Aroldis Chapman never seemed comfortable as he worked innings as a starting pitcher this spring. The Cincinnati Reds will move the 25-year-old back to their bullpen according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Cincinnati dropped more than $30 million on the left-handed Champan in January of 2010. At that time Chapman was seen as a front of the rotation starter for years, instead he has developed as one of the best shutdown closers in baseball.
Chapman and manager Dusty Baker both recently said that they would prefer the pitcher to close and all signs point to that happening.
John Smoltz, a future hall of famer, started and closed during his big league career. He was surprised to hear the Reds plans for Chapman this spring.
“I’ll be honest. When I first heard they might make him a starter, I said, ‘Oh, my God. They’re going to take the most dominant left-handed closer in the game and put him in a role that has a lot of ifs, ands or buts,'” Smoltz told MLB.com writer Terence Moore.
The move will make the Reds bullpen one of the nastiest in baseball with Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton setting up. It will also leave a hole in the Reds rotation.
Some may say this is a bad financial move for the Reds but if Chapman truly is a lock down closer in the mold of Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman then it is a foolish move to waste him as middle of the rotation stater.