A: On Sept. 1 the Reds are in a three-way tie for first place and Aroldis Chapman owns 19 wins. How will the fans react when it is announced Chapman is being shut down for the season? — Dave, Miamisburg/CentervilleBeavercreek
A: A lot of assumptions are in that question. First of all, it is tough to win 19 games out of the bullpen, which is where I believe Chapman will be. And by Sept. 1, the Reds will have a six-game lead in the National League Central. There isn’t one team in the division that can keep up with them, let alone two. And when Johnny Cueto has 19 wins, they won’t shut him down.
Q: If Aroldis Chapman makes the rotation, barring injury, where do you see the next opening in the rotation for Mike Leake. — Will, Independence, Ky.
A: If you’ve been listening and reading between the lines, manager Dusty Baker wants Chapman right where he was last year, right where he blew everybody away — as the closer. My prediction. No “ifs” about it. When the season opens Chapman will be back as closer and Leake will be in the rotation. If that isn’t the case, then I wonder if the Reds really are trying to win.
Q: Name the four best Reds first basemen you have covered and rank them? — Mike, Arlington, Va.
A: You’re trying to get Joey Votto mad at me, aren’t you? I’m going with Tony Perez as No. 1 because Votto is just beginning his career, but it is good enough for No. 2. Pete Rose doesn’t qualify. Didn’t play there enough. No. 3, for me, is Sean Casey. No. 4 is Dan Driessen, and I have to throw in a couple of honorable mentions in Hal Morris and Nick Esasky.
Posted: March 09, 2013 at 09:13 AM | 52 comment(s)
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