beholden to situations. Specific situations. Somewhere in the Manager’s Manual For Running Games is this edict:

A manager may not use his “closer’’ unless his team is ahead by at least one run, but no more than 3; the game is not in the final inning, preferably the start of the final inning. Managers who employ a “closer’’ in other situations risk being booted from The Order of The Book and subjected to a lifetime of second guessing.

If BPrice had truly wanted to break the mold and burn The Book, he’d have used his best reliever in the most important situations. Hint: They ain’t always the start of the 9th, with the bases clean.

That would have ensured Chappy was used more, and just might have made his presence worth the circus atmosphere surrounding his entrance. As it is, Price hasn’t much strayed from The Book.

Beyond that, Chapman should have been put into the starting rotation, oh, three years ago, where he’d have been assured to work every fifth day, and could have been dominant for 7 innings, not one. That’s why the Reds signed him in the first place.

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:22 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4783601)
Blind squirrel finds nut...
   2. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4783603)
Actually, I see an unapologetic Old Timer railing against the save-rule-obsessed usage of relief aces and I find encouragement that the end of that stupidity (ongoing for 35 years and counting) may finally be on the horizon.
   3. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4783625)
Blind squirrel finds nut...
But at least, true to form, he writes in the most obnoxious tone possible.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: September 02, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4783735)
The player's opinion is a big factor here. If Chapman prefers to close, but is ok with starting, then you're fine. But if he really doesn't want to start, it's unwise to force him to. I mean, they can -- he's the Reds' employee, with a contract that permits that. But they shouldn't, since the guy probably won't pitch well (and may become a clubhouse problem also). Playing major league baseball is really hard. A player has to be at 100% physically and mentally to even hope to succeed. He's unlikely to achieve that if his heart isn't in it.

I dunno where exactly Chapman stands on this... I think he likes closing, but I don't know whether or not he is against starting. (Now Trevor Rosenthal, I hear, prefers starting. Easier call, if so.)
   5. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 02, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4783751)
I think he prefers closing, but was open to starting. But a few years ago, when the Reds were hoping to transition him to a starting role, the pen came down with a bunch of injuries and the Reds opted to move him back to the pen to start the season. Despite assurances to the contrary, I think that was pretty much it.

   6. bfan Posted: September 02, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4783801)
Is there any chance baseball would alter the save rule to allow 1 save per game (winning team only), with the official scorer in charge of making the decision of which pitcher gets the save? I am thinking of the close game in the 8th, with opponent runners on board, and you bring the closer in to stop runs then, so that there is a "no one on, 3 run lead" in the 9th, and the pitcher who gets that inning does not get the save. If we are going to pay pitchers for saves, then we at least ought to align the rule to more closely reflect where the save really is.
   7. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 02, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4783808)
Is there any chance baseball would alter the save rule to allow 1 save per game (winning team only), with the official scorer in charge of making the decision of which pitcher gets the save?


Since official scorers don't take advantage of the rare opportunity to assign wins to the right people when given discretion, I doubt there's any momentum for any kind of change.
   8. CFBF Is The Victim of Unfathomable Pinheadery Posted: September 02, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4783810)
The Braves should just say, "Screw it, we'll never hit again" and trade for Chapman and Greg Holland when the Royals put him on the block. They might score one run a game, but dammit, you're not getting jack squat off that Holland-Chapman-Kimbrel bullpen.
   9. bfan Posted: September 02, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4783837)
The Braves should just say, "Screw it, we'll never hit again"


If they trade Gattis and substitute Bethancourt at catcher, they are getting there ("screw it, we'll never hit again") another way.

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